Leslie Update: significant damage to East Coast Trail

Spurwink Island Path

Gord Follett

Oct 11, 2012

Leslie Update: significant damage to East Coast Trail

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Press Release, St. John�s NL, October 11th, 2012

(St. John’s): The storm damage is significant, with over 4,000 trees blown down or leaning across the trail, says East Coast Trail Association President, Randy Murphy. The Association has completed their trail assessment of downed trees in the wake of Tropical Storm Leslie. All 24 developed paths located along the 265 km of trail, between Cape St. Francis and Cappahayden, have been impacted by the storm.

Our trail maintenance program is once again facing a major challenge and the clean-up across the full length of the Trail will take some time, said Murphy. The recovery process has begun, and as of Wednesday, October 10th, we have cleared the trees from 11 of the 24 developed paths.

The Association wishes to advise all hikers to please use extreme caution when hiking any section of the East Coast Trail. Please refer to our web site at www.eastcoasttrail.com and select the following menu items The Trail / Trail Detail and click on Path Name to find Current Path Status. The path status will be updated weekly and the Association requests that you use special care and discretion in choosing which paths to hike.

The East Coast Trail has recovered from this type of storm before, for example, in the fall of 2010 we removed 5000 trees downed by Igor, and in the spring of 2011 another 2000 trees knocked over the winter storms, said Murphy. The time frame to complete the clean-up of the remaining 13 paths will be based on the priority and the availability of our already constrained resources, it may be next spring before we finish.

The Association realizes that many hikers will continue to use the Trail during the cleanup after Leslie. And as always, hikers must be aware of existing trail conditions while hiking in the wilderness and remember that trail conditions will vary on each path due to the uniqueness of each path and the storm damage. The decision to hike must consider your abilities, the difficulty rating and length of the path, as well as the Leslie impact before finalizing your hike plan. Make sure you choose a hike you are able to complete before sundown after building in the extra time needed to navigate the trail damage. Bring a map, compass or GPS to help navigate, especially if you haven’t hiked the path before, and be prepared for fog. Hike with a companion, stay together, and hike with care and due diligence for the conditions you encounter.

Safety first – It’s Your Responsibility – Be careful. Be smart. Be prepared.

About The East Coast Trail Association:

The East Coast Trail Association (ECTA) is a member based, volunteer driven and managed registered charity. The Association’s mission is to develop, maintain, enhance and preserve the East Coast Trail (ECT) while respecting the integrity of our natural environment, the needs of our communities, and delivering a high quality wilderness hiking experience.

The East Coast Trail is a pedestrian hiking trail that runs along the coast of the eastern Avalon from Topsail Beach to Trepassey, and in-land across the Avalon from Ferryland to Placentia.

– National Geographic 2010: Avalon Peninsula No. 1 Coastal Destination in the World.
– City of St. John’s 2011: ECTA Winner of the Legend Award.
– National Geographic 2012: ECT a Top Ten Adventure Destination in the World.
– October 2012: Newfoundland & Labrador Volunteer Hall of Fame Inductee

For further information on ECTA, please contact:

Randy Murphy,
President, East Coast Trail Association
738-Hike (4453)

East Coast Trail Association
50 Pippy Place, 2nd Floor
P. O. Box 8034
St. John’s, NL, A1B 3M7
Telephone: 709-738-4453
Fax: 709-738-1122