The plan to connect the entire province through a network of bicycle routes, using trails and roads, reached a major milestone today, Aug. 6, as the first section was opened in Pictou.
This first segment stretches around 60 kilometres, taking riders from Pictou to East Mountain (Bible Hill).
The route combines different riding conditions, including a short, hard-surfaced trail segment, a paved-shoulder bike route, and a shared lane on a quiet secondary highway. Heading out of town from Pictou, the landscape shifts from open, mixed forests dotted with farmlands along the West River, to quiet evergreen forests with several climbs and descents going past Mount Thom on the way into Truro.
“Bicycle Nova Scotia has been working towards this day for eight years — since the beginning of the Blue Route concept for Nova Scotia in 2007. This is an exciting moment for Nova Scotia and it puts active transportation in the spotlight,” said Ben Buckwold, director of Blue Route Implementation for Bicycle Nova Scotia. “The Blue Route signals a new direction for Nova Scotia that will benefit our economy, our health and our environment. Communities around the world are investing in bicycle infrastructure and it is great that Nova Scotia is part of that.”
Inspired by Quebec’s Route Verte, the concept will eventually have 3,000 kilometres of bike-friendly routes connecting one end of the province to the other. Features will include trails, bicycle lanes and shared roads, and signage marking the route and bike-friendly businesses along the way.
“Our provincial highways and roads run along some of the most beautiful landscapes and coastlines in the world,” said Geoff MacLellan, Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal Minister. “Pedalling along the Blue Route will be a wonderful, unique way for Nova Scotians and visitors, young and old, to experience our province.”
Dedicated cycling routes help people feel safe so they can enjoy biking for recreation or active transportation. They change the physical environment so it supports physical activity, which is a goal of Thrive!, government’s plan for a healthier Nova Scotia.
While the entire network will take years to complete, segments will be added as they are developed. Visit http://blueroute.ca for more information.