McIntosh Run Community Trail A Reality
If you have been on the old pipeline road between the River Road footbridge and the extension of Bridget Avenue in the past few weeks you probably witnessed quite a bit of activity for the construction of Phase 1 of the McIntosh Run Community Trail. The members of the McIntosh Run Watershed Association (MRWA) have long dreamed of creating a trail along the river from Long Lake to Herring Cove as part of the work they have been doing to protect the McIntosh Run and to provide the people of the area with an opportunity to get out and enjoy the natural beauty of this special place.
The first phase of the trail was completed at the end of November, and community members who have been on the trail are very pleased with the result. The trail has a hard-packed surface suitable for walking, running and any non-motorized vehicle including strollers, electric wheelchairs and bicycles. The trail surface was raised as needed to avoid chronic spring flooding and large culverts installed to accommodate the runoff from Bridget Avenue. The shoulders of the trail have been covered in bark mulch, providing a very nice finishing touch.
Trail construction was funded by generous grants to MRWA from HRM ($50,000) and the Provincial Department of Health Promotion and Protection ($20,000). The work was contracted to Terra Marine Environmental Ltd who worked quickly to get this phase completed before winter.
The old pipeline road is on HRM parkland with an easement to the Halifax Water Commission for the sewer line. Motor vehicles are prohibited on trails on HRM parkland, thus ATVs and motorized dirt bikes are prohibited from using the trail. This will provide a quiet and safe trail experience for all trail users and a quieter neighbourhood for adjacent residents. Barriers have been erected to prevent ATVs from entering the trail. The Halifax Water Commission is planning to inspect and clean the sewer pipe so they may be active on the trail over the next six months or so.
This is just the first phase of trail development along the McIntosh Run. The next phase will extend the trail improvements on the pipeline road to Roach’s Pond Ball Field in 2010, conditional on continued funding from HRM and DHPP. MRWA intends to build a wilderness trail from Roach’s Pond all the way to Herring Cove in the next few years.
The folks from the McIntosh Run Watershed Association deserve a great deal of credit for sticking with this project and for all the work they are doing to protect the health of the run. Please join them on Saturday December 12th 2009 from 1 – 3 pm for the official ribbon-cutting for phase 1 of the McIntosh Run Community Trail. Enjoy a walk or bike on the new trail, look at the plans for the next phases, and learn a little about what MWRA is doing. Of course new members are always welcome and you can learn more about the organization and see photos at their website, testsite.mcintoshrun.ca.