St. Stephen – One of 12 signature trails in the province, the Coastal Link once completed will connect the East Coast Greenway with the Great Trail, creating the longest linear trail in the world. The trail stretches for approximately 177 kms, starting in St. Stephen, connecting to Saint Andrews, St George, and ending in Saint John.
The project will see existing infrastructure upgraded to create a safe, accessible active transportation corridor, which at its highest standard will be ideal for cycling. Upgrades will occur in segments, with a focus around municipalities first.
Upgrades to the St. Stephen Waterfront Trail will start to bring the project to reality, with an expected completion date in September 2020. The Coastal Link Trail Inc (CLTI) received $1 million from Tourism, Heritage and Culture in the beginning of 2019 to begin the project work, which has allowed development in defining the infrastructure required and begin construction.
The upgrades to the St. Stephen Waterfront Trail will see engineered solutions to washouts on the trail and mitigate erosion around flood-prone areas. The surface will be upgraded to pavement to increase accessibility for those with mobility issues.
CLTI began working with the Town of St. Stephen in early 2019, when a community meeting was held in February to hear from residents as to what they would like to see in terms of improvements on the trail. Further community input was sought earlier in 2020 through social media channels.
The upgrades align with what community members have expressed they wish to see, as well as a 2014 BIA Urban Design Plan for the Town that recommended upgrades to the trail infrastructure. The trail upgrades also hold great tourism potential, offering visitors incredible views of the Saint Croix River. In a 2019 study it was identified that up to 25 per cent of campers vacationing in Saint Andrews visited the Waterfront Trail in St. Stephen.
The CLTI looks forward to aligning with more community goals to see a connected, safe, and accessible route stretching from St Stephen to Saint John.