Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation

Trail Development

The development of recreational trails for both the resident and non-resident user has been occurring for decades in the province. In many instances, trails expose users to our spectacular natural heritage of coastlines, beaches, barrens, wildlife and birds while providing opportunities for physical activity. Acknowledging the significant contribution of walking/hiking trails, the division has been working with other government departments and agencies, regional and municipal groups and associations to highlight the importance of developing, maintaining and promoting trails systems as market ready tourism products.

The 2011 Exit Survey noted that 64% of the non-residents participated in pleasure walking in/around communities as an activity. In addition 32% and 21% respectively of all visitors reported participating in trail hiking and/or wilderness hiking during their recent trip to Newfoundland and Labrador. Participation in many other activities available in the province can also be linked to trails in the province.

Please visit for a series of profiles listed under the Provincial Exit Survey banner providing summary information on the characteristics of visitors in general as well as visitor characteristics for certain market segments including pleasure walking and trail hiking. Additional profiles will be added as available.

The East Coast Trail Association is currently conducting a survey which will provide new/updated insights into trail usage, hiker characteristics, the economic impact of the trail as well as household and business awareness and support of the East Coast Trail. In addition surveys conducted Gros Morne National Park strongly support the importance of trail infrastructure to increased visitation, extended stays and repeat visitation. Other research such as the Travel Activity and Motivation Survey (TAMS) continues to also show the importance of walking and hiking trails to visitors to Canada.

The division promotes trail development done in collaboration with community groups ideally composed of municipalities, local businesses, recreational interests, and interested community stakeholders, thereby enhancing the long term sustainability of community trails. Properly regulated and maintained trails could then be promoted as provincial and regional assets to tourists while contributing to the recreational needs of the residents and the resident traveller.

Trail Information Sheet PDF (339 KB)


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