The Lake Ainslie Development Association, in conjunction with the Nova Scotia Trails Federation (NS Trails) and Trans Canada Trail (TCT) are pleased to announce the official opening of the Bealach Brèagha section of The Great Trail in Inverness County as of Saturday, February 4, 2017.
The 50-kilometer Bealach Brèagha is Gaelic for “Beautiful Mountain Pass.” The project was made possible by the efforts and contributions of local volunteers and was funded by Trans Canada Trail ($292K) through a generous donation from Mrs. Nancy Baron, Trustee of The W.Garfield Weston Foundation, the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) Innovative Communities Fund ($209,735), the Off-Highway Vehicle Infrastructure Fund ($80,750), the Municipality of the County of Inverness ($50,000) and the Department of Communities, Culture & Heritage ($30,000).
Funding contributions assisted with trail construction, the addition of bridges and culverts, and the creation and installation of interpretive and directional signage. The opening of Bealach Brèagha provides residents and visitors with opportunities to participate in safe, healthy, affordable recreation while enjoying the natural beauty of Cape Breton Island.
Bealach Brèagha is one of a number of sections of The Great Trail in Inverness County, including the 92-kilometer Celtic Shores Coastal Trail, the 16-kilometer Cape Clear Trail, and the 15-kilometer Lewis Mountain Trail, scheduled to open in spring 2017. Inverness County will also boast four of The Great Trail’s water access points, the first of which opened at Marble Mountain in August 2016. Water access points at the Whycocomagh Waterfront Centre, the We’koqmaq First Nation and Orangedale are scheduled to open in spring 2017.
The grand opening included ribbon cutting on the trail and a reception at the Lake Ainslie Volunteer Fire Department. Those in attendance were among the first official trail users during an afternoon of trail activities including snowmobiling and guided cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.
A detailed map of The Great Trail is available at www.thegreattrail.ca. The online map displays completed sections of trail in green and blue, with planned sections of trail plotted in orange. The online map is routinely updated as trails and access points open, and allows trail goers to visualize their route along The Great Trail.