SALMON RIVER (GNB) – Celebrations took place today marking the grand opening of Phase 2 of the Fundy Trail Parkway.

“The Fundy Trail Parkway is a once-in-a-generation project that will bring New Brunswick’s reputation as a must-see destination to the next level,” said Tourism, Heritage and Culture Minister John Ames. “Taking advantage of our beautiful landscapes, and working with our partners and stakeholders, we have delivered on an exceptional product that will generate tourism for the region for decades to come, improving the quality of life for New Brunswickers.”

The parkway allows visitors to enjoy previously unreachable wilderness areas along the Bay of Fundy coastline.

“We have always known that we are truly blessed to live in such an awe-inspiring and magnificent region,” said Fundy Royal MP Alaina Lockhart. “The Fundy Trail Parkway brings that beauty closer to us and allows us to share our world-class natural attraction with visitors from around the world. The Fundy Trail Parkway is an important travel motivator, expanding economic opportunities for local communities and the region.”

Lockhart attended for federal Infrastructure and Communities Minister Amarjeet Sohi.

The second phase of the project extended the road from Long Beach to the McCumber Brook kiosk, increasing access to the coastline via lookouts, observation decks and hiking trails.

“The Fundy Trail Parkway is a tranquil place that will allow people to escape the busy world we live in and experience the surroundings and nature,” said Jane Boyle, president of the Fundy Trail Development Authority, a not-for-profit organization that manages the trail. “Visitors will have the opportunity to see spectacular views and experience nature in a whole different way through the hiking and cycling trails. It is truly amazing what we have in New Brunswick, and we are excited to showcase this to the world.”

The Fundy Trail connector road, linking the parkway and Route 114, will be complete in 2021. It will improve access to Fundy National Park and other tourism attractions along the coast.

The government expects that the Fundy Trail will directly or indirectly contribute to 750 jobs per year within a decade of its completion.

The parkway’s development began over 20 years ago through the efforts of a group of volunteers led by Mitchell Franklin.

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