PUBNICO POINT - A storm surge resulting from powerful gusts and high tides in early January did significant damage to the east side of the Pubnico Point trail.
The trail hugs the coastline, providing stunning views to those who walk it. After the storm, however, the view wasn’t so pretty. Tons of rock covered sections of the path, trees were blown over and debris of all sorts littered the ground after the water receded. In some places the shore banks were eroded.
Felton d’Entremont, spokesperson for the Pubnico Point Trail Association, was discouraged when he first saw the damage.
“Mother Nature didn’t take any pity on us,” he said.
The eastern side of the trail, completed in 2013, was the first phase of the three-part project. Glimpses of 17 towering wind turbines can be caught at several points along the nearly-one-kilometre-long trail, which features several attractive boardwalks.
“Our boardwalks are well built because it didn’t hurt them very much,” said d’Entremont.
Phase two, which is 1.5 km long, has an expansive view of the ocean where the elevation is highest.
D’Entremont says work is already underway to repair the damage and says while he was working one morning with other volunteers he saw something encouraging.
“It was amazing the amount of people still walking on the trail. It gives you incentive to start working on it and rebuild,” he said.
It would be difficult for the route of the trail to be changed. The committee has lease agreements with the owners of adjoining properties and renegotiation would be required if the trail was to be moved back from the shoreline.
The project has been a community endeavour, with volunteers providing their time, materials or in-kind donations.
“People step up. There’s been a lot of donated equipment and things like that,” said d’Entremont.
Phase three, which was completed in the fall, travels 1,600 metres northwards along the shore and includes the “best boardwalk yet,” says d’Entremont.
With all three phases completed, the committee is now focusing on signage. Municipal, provincial and federal governments are being approached for funding and donations from businesses and or individuals are welcome.
How to access the trail
Entry to the Pubnico Point trail is at the very end of Highway 335, across from a parking lot on the right.
The trail is open to all.
The Pubnico Point trail has a Facebook Page under that name