Press Release: East Coast Trail “Community Connections”

Spurwink Island Path

Gord Follett

May 24, 2023

East Coast Trail “Community Connections”
Signage Project, Trail Enhancement Project, and Trail Raiser Community Hike
Press Release: For Immediate Release

Pouch Cove, Newfoundland and Labrador — May 24, 2023 — The East Coast Trail Association unveiled its new trailhead and community wayfinding signs today at Pouch Cove. The new trailhead sign will be installed in 2023 along the 336-kilometre trail between Topsail Beach in CBS and Renews-Cappahayden on the Southern Shore.

“Our new signage system will guide hikers from the highway through our communities to the trailhead, to make it easier for hikers to find their way, and also to make the trail more visible to potential new audiences”, said Randy Murphy, ECTA President. “The signs will enhance navigation and accessibility and increase awareness of the East Coast Trail, as a whole, promoting appreciation of the trail’s importance to the province’s ecosystem and the tourism industry, as well as the well-being of our trail communities”.

We wish to thank our signage design team at Fathom Studios, our fabrication team at New Century Signs, and our installation team at Leaman’s Signs. Refer to a sample of our new signs following the body of the press release.

The Association is also announcing the start of a project, scheduled for completion this summer, to enhance the 15.1 km Stiles Cove Path located between the towns of Pouch Cove and Flatrock.  This enhancement of the Stiles Cove Path is part of a larger trail enhancement project started in 2022 that includes Tinkers Point, Bear Cove Point and Island Meadows Paths. Our trail enhancement program recognizes that over the life of any given section of trail, reinvestment will be required depending on the impact of age, usage & weather, and includes the restoration, replacement and/or addition of trail structures. This Trail Enhancement Project will provide the love and care required to keep these four Paths in market-ready condition, minimize the impact on the environment, and provide for the safe passage of the hiker.

The Trailhead & Community Signage Project, including the development of the Long Shore Path opened 2022, and the Trail Enhancement  Project would not be possible without the support of the Government of Canada, through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, and the Government of Newfoundland & Labrador, through the  Department of Industry, Energy and Technology.

The Signage & Trail Development Project, approved in the October 2019, resulted in a total government investment of $ 1,266,853. The Government of Canada, through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), contributed $942,804 and the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador provided $324,049. The Trail Enhancement Project, approved in March 2022, resulted in a combined government contribution of $862,016, with ACOA providing $635,679 and the remaining $226,337 coming from the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador. These two projects are targeted for completion in 2023.

”Hiking the East Coast Trail is one of the most recommended things to do when visiting Newfoundland and Labrador,” said Joanne Thompson, Member of Parliament for St. John’s East, on behalf of the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Official Languages and Minister responsible for ACOA. “Not only is it a treasured tourist attraction, it’s also a popular activity for residents to enjoy regularly. By supporting enhancements to the trail, the Government of Canada is helping build strong, active and engaged communities that are ready to welcome visitors from near and far.”

“I would like to congratulate the East Coast Trail Association for the latest improvements made to their trail network,” says the Honourable Steve Crocker, Minister of Tourism, Culture, Arts and Recreation. “The East Coast Trail is a provincial jewel, providing opportunities for physical and mental wellness for Newfoundlanders and Labradorians and attracting tourists from all around the world. I am certain the 2023 hiking season will be a busy one and wish you all well with the upcoming Trail Raiser Community Hike.”

We thank Minister Crocker and MP Thompson for their kind words and for the funding support of ACOA and IET. A funding partnership that has supported the dream of the East Coast Trail since 1997, and the return on this investment has been solid: the ECT lives on #1 Coastline in the world, is ranked the #1 attraction on the Avalon, and is the #1 motivator for overseas travel to the province. As well the resulting value proposition has been a trail that is open for business, providing hikers with the experience they are seeking, meeting the expectations of the tourism industry and the trail communities for 29 nine years and counting.

“A critical success factor supporting the achievement of the East Coast Trail is our annual fundraiser the “Trail Raiser Community Hike.” This event has raised the funds we need each year to qualify for provincial and federal project funding, leveraging the funds raised by a factor of 8,” said Randy Murphy, ECTA President. “And we wish to thank our municipal partners, Trans Canada Trail, corporate sponsors and the many volunteer fundraisers, members and the general public, who are answering the call for our annual fundraiser, and sign up each year to raise funds for the East Coast Trail.”

On June 3, 2023, International Trails Day, we will host our annual community hike, this year being hosted in Pouch Cove. The Trail Raiser Community Hike is a day of hiking and celebrating the ECT, helping us raise the $100,000 needed to care for the Trail.  So, if you use the East Coast Trail, believe in what we are doing, or simply appreciate the value the ECT adds to our communities, please take a few minutes to register for the Community Hike and begin your fundraising journey with us between now and June 3rd.  If you cannot join us on June 3rd or participate in the fundraiser, every dollar counts. Learn more about the Trail Raiser Community Hike here:

“Council and I are excited to have the Town of Pouch Cove hosting the 2023 Trail Raiser Community Hike. We welcome residents from our town, province, and beyond to take a hike with us on June 3rd to celebrate the East Coast Trail and International Trails Day. I challenge the Mayors and Councils from all the communities along the trail to join us in raising funds for our East Coast Trail,  and to invite your residents of all ages to join me on a hike at beautiful Pouch Cove on event day, or hike the section of trail that passes through your community, or simply make a donation. What a great way to get out, be healthy, and enjoy with our families and friends all that the East Coast Trails have to offer.”  Mayor Mark Vardy, Town of Pouch Cove.

As we lead up to International Trails Day on June 3rd, show us why the East Coast Trail is important to you! We encourage you to spread the word that the East Coast Trail is important to you, your community, your business, and the NL Tourism Industry. Use #EastCoastTrail and #ECTLove to show us your ECT stories. We hope to see you in Pouch Cove on June 3!


Media Contacts:
East Coast Trail Association
Julia Penney
Business Manager, ECTA
(t) 709-738-4453 (c) 709-325-7284

Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
Paul McGrath
Director of Communications

Supporting Photos:
Signage Samples

Stiles Cove Path