The Malsey Bay Destination trail links two scenic areas on the North Coast via a multi-use recreational trail. The project will allow hikers, ATV riders, and others to travel safely from Hartley Bay to Malsey Bay, or vice versa. Signs with photos and text along the way will showcase the cultural and ecological history of the area.
Trail development will occur in parts, with the final phase including the creation of a campsite complete with tent pads and a picnic area with facilities. The trail and campsite will enable a variety of users to enjoy the natural world, and will facilitate formal gatherings such as school field trips, picnics or feasts.
Going back in time, the 1.6km Malsey Bay trail follows an old trail from the 1970s — which was built as a hiking trail. Various features were installed including several bridges and sections of boardwalk to cross bogs and/or streams. This old route was deemed to be somewhat unsafe, and so those sections were re-routed to allow more universal access to the trail for all types of users.
Partnering With Government for Development
The Malsey Bay Destination trail project is the recipient of a provincial grant program to improve recreational and economic development efforts in the area. The trail is an example of the value of partnership between various levels of government and GFN. It will foster the future development of communities by creating jobs and additional outdoor recreational infrastructure opportunities.
In terms of specific uses, ATV riders and carts will be able to pass each other safely, but not ride side by side. This is because the trail is made of crushed gravel and some areas will still be wet. Hikers and walkers can walk in large groups without a problem.
Indigenous Tourism Opportunities
Seen more broadly, The Malsey Bay Destination Trail can help GFN take advantage of an increase in Indigenous tourism in the area. By expanding into a tourism economy, the Nation can attract new visitors to the area for cultural and ecological tourism experiences.
For GFN, The Malsey Bay Trail project unlocks new opportunities in terms of job creation, revenue, cultural sharing, and ecotourism. It also facilitates gatherings for members. The trail will make Hartley Bay a better place to live to enable the community to thrive going forward.