Newfoundland's Northern Peninsula to Unveil Epic 850-Kilometre Great Coastal Trail
Newfoundland and Labrador's Immigration, Population Growth, and Skills Minister, Gerry Byrne, has expressed his delight at the long-awaited announcement of a trail project set to transform the Northern Peninsula. The provincial government revealed on Sunday a substantial $7 million investment for the development of the Great Coastal Trail, an 850-kilometre haven for hikers, cyclists, and adventure tourists.
“Today, the dream of a Great Coastal Trail for the Great Northern Peninsula is well on its way to being realized, thanks to the initial funding this government is providing," said Byrne. "A world-class hiking and biking trail like no other will perfectly complement the natural beauty and spirit of adventure we offer here on the peninsula, drawing still more tourists to this spectacular region, and supporting economic development and job creation for generations.”
Progress is already underway as the provincial government embarks on an inventory of existing trails and services throughout the peninsula, located on the western coast of Newfoundland.
The primary objective is to create a continuous trail that boasts two UNESCO World Heritage Sites as its anchors: L'Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site at the northern terminus and Gros Morne National Park at the southern extremity.
With its length exceeding twice that of the East Coast Trail, situated on the opposite side of Newfoundland, Gerry Byrne believes the Great Coastal Trail could become one of the most substantial hiking and biking trails anywhere in Canada.
Boosting Adventure Tourism in Newfoundland
Gerry Byrne views this endeavor as an opportunity to enhance adventure tourism offerings within the province. He emphasized the success of existing trails, such as the East Coast Trail, in attracting both domestic and international visitors, including those from Germany, France, Austria, and Great Britain.
"They've been coming to our province now for many, many years, taking in the East Coast Trail, and we really have discovered that this is an opportunity that can complement what is already occurring on the East Coast Trail but with a different production altogether."
Byrne, and his government, believe that the Great Coastal Trail, with its breathtaking vistas along the Northern Peninsula's coastline, will not only showcase stunning natural landscapes but also connect with 50 historic communities, many of which have deep roots in the French Shore community.
“Our commitment to the development of the Great Coastal Trail has Newfoundland and Labrador hitting our stride in the adventure tourism sector like never before," said Premier Andrew Furey. "The planned development of the province’s newest 850 kilometres of trail puts us on an exciting path, as our partners move forward with development, creating the latest addition to our expanding trail network.”
Recognizing the need to cater to French-speaking travelers, both Canadian and international, Byrne emphasized the importance of providing services and information in the French language. This commitment extends beyond signage to encompass labor market opportunities, skills development, and entrepreneurship within the francophone community.
A Ten-Year Vision
Gerry Byrne shared the government's ambition to complete all work related to the Great Coastal Trail within the next decade. This plan involves connecting existing trails, establishing new ones as needed, and creating attractions and services essential for a long-distance hiking and biking trail.
While roads can stretch for hundreds of kilometers without services, the same is not feasible for a trail of this magnitude. The government's commitment to this transformative project aims to enhance tourism, stimulate economic growth, and bolster the quality of life in the region.
Plans for the Great Coastal Trail promise to provide Newfoundland and Labrador with a world-class adventure tourism destination, further strengthening the province's position as a must-visit destination for outdoor enthusiasts.