Local trail volunteer receives White Hill Summit Award

Wilson Cameron (left), of the Celtic Shores Coastal Trail, was announced this year’s recipient of the Nova Scotia Trails Federation White Hill Summit Award.

HALIFAX: Wilson Cameron of the Celtic Shores Coastal Trail, was announced this year’s recipient of the Nova Scotia Trails Federation (NS Trails) White Hill Summit Award.

This award is named after the highest point of land in Nova Scotia and recognizes the outstanding lifetime contribution to the development of recreational trails in Nova Scotia by a volunteer. Cameron’s dedication to the NS Trails and the trails community locally, regionally and provincially is a remarkable example of commitment to the trails movement in Nova Scotia.

“I’m extremely honoured to receive this award on behalf of all the volunteers and community groups who have worked so hard to develop trails with me. It’s not just one person. It’s all the people who work together,” Cameron said.

For over two decades Cameron has dedicated his time, commitment, knowledge, and passion to the betterment of trails in Nova Scotia. He started in 1998 when he learned that a rail bed in Creignish, Cape Breton was being developed into a trail and volunteers were needed. Back then the rail bed was abandoned and thickly overgrown. Now the trail runs 22 kilometres (km) and is known as the The Ceilidh Coastal Trail, part of the 92 km Celtic Shores Coastal Trail.

“When people see the trails now, they might not realize how much hard work and dedication goes into managing, constructing and maintaining them. But seeing how the trails have developed and how they are enjoyed by the local residents and visitors, that’s where the enjoyment comes and that’s why I do it,” said Cameron.

Cameron became part of the Celtic Shores Coastal Trail team in 2003 and a founding board member of the Cape Breton Island Pathways Association from 2004 to 2012, including a leading role as president for several years. He is currently director/secretary of the Inverness County Trails Federation, director/treasurer of the Ceilidh Coastal Trail, and a regional representative for Cape Breton Island with NS Trails.

Trail development in Nova Scotia is based on a community development model, which means the work of trail volunteers is crucial.

“Trails in communities throughout our province simply wouldn’t be possible without our volunteers and trail partners,” said Vanda Jackson, Chief Executive Officer of NS Trails. “We are thrilled to celebrate and recognize this year’s winners for their exceptional work and dedication to trails in Nova Scotia.”

NS Trails held its annual volunteer award ceremony on June 16 to recognize the significant contribution volunteers and organizations are making to trails in Nova Scotia. The awards ceremony was part of the Federation’s Annual General Meeting in Halifax. Five awards were given out, including the White Hill Summit Award, the Federation’s longest-standing and most prestigious award.

NS Trails is a volunteer, membership-based registered charity, a resource for trail stakeholders, and a forum to facilitate the cooperative building, maintaining, and enjoyment of trails in our province. Our Vision is a diverse and vibrant trails community in Nova Scotia that works respectfully and collaboratively so that all Nova Scotians and visitors have easy access to safe and enjoyable trail experiences. NS Trails is also the lead provincial partner for The Great Trail in Nova Scotia. For more information visit: www.novascotiatrails.com.