Regional Multi-Use Pathway Update

People cycling on the Dartmouth Harbourfront multi-use pathway.

One of the active transportation (AT) facility types in HRM to support walking and cycling is multi-use pathways (MUPs), which are also referred to as AT Trails and Greenways. Multi-use pathways are typically at least three metres wide, can be surfaced with asphalt or crusher dust, and are designed for bi-directional walking, bicycling, wheelchairs, skate board, in-line skating (on asphalt) and strollers and are separated from roads and motor vehicles.  The 2014 Active Transportation Priorities Plan established an envisioned 320km network of these facilities.  As of 2018 there are 182km of multi-use pathways in HRM.

Multi-use pathways in HRM are often built and maintained by volunteer community associations, particularly when the facility is on provincial land (typically on abandoned rail corridor or in provincial parks). This represents about 65% of the network.  These groups are members of the Halifax Regional Trails Association  (HRTA). HRM has supported the community groups of HRTA since 1998 by providing the majority amount of project funding and technical and administration staff resources to support community-led projects.  

Multi-use pathways are also built and maintained by HRM when they are in the municipal right of way or municipal parks.  They are also often built as part of new developments instead of sidewalks.

Click through to learn more about the multi-use pathways being built in your community! 

Multi-Use Pathway Construction Projects 

Last updated as of April, 2019. 

Bissett Greenway Project Phase 3

The Bissett Greenway project was initiated by the Cole Harbour Parks and Trails Association (CHPTA). HRM started construction of Bissett Greenway Phase 3 in late Fall 2018 and plans to finish the project by the Summer 2019. It is 615 metres and will connect to existing multi-use pathways in Colby Village and Forest Hills to the Cole Harbour Heritage Park. These are part of a network of active transportation facilities connecting 35,000 residents from the communities of Cole Harbour, Colby Village and Forest Hills to schools and retail and commercial centres, and destinations such as Cole Harbour Place.

Gaetz Brook Greenway

Planned and developed by the SATA Trails Society with financial support from HRM and other funders, the Gaetz Brook Greenway will extend 7 kms along the abandoned rail corridor from the East Chezzetcook Road to the intersection of Highway 107 and Trunk 7 in Musquodoboit Harbour. From that location, a separate project will continue the facility another 3.5km where it is intended to join with the Musquodoboit Trailway. 

The Gaetz Brook Greenway provides a safe alternative to the busy Trunk 7 for walking and cycling for the East Chezzetcook, the Porter’s Lake, and Musquodoboit Harbour communities. 

The hub location of Gaetz Brook Greenway will facilitate connections to Gaetzbrook Junior High School, church, garden clubs, The Lions Club, Canadian Legion, as well as the nearby Business Park (e.g. a bike repair shop, local coffee shops, stores etc. ). 

The first phase of the project, bridges remediation, is complete as of fall 2018. The next phase, targeted for 2019, is clearing, drainage, subgrade and finished surface work. The third phase to be done in 2020 is amenities.

Sackville Greenway

The Sackville Greenway plan was initiated by the Sackville River Association and specifies a 7km active transportation corridor that connects Feely Lake to Fultz House (Cobequid Rd. and Sackville Dr.).  The corridor follows the Little Sackville River and will connect where people live to where they shop, go to school and access services.  

The first 1.3km segment between Glendale Dr. and Sackville Dr. was completed in 2018.  It connects neighbourhoods to the Sackville Dr. business area, Downsview Mall, sport fields and the Lion’s Club.  The next planned segment extends this facility to Old Sackville Road.

Halifax Mainland North Trail Connections

The Halifax North Trail is a 5km active transportation corridor that links communities from Clayton Park to Glenbourne.  One of the recommendations of the 2015 Mainland North Trail Functional Plan was to improve connectivity between this facility and adjacent destinations and neighbourhoods.  At the initiative of the Halifax North West Trail Association through the Capital Budget Grant Funding Program, HRM built four new connections in the Summer of 2018 and changed the pedestrian crossing at Langbrae Drive to reduce crossing distances and improve visibility. 

New connections were made to the Canada Games Centre, The Halifax Mainland Common off-leash dog park, Mary Clayton Park, and to Turnmill Park and connecting streets.

People walking and cycling on the Mount Hope Greenway.

Woodside Greenway

This new active transportation connection is part of the Regional Centre All-Ages-and-Abilities Bikeway Network and was built in 2018.  The project connects the existing multi-use pathway on Mount Hope Avenue that terminated at Orion Cres. to Pleasant Street, close to the Woodside Ferry Terminal and Dartmouth Harbourfront Greenway.  The project includes additional sidewalks and accessible bus stops within the Woodside Industrial Park.  This is now part of a 6km corridor that extends into the Portland Hills community, connecting to parks, a school, shopping and a library.  

Porters Lake Exit 20 AT Connector

This link is located at Exit 20 of Highway 107 and will enable the rail trail connection of the Trans Canada Trail from Cole Harbour to Porters Lake.  This connection reinstates where Highway 107 severed the former railway corridor and will connect the Blueberry Run Trail to the Porters Lake commercial area and the Porters Lake Elementary School, Lake and Shore Recreation Center and the MetroX Park and Ride bus service.  Construction is targeted for 2019.

Multi-Use Pathway Planning Projects 

Last updated as of April, 2019. 

Little River Greenway

The Little River trail connector, currently being planned by the Musquodoboit Trailways Association with support from the HRM’s Capital Funding Grants, is a section of abandoned rail corridor that is 2 km in length and passes through the core of Musquodoboit Harbour.  It has been identified as a section of the Trans Canada Trail as early as 1998. It connects Musquodoboit Harbour with more western communities as well as existing and proposed residential developments.  The AT greenway fills a gap in the AT path and connects to the future Gaetz Brook Greenway, currently under construction.

The trail is a safe pedestrian and cycling alternative to travel along Highway 7 (Marine Drive).  Its location offers opportunities to develop access to community destinations (e.g., Service Centre, Library, Fitness Centre, Bank, Pharmacy, Arena, the community centre, the Eastern Shore High School, stores, medical facilities such as hospital, dentist, senior’s facilities, building supplies and restaurants.

The trail also provides direct access to the region’s most important Heritage asset- the Musquodoboit Harbour Railway Museum and Tourist Bureau.
The project is split in phases and the group is aiming to finish construction by 2022.

Riverlake Greenway

The Riverlake Greenway project is planned and developed with partial funding from HRM. The project team is a consortium of five local not-for profit organizations: the Shubenacadie Watershed Environmental Protection Society (SWEPS) Trails; the Shubenacadie Canal Commission (SCC); Waverley Amateur Athletic Association; Grand Lake Oakfield Community Society; and Carroll’s Corner Community Center.  

The Riverlake Greenway will be a continuous AT Facility from Halifax Harbour to Truro/TransCanada Trail roughly paralleling the Shubie Canal waterways, an alternative to the high traffic Waverly Rd. 

The project will connect the communities and new developments/ subdivisions along HWY 2: Carroll’s Corner, Dutch Settlement, Lantz, Elmsdale, Enfield, Oakfield, Grand Lake, Wellington, Fletcher’s Lake, Windsor Junction, Fall River, Waverley, and Dartmouth. 

An integral part of the Riverlake AT Greenway, the Lake William Trail connects north from Halifax Harbour to AT trails in Shubie Park, the Lake Charles Trail and the trail system around PortoBello on the Waverley Road. When completed, it will extend the AT route to the McDonald Sports Park trails and beyond Fall River, offering the citizens of Waverley, Fall River and Beaver Bank a quality outdoor AT experience. 

The project is in various stages of planning and construction along the route. 

Sackville Lakes AT Connections 

These connections are planned by and at the initiative of the Sackville Lake Park and Trails Association.  The goal of this project is to explore connectivity options from the existing AT facilities in Sackville Lakes Provincial Park in two directions: 1) towards McDonald Sports Park, Fall River/and Waverley, including connections to the the Riverlake Greenway; and 2) towards Windsor with a new access to the Park AT trails from Bearverbank Road using the Windsor-Hantsport Rail Corridor.

Forest Hills Parkway

Planning is underway for a 4 km multi-use pathway to be integrated with road upgrades of the Forest Hills Parkway in Cole Harbour from Main Street and 107 highway intersection to Colby Drive.  This route connects sport and recreation facilities, Cole Harbour Place, Cole Harbour High School, many businesses, residents and church’s.  The MUP will  connect to the many feeder trails and walkways throughout Forest Hills and will also be part of the Trans Canada Trail, the Great Trail.   Phase One of Construction from Main Street to Cole Harbour Place is planned for 2019.

Penhorn AT Connector

HRM is implementing a MUP connection that was envisioned by the Penhorn Lake Area Trail Association from Penhorn Drive to Portland Street where the Penhorn Commercial area and Bus Terminal are located.  This connection will be approximately 350 metres.

Lucasville Greenway

Lucasville Greenway Association has developed a concept for a multi-use pathway that would parallel Lucasville Road, providing a safer place for residents to walk and bicycle and enjoy their community.  Based on this concept, HRM is working with the group to develop a functional plan to inform implementation, cost and which side of the road it would be located on.  The goal is to connect community destinations with Lower Sackville and Hammonds Plains Road.