FLORENCEVILLE-BRISTOL (GNB) – The provincial government has recognized the Wolastoq Valley Trail as one of the 11 Signature Trails highlighted in the recently announced Trails Action Plan.

“Investing in Signature Trails will raise New Brunswick’s profile as an international destination of choice,” said Environment and Local Government Minister Andrew Harvey. “The trails will also serve to build community infrastructure in the province’s smaller towns and villages while contributing to active and healthy lifestyles.”

Harvey 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.

The 100-kilometre Wolastoq Valley Trail follows the Saint John River between Woodstock and Grand Falls. Investing in the trail will serve a variety of user groups in several communities.

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 kilometres of developed trails by improving accessibility, safety and overall user experience.

“We are very pleased with Minister Harvey’s announcement,” said Carolyn McKay, a member of the Trans Canada Trail’s board of directors.

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.