An old roadbed in Conception Bay North is getting a new lease on life.
Up until the 1970s, the road between Old Perlican and Bay de Verde was the main thoroughfare that connected the two communities.
That road was phased out in the 1970s as the current road was put in.
Now, decades later, the old roadbed is getting a facelift as a group of volunteers is restoring the old road into a multi-use trailway.
“We thought we could go all the way through to Old Perlican,” said organizer Carl Riggs, who is from Bay de Verde.
The idea for the trailway started as a conversation between friends, and it ballooned from there.
Riggs decided he would take the idea to the councils of Bay de Verde and Old Perlican. They were supportive of the idea and things took off from there.
“The support has been tremendous,” said Riggs.
It’s been a whirlwind six weeks between work starting and the idea coming to fruition.
Since work got underway on Jan. 11, between 80 and 100 people have contributed to clearing brush, rocks and other debris from the trail.
There have been significant contributions from the towns of Old Perlican and Bay de Verde, who have sent various pieces of heavy equipment to help with the job.
The business community has also chipped in, and there have been donations of equipment, time and money from people all over the province.
“It is amazing how much work has been done in a short period of time,” said Bay de Verde Mayor Gerard Murphy.
While the original motivation for the restoration of the old road was for use by all-terrain vehicles, the group believes there is ample room for hikers, walkers, mountain bikers and others to use the trail.
When finished, it will connect to Bay de Verde’s Lazy Rock Walking Trail.
“It is a little bit of an attraction for the whole area,” said Old Perlican Mayor Clifford Morgan. “It is a very, very nice initiative.”
The work being conducted this winter by the group is just the start of things for them.
Riggs said they want to install gazebos, rest areas and signage along the route in the future.
There are also plans to work with the CBN T’railway group to connect their projects. The CBN group is working to clear and maintain the old railbed in the region.
The hope is they will be able to connect and provide all-terrain vehicle users with the chance to go from Brigus Junction to Bay de Verde.
“This is just the tip of the iceberg for us,” said Riggs. “Excited is not the word.”
Nicholas Mercer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Central Voice