Cole Harbour Heritage Park

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** Michael McFadden []
Sent: Wednesday, June 30, 2010 3:13 PM
To: Jim Kvammen
Subject: RE: Cole Harbour trails

Mr. Kvammen,

        I am a member of the Board of Directors of the CHPTA and joined the organization as much for my love of recreational biking as for anything else. Rest assured that for at least the last four years bicycle interests have been considered. There is at least one other regular (possibly avid) bike on the board. I have also raised the issue of the use of bikes within the Cole Harbour Heritage Park and received the same answer which while I respect as valid should not be considered an end point. 

        I do not represent the Board on this specific issue but I am willing to “champion” the opening of more trails (with the exception of the “front country” trails) to bikes. As Mr. Tudor has mentioned it will require a number of steps due to the previous history and design in the park. The CHPTA does very little fundraising and relies on various levels of government support and a whole lot of “sweat equity” on the part of volunteers to build and maintain the Park and Trails. However I do not think that it would be impossible to revisit the main trails in the park and with some provincial financial support, work and design meet or exceed standards of bike trails seen in many other municipal and provincial parks.  As one of the trail wardens who patrol the trails and parks I would find opening the Jerry Lonecloud, Panorama, Brook trails along with the Poors’ Farm Road to bike traffic advantageous. Some members of the public and the Board have reservations about the safety aspects but trail warden patrols and education would mitigate the problems. Perhaps you or other bikers might become involved in the NS Trail Warden program and provide some of the “sweat equity” needed to make this happen?

        I really would like to see increased bicycle access to the Park but I would also like to point out that the CHPTA is facing a number of serious challenges surrounding financial support, adequate staff at the municipal level and the possibility of a high tension power line being routed through the Park and along the Shearwater Flyer Trail.  As a result I find myself dealing with these issues sometimes to the detriment of my avowed aim to increase bicycle access in the Park. I hope you will be patient and I look forward to any other comments and suggestions.

        The rest of the CHPTA Board of Directors has been blind copied on this email.

Early this spring I was taking a group of newbie’s out for a ride in the Saltwater Marsh area and we started and finished our ride at the Heritage trail parking lot.

Near the end of the ride on the Poor Farm road where a road goes down to the water from a grass clearing we were accosted by a very upset woman that told us bicycles are not allowed in the park.

I dismissed what she said because I have been riding there for 20 years.

All trails are crusher dust like Shubi with the exception of the Poor Farm road which has been around for generations.

A few weeks later I noticed for the first time that there is a small sign indicating that no bikes are allowed.

So I contacted the Cole Harbour Parks & Trails Association by e-mail

And through a few back and forth e-mails requesting reasons why bikes are banned.

I still don’t have an answer but this following e-mail is the most info I have received so far.

By the spelling you might come to a conclusion we are not dealing with the brightest individual


** CHPTA []
Sent: Thursday, June 24, 2010 4:47 PM
To: Jim Kvammen
Subject: Re: Cole Harbour trails

In 1997 when Cole Harbour Parks & Trails Association formed and requested that the lands which now form the Cole Harbour Heritage Park be designated as a Provincial Park. The gov’t of the day agreed and did so. Part of the process in developing the Park Plan was to have community consultation and involve other stakeholders and the Department of Natural Resouces which was done.

The upshot was that the consenus at that time was no bicycles should be allowed any where in the Park. After numerous meetings etc. a compromise was reached that gave bikes away through the Park and off the Bissett Road to connect with the Salt Marsh Trail and Shearwater Flyer Trail and that was the Heritage Trail, only.

And so that was how the Park was designed to accomondate bikes on The Heritage Trail and walking only on the interior trails inside the rest of the Park.

The Poor’s Farm Road is also non-biking; you cross the top of the Poor’s Farm Road byway of The Heritage Trail between Patrick Ave and the Salt Marsh


** CHPTA []
Sent: Wednesday, June 30, 2010 11:41 AM
To: Jim Kvammen
Subject: Re: Cole Harbour trails

A couple of points for clarification; Cole Harbour Parks & Trails Assc. tried to represent the majority of interests which is why The Heritage Trail is bike friendly.

At the time there were no bike groups or individuals who chose to step forward and be involved in the process, even though everyone was publicly invited.

After the consultation process was over, the Park was designed to provincial standards which requires a wider trail width and enhanced sight lines for bike use. Therefore all the interior trails inside the Park do not meet the biking criteria and to re-consider them now would have huge cost implications which is not to say nothing is forever and things can be changed if enough people get involved and put the time and effort into something.

With the Provincial Park designation came restrictions; no more hunting, trapping, camping, open fires, horseback riding or motorized use, so it wasn’t just biking that got restricted.

In April I did not re-offer to be on the Board and in short term I am answering the group’s e-mails as a courtesy until someone else takes over. I will pass along your views to the Board for their consideration

My opinion:

If the sight line issue is true, I guess we will never see approved single track in any provincial parks in Nova Scotia.

I wonder who comes up with this shit.

I made some inquiries into this spot too. I thought it’d be perfect for a cyclocross race. They weren’t having anything of it. I never got an impression nor excuse about ‘line of sight’ issues, more just that they pretty much didn’t want bikes there. They wouldn’t even let us use it for an hour for a 'cross race!

As you’ve deduced, it’s a perfect spot for a beginner ride and some of the trails would be some fun for anyone.

Take a quick think to sight lines on the Lake Charles Extension from Shubie. That is a cyclist friendly trail but there are certainly some corners with minimal visual of the other side. You certainly have to keep to your side of the trail and hope the oncoming traffic does the same. Is there some literature they can show you or is this simply their excuse with a hope there is no further inquiries?

It has been a while since I have been beyond the herritage trail but that park is where i started biking off road along with the slick rock trails behind portland estates.

the worst part of those emails, the mention of " public invites" and “no groups stepped forward” it’s a shame how much we’ve missed out on in the past 5-10 years. i wish i had the time, patience and skills to take on something like that when the opportunity arises.