EDMUNDSTON (GNB) – The provincial government has recognized the Madawaska Trail as one of the 11 Signature Trails highlighted in the recently announced Trails Action Plan.

“The provincial government recognizes the importance of trails to economic development,” said Economic Development Minister Francine Landry. “Investing in Signature Trails will raise New Brunswick’s profile as an international destination of choice while contributing to active and healthy living in the province.”

Landry spoke on behalf of Tourism, Heritage and Culture Minister John Ames.

Signature Trails are an important part of the Trails Action Plan, a $15.78 million investment in the province’s trails network. Eleven Signature Trails have been designated for development, from signage upgrades to infrastructure to long-term management plans.

Investment in the Madawaska region will enhance the established cycling trails, currently maintained by Vélo Edmundston, which serve a variety of user groups with a focus on mountain biking.

Signature Trails are major regional tourism attractions. They encompass distinctive landscapes and vistas, from the Appalachian Mountain Range and Acadian forests to city waterfronts and coastlines. The Trails Action Plan is intended to elevate the network of over 20,000 km of developed trails by improving accessibility, safety and overall user experience.

“We are very pleased with minister Landry’s announcement,” said Denis Dionne, president of Vélo Edmundston. “This will be excellent for the development of our mountain biking trails and for the overall region.”

The New Brunswick Tourism Growth Strategy will invest $100 million in tourism over the next eight years, with a goal of growing tourism-related GDP to $2 billion by 2025. Tourism visitor spending is estimated at $1.3 billion, making it the third-largest service sector in the province.