FREDERICTON (GNB) – The provincial government has posted its Trails Action Plan online. The plan outlines an investment of $15.78 million into the trails system.

“The provincial government recognizes the importance of trails to economic development, particularly in rural areas,” said Tourism, Heritage and Culture Minister John Ames. “Beyond yielding economic benefits, the Trails Action Plan will serve to enhance health and wellness for New Brunswickers.”

The plan has recognized 11 Signature Trails to be considered for further development.

Signature Trails will focus upon product innovation with the intention of becoming tourism attractions which highlight the province’s distinctive heritage, rivers, waterways, views, and topography.

“On behalf of all greenway trail users in this province, we take this opportunity to thank the provincial government and the Department of Tourism, Heritage and Culture for this great initiative,” said New Brunswick Trails Council president Jim Fournier. “Upon its completion, this province will be in a position to welcome tourists on our trails with great pride and satisfaction of a job well done. You can count on us to support this great initiative which will greatly improve the health and wellness of our residents.”

Trails have increasingly become tourism products. The Trails Action Plan is intended to elevate the province’s 20,000 kilometres of trails by improving accessibility, safety and overall user experience.

The funding for the trails came from the Department of Tourism, Heritage and Culture’s 2018-19 capital budget.

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