New Brunswick

$15M bike trail to connect Acadian Peninsula by 2018

By 2018, a bicycle trail, or véloroute, could connect the entire Acadian Peninsula, crossing 14 municipalities using the NB Trails system, and newly-constructed bike paths.

Existing bike trails are already well-used, according to organizer, enhance tourism

Plans are to have a véloroute, or bike trail complete on the Acadian Peninsula by as early as 2018. (Bridget Yard/CBC)

By 2018, a bicycle trail, or véloroute, could connect the entire Acadian Peninsula, from Grande-Anse to Miscou Island and south to Neguac, crossing 14 municipalities using the NB Trails system, and newly-constructed bike paths.

Serge Dugas, the sole employee of Veloroute de la Peninsule Acadienne Inc., launched the idea in 2005 with a feasibility study. Construction began in 2010.

Serge Dugas is the general manager of the véloroute project, and has been working on linking the Acadian Peninsula since 2005. (Bridget Yard/CBC)
"The major towns here are Caraquet, Tracadie, Lameque, and Shippagan. They've built a lot of trails inside their limits. We built a trail between Shippagan and Lameque to connect those towns," said Dugas.

"It worked that we get the towns to invest and they look for help from provincial and federal loans or subsidies. In between Shippagan and Lameque, we got the provincial government to pay."

Dugas, the general manager of the organization, is hoping for more provincial and federal funding to kick in to reach the project's goal of $15 million.

"The next step is try to do the whole veloroute route, which is the Acadian Peninsula," said Dugas.

The second step in the plan is to reconstruct existing NB Trails and bring them up to par.

"The other phase is to go to municipalities that don't have the trail made yet, to help them know what it will be and how much it will cost and from there they will try to find money to build it," he said.

"The other phase is on the road. The paved shoulders and sharing, and the signs on the road."

The Acadian Peninsula veloroute will link 14 municipalities (Bridget Yard/CBC)
Existing trails in Caraquet are already well-used, and maintained by the municipality.

The véloroute is even featured in the town's tourism brochure. Community support is strong for the véloroute project.

"They know it will be a good thing for the region. It's good for the economy, it's good for the health, it's good for the environment, and it's a peninsula project. It will bring people together to visit," said Dugas.

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