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 multi-use facilities. As of 2021, there are 211.5km of multi-use pathways in HRM. HRM staff, as well as some community groups, are currently planning and implementing the remaining AT Regional Network.
Multi-use pathways in HRM are often built and maintained by volunteer community groups, 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 assistance and administration support community-led projects.
Multi-use pathways are also built and maintained by HRM when they are within the municipal right of way or municipal lands and parks. They are also often built as part of new developments instead of sidewalk infrastructure especially if they can connect to other destinations and other communities.
Local residents understand the challenges and opportunities within their own communities the best when it comes to Active Transportation needs, Therefore, HRM works with many non-profit community groups to form a vision and implement planning, community engagement, construction and maintenance. Local community groups may also play a role in planning activities that promote the importance of being less car dependent and being aware of the benefits of regular walking and cycling to reach destinations.
Below is a list of Multi-Use Pathways that form part of the Regional Network:
HRM's Multi-Use Pathways (owned and/or operated)
Chain of Lakes Trail
Mainland North Trail
Forest Hills Parkway Multi-Use Pathway
Dartmouth Harbourfront Trail
Dunbrack Street Multi-Use Pathway
DeWolfe Park Greenway
Halifax Urban Greenway
Bedford Waterfront Multi-Use Pathway
Lake Banoook Trail
Mount Hope Greenway
North Preston Trail
Shubie Canal Greenway
Provincial Rail Trails - Eastern & Western HRM
Shearwater Flyer – Corsair Drive to Bissett Road. Cole Harbour Parks & Trails Assoc.
Cole Harbour Salt Marsh Trail – Bissett Road to West Lawrencetown Road. Cole Harbour Parks & Trails Assoc.
Atlantic View Trail – West Lawrencetown Road to Causeway Road. Atlantic View Trail Association
Blueberry Run Rail Trail – Causeway Road to Stella Drive. Marine Riders Trail Association
Gaetz Brook Greenway – East Chezzetcook Road to Stat Hill Look out Drive. Shore Active Transportation Assoc.
Musquodoboit Trailways – From Park Road to Gibraltor Rock. Musquodoboit Trailways Assoc.
Community Multi Use Pathways supported by HRM Grants Program for Planning, Construction & Maintenance
Halifax North West Trails Association
Halifax Urban Greenway Association
Lucasville Greenway Society
McIntosh Run Watershed Association
Penhorn Lake Area Trail Association
Porters Lake/Myra Road Wilderness Area Association
Preston & Area Trails Association
Sackville Rivers Association
Sackville Lakes Park And Trails Association
Shubenacadie Watershed Environmental Protection Society (SWEPS)
St. Margaret’s Bay Rails to Trails Assoc.
Wooden’s River Watershed Environmental Organization
Cole Harbour Parks & Trails Assoc.
Atlantic View Trail Association
Shore Active Transportation Assoc.
Musquodoboit Trailways Assoc.
Beechville Lakeside Rails to Trails Assoc.
First Lake Trails, Friends of First Lake Association
RECENT MULTI-USE PATHWAY PLANNING PROJECTS
Gaetz Brook Greenway
Planned and developed by the SATA Trails Society with financial support from HRM and other funders, the Gaetz Brook Greenway extends 7 kms along the abandoned rail corridor from the East Chezzetcook Road to the intersection of Highway 107 and Trunk 7 in Musquodoboit Harbour.
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 facilitates 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 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. Wayfinding signage was installed along the Mainland North Trail in 2021 as part of the Active Transportation Wayfinding Pilot Project.
This 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.
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.