Don’t sacrifice walking trail to special interests and short-term gain

Whether to make the trail which runs from River Tillard to the village of St. Peter’s (pictured) multi-use or for walkers only has been the subject of debate for many years.

The village of St. Peter’s, nestled between the ocean and the Bras d’Or Lake, is where I grew up, where my family have lived and owned property for generations, and it is where I hope to retire.

The village has much to offer: banks, drug stores, grocery, restaurants, hardware stores, library, school, gym, churches, garages, marina, and a beautiful and fully accessible walking trail on the old railway line directly below the village.

This walking trail is the hidden gem of the community. The six kilometres of excellent walking surface features forest, sandy beach, a view of the ocean on one side and a view of the picturesque village with its two churches and long sweeping lawns and fields on the other. It is a beautiful and safe space in which to enjoy nature.

Currently, there has been a request to open this trail to ATV use. This would be a grave mistake, bringing noise, pollution and safety concerns directly into the village limits. At a time when our world is trying to reduce our use of petroleum products, this is a backward step. As it exists today, this walking trail is a hidden gem, a natural feature that could attract doctors, professionals and tourists to the area. Let us not sacrifice our village’s treasure to special interest groups and short term commercial interest.

Mary Pat Cude

West Bay