Hiker Parking becomes Safety Issue
Posted on Thursday April 30, 2020
For Immediate Release: April 30, 2020
East Coast Trail: Hiker Parking becomes Safety Issue
St. John’s, NL: Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic we have been monitoring the trail communities to determine if hiker activity is negatively impacting their towns. Today, we have an update addressing a parking issue in the Town of Logy Bay-Middle Cove-Outer Cove (LMO). And if this issue is not corrected it may lead to ticketing, towing and possibly the temporary closure of the Cobblers Path.
We, the Town of LMO and the East Coast Trail Association (ECTA), know the immense physical and mental benefits of being in nature right now, especially as the daily temperature increases. As well, the Association understands the value of our trail communities and, during these challenging and uncertain times, we want to make sure that we “the hiking public” are working together to keep them safe.
The Issue: Emergency vehicle access along Doran’s Lane and Red Cliff Road.
Mayor Hickey of the Town of LMO expressed his concerns as follows: “For the past few weeks, hikers parking on both sides of our roadways leading to the Cobblers Path, potentially preventing emergency vehicles from responding to an emergency, has become a major concern of our residents. As a result, this is a risk we have to manage, out of concern for both the safety of our residents and the hikers, in the event that either may require emergency services.”
Preventative Action: Take your cues from the designated parking area, as defined by on-site signage, and remember, parking is restricted to one side of the road. The key question to be answered: Is the designated parking area full? If yes, it is time to head to another trailhead, we have 25 paths and 336 km of trail, or you decide to head home to try another day. If you stay and park outside the designated parking area, you run the risk of being ticketed and/or towed.
“In order to protect our communities and ourselves, it is important to be conscientious when and if you choose to leave your homes, where you plan to hike, and pay close attention to where you park and the potential impact on others,” said Randy Murphy, President ECTA. “Also, don’t forget that social distancing guidelines continue to apply, and we urge hikers to follow all public health guidelines should you choose to leave your homes and venture out on to any part of the East Coast Trail. And given the number of cars parked at the Cobblers Path trailheads this past weekend, only heightens the concern of a social distancing risk, both on and off the trail. A risk that needs to be assessed and managed, if required.”
We are asking all hikers to adhere to these parking guidelines, respecting the wishes of Mayor Hickey and the residents of LMO. Our experience this coming weekend, and into the future, regarding hikers’ compliance with parking guidelines, and the practice of social distancing, will provide the outcome measures we need to decide on the “open” status of the Cobblers Path.
Stay healthy and safe!
About The East Coast Trail: The East Coast Trail (ECT) is a 336 km market-ready, pedestrian, coastal trail that runs along the eastern edge of the Avalon Peninsula between Topsail Beach and Cappahayden. The East Coast Trail Association is a member-based, volunteer-driven and managed registered charity. The Association’s mission is to develop, maintain, enhance and protect the ECT for future generations while respecting the integrity of our natural environment, the needs of our communities, and delivering a high-quality wilderness hiking experience.
About Logy Bay-Middle Cove-Outer Cove: The Town of Logy Bay-Middle Cove-Outer Cove is a scenic municipality and a rural municipality by choice. Its sustainable quality of life and the natural beauty of its landscapes and coastline are maintained by valuing community relationships and through its ongoing commitment to environmental stewardship and the protection of its natural assets.
For further information, please contact:
Town of Logy Bay-Middle Cove-Outer Cove
East Coast Trail Association
Julia Penney, Business Manager