SPRINGHILL –Cumberland County’s trail system is receiving a major boost and beautification, positioning the former mining town of Springhill as a destination for off road enthusiasts.
Two of the three bridges connecting the community to the trail system have been replaced, with the third to be finished soon. At 12 feet in width, the new bridges make for safe passage and plenty of room for groomers in the winter, adding to the appeal of the region.
“We take a lot of pride in our trails,” Cumberland Trails president Kenny John Jackson says.
At a cost of approximately $15,000, the bridges are part of Cumberland Trails Association work with local off road clubs to ensure passage over waterways while enhancing the experience for users. Funding for the bridges began on the club level, falling under the umbrella of Cumberland Trails, and with partnerships from the province and the Town of Springhill.
“If it wasn’t for the local clubs and a partnership with the town this wouldn’t have happened,” Jackson said.
Once completed, access to the bridges will be gated to prevent large vehicles through, while maintaining access for all-terrain vehicles and snowmobiles. Plans are also under way to introduce rest areas near the bridges.
Jackson himself was heavily involved in the builds, clearing land and brush to make way for the bridges. Inside town limits, the trail intersecting the Lagoon Road saw a new trail blazed over a waterway instead of following the thin, daunting trail that took motorists down a steep embankment. Approaching the now-completed bridge, motorists are greeted with a maintained woodlot where Jackson envisions a rest area, complete with picnic benches where families and friends can get together.
“We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us but we have a lot of dedicated individuals and clubs bringing people to our trails,” Jackson says.
Two bridges in Springhill’s watershed region in Leamington will be completed this month, as well. One was in such a state of disrepair, Jackson says, it was crumbling into the waters below, jeopardizing the integrity of the community’s water source.