BATHURST (GNB) – The provincial government has recognized the Nepisiguit Mi’gmaq Trail as one of the 11 Signature Trails highlighted in the recently announced Trails Action Plan.

“We are determined to develop the full potential of the Signature trails so that visitors looking for this type of trail will be keen to discover them and stay in the area longer,” said Justice and Public Safety Minister Denis Landry. “We recognize that trails such as the Nepisiguit Mi’gmaq Trail, which has the potential for stays of several days, play an important role in our economic growth and community development.”

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.

The Nepisiguit Mi’gmaq Trail, which is 150 kilometres long, stretches along the Nepisiguit River from Mount Carleton to the Daly Point Nature Reserve in Bathurst. It follows several tributaries of the Nepisiguit River and provides scenic views of the river and the Appalachian Mountains. A portion of the trail is shared with the old Indigenous portage trails that run from Bathurst Lake in Mount Carleton Provincial Park to the Gordon Meadow Brook portage near Middle Landing.

“It is good news for our anglophone, francophone, Acadian, and Indigenous communities because it rallies us around a tourism project that respects the natural beauty of the location and the environment, and at the same time there is great potential for economic development for the area and the province,” said Rod O’Connell, president of the Nepisiguit Mi’gmaq Trail. “It is our intention to make the Nepisiguit Mi’gmaq Trail the number one hiking trail in eastern Canada. Its status as a Signature Trail will help us achieve that vision.”

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.

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.