SATA / SATA Trails News August 2019
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SATA member Shirley Smith doing tandem bike training to volunteer with the Blindsports NS Tandem Bike Cub, which connects blind and visually impaired Nova Scotians to the joys of bicycling.
To learn more, talk to Shirley or contact  Blindsports NS.
(Aug. 2019)

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Seasonal change is on its way

"And all at once, summer collapsed into fall."

- Oscar Wilde

Welcome back to our newsletter.  This edition highlights some of our summer activity.  It has been a busy couple of months, especially on the Gaetz Brook Greenway.

SATA activity leaders have all been spending their summer travelling and hosting family.  While they have been staying active with families and friends, we have not hosted organized SATA events.  As a result, we have a shorter-than-usual collection of travel inspiration.  Watch our SATA Facebook Group for informal rides and walks being shared by SATA participants. We also invite you to share highlights of your summer activities  whether on the road, trails or water - or even in the air.  We would love to hear about any outdoor adventures, especially at locations that we might be able to explore together.   We will be back to scheduled rides and hikes soon so stay tuned for that. 

Much of our activity in the past few weeks has been around trail development.  This edition of a newsletter reflects that focus.  Our SATA Trails Updates begins with some facts that answer questions that members of our Board have received about the trail.  Special thanks to Tobbi for all her work on creating a wonderful graphic representation of the information.  We also have some images of the trail progress.
You can deep up-to-date on trail progress on our Gaetz Brook Greenway, SATA Trails  Facebook page

We do not currently have any Upcoming Events posted but our calendar will be updated soon with more walks, rides and other adventures. Visit our SATA Facebook Group for the most current info on events as well as pictures and other inspiration.

See In Other News for updates from other organizations that support active transportation.

Thanks this month to  Mary MacDonald, Julie Pearce,Shirley Smith and Patricia Richards for pictures and comments on outings.  Please keep sharing with us on Facebook.  We love seeing all the smiling faces, hidden treasures, and beautiful locations.

Fall is coming - a perfect time of year for exploring in Nova Scotia. Changing leaves and colourful ground cover.  Birds starting their migration.  Warm(er) waters for swims, paddles and boogie boards.  What do you especially love about Nova Scotia in the Fall? 

Stay active. Stay safe.  See you on the trails.

Greenway Tender Awarded


A contract for trail construction was awarded to Peter S Conrod Construction Ltd.  of East Chezzetcook.  Work has is already in progress. In the interest of safety sections of trail will be closed on a rotating basis to allow construction to continue safely. Please observe construction signs and avoid using the trail when machines are working. Work may continue through the balance of the construction season.

SATA Trails Society

The Gaetz Brook Greenway (GBG):  Just the Facts

Written by the Board of Directors of SATA Trails Society

SATA Trails Society was founded in 2014 to promote the development and use of active transportation trails/greenways in Porters Lake and surrounding communities to Musquodoboit Harbour. The federal government defines active transportation as using your own power (which includes recognized mobility devices such as electric wheelchairs) to get from one place to another.

As you can see from the attached map, the number of active transportation trails/greenways in Nova Scotia is a small percentage of the total number of trails. Using publicly available information, we estimate that there are more than 13,000 km of motorized trails, also called “shared use trails,” or “mixed use trails.” There are fewer than 300 km of active transportation trails or non-motorized greenways;  roughly 2% of the number of trails.  
Find sources used for these figures at Gaetz Brook Greenway, SATA Trails Society 
on Facebook.
The Province Decides on Trail Use
For trails on provincial (Crown) land, the Department of Lands and Forestry makes the decision about whether a proposed trail should be an active transportation trail, or a motorized trail.

In 2017, SATA Trails Society was granted the Letter of Authority (LoA) from the Department of Lands and Forestry (DFL)  to develop an AT trail along the Gaetz Brook Greenway from East Chezzetcook to Musquodoboit Harbour. There was a competing application from a local ATV group for a motorized trail.  The decision to approve development of an AT trail was made was after public consultation and analysis by a professional consultant hired by DLF.

Trail construction has now begun by the local company, Peter S. Conrod Construction Ltd. Bridge upgrades and trail clearing were completed under previous contracts.

Demonstrated advantages of AT trails over motorized trails include:
  • Lower maintenance costs because non-motorized surfaces last up to 5 times longer;
  • Fewer collisions, and fewer accidents caused by impaired surface conditions;
  • Less impact on the natural environment, and fewer greenhouse gases;
  • A boost to tourism and economic investments in the community from trail use;
  • Lower health care costs because of the benefits of low-impact aerobic exercise from walking and biking.
  • Greatest accessibility for people of all ages and abilities.
Trail Design and Disabilities
The new greenway will be surfaced with crusher dust and will provide a firm, stable rut-free surface for people using recognized mobility devices, including electric wheelchairs, as well as for walkers and cyclists.

The design for the new greenway, which has been approved by Lands and Forestry, reflects the Province’s commitment, under the Disability Act, to safely accommodate people with all types of disabilities and health challenges. Nova Scotia has the highest percentage of people with disabilities in Canada. Recognized mobility devices (including electric wheelchairs) can be used as needed on the stable surface. AT trails are safer, especially for people with vision and hearing challenges. People with mental health and sensory processing challenges appreciate the quiet atmosphere, and people with asthma, approximately 8% of Nova Scotians, and other breathing issues appreciate the emission-free air.

Construction, which will enhance our beautiful community, should be completed in 2020 when the trail will be open to people of all ages and abilities to enjoy our natural environment.

To request a .pdf of our graphic representation, including all cited sources, contact us at
Find sources used for these figures at Gaetz Brook Greenway, SATA Trails Society 
on Facebook.
Gaetz Brook Greenway Progress
 (August 2019) 

Mary captured some images of the progress in late August:
A few pictures from the trail today. Culverts are in at Petpeswick Drive - low areas of the trail on the Eastern end have been brought up with fill and compacted. Ditches are done and it looks ready for gravel. Nothing done on Causeway yet. The last picture shows a bench location. These guys are doing a good job
Flora on the Greenway (Aug 24, 2019) 
From a post on our Gaetz Brook Greenway Facebook:
Walking on the Trail today, we saw Grass-leaved Arrowhead and Pickerelweed growing along the brook, and Mounting Holly in the woods close by. It was very pretty, and a beautiful way to connect with nature.
Exit 20 Trail Improvements  (Aug 2019) 
Mary MacDonald has continued to monitor the progress at Exit 20.  Here is her latest update.
Railings are up and it is looking good but I can’t figure out what they are doing on the bridge. Hopefully they will have something that looks better this week

SATA on the Road

Spring flowers, wildlife sightings - and bug notes.

This month, SATA participants have been busy with their own activities with families.  However, they did manage to get in a few informal shared outings.  Be sure to share your active transportation adventures in our SATA Facebook group or submit images or a few observations for our newsletter ( 

Trail Visitors - Stella Maris (Aug. 13, 2019) 
While checking trail progress, some members of the SATA Trails Board met several folks hiking on the Gaetz Brook Greenway.
They were part of “The Way of Stella Maris” a five-day pilgrimage along the Eastern Shore. It was day two and they had left Meaghers Grant that morning and their destination for the night was the East Chezzetcook Lions Club a distance of 27.3km. They were all very impressed with the work happening on the trail!
Lawrencetown (Aug. 20, 2019) 
A few friends. Lots of stops to explore.  Another fun day on the Shore.

Upcoming Activities

Fall rides and hikes.  Colour and conversation with SATA.

For details on these and other events, watch for news on Activities Calendar and in the Facebook group.  Our team of event leaders will be adding more Thursday morning active transportation outings soon and sometimes include special trips or events on other days.  Tune in often so you don't miss any of the fun!

As always, we would love to hear your suggestions for a hike, walk or other activity.  Are you interested in becoming an event leader?  You'd be welcome to join the team.  To learn how ton get involved, contact us at, comment in our Facebook group or talk to the team leaders on an outing.


  • We welcome ideas for future walks, or reviews of past events. Talk to activity leaders, share in our Facebook group or contact with any ideas.
  • SATA events are open for participants of all ages and abilities and follow a relaxed pace with plenty of stops for discovery, photography, conversation and other fun diversions.
  • Our SATA Facebook page has the most current news on outings, updates, weather changes, and event pictures.  

In Other News...

AT around the province  - and beyond

On August 27, Sonya Richmond and Sean Morton passed through Musquoboit Harbour as part of their 24,000-kilometre long Great Trail (formerly the TransCanada Trail).  They gave a short presentation on their current challenge of crossing the Great Trail, with a goal of getting more people connected with nature.  They are doing that by encouraging hiking, birding and citizen science. After their presentation, they walked the Gaetz Brook Greenway and part of the Musquodoboit Trail planned expansion.  Read more at their website Come Walk With Us.

More AT-related projects and opportunities.

Urban Cycling 101
The Halifax Cycling Coalition has partnered with Making Tracks to continue offering the popular Urban Cycling courses both in Halifax and Dartmouth. The course is 4-5 hours in length starting at 9 a.m. (10 a.m. if at Alderney Gate Public Library) and covers the basics of riding on city streets. Classes are capped at 6 participants to ensure a comprehensive learning experience for everyone. 

The last two classes of 2019 run on Sept. 7 and Sept. 21.
Learn more...

Shared Strategy for Trails in Nova Scotia
NS Trails

On August 6th, 2019, the first Shared Strategy For Trails in Nova Scotia was officially released.   

The strategy reflects the shared vision and actions of the trails community, led by the Nova Scotia Trails Federation, businesses, landowners, Mi’kmaq communities and different levels of government.

Together, we’re working toward 4 shared goals:

  • strengthening alignment, leadership and collaboration trail development
  • expanding supports for trail development and management
  • improving planning for trails
  • increasing trail use

Download the PDF (also available in French) Shared Strategy for Trails in Nova Scotia

Halifax Cycling Coalition
$25 Million Set for Halifax Bike Lanes Project

Monday, July 29th was a monumental day in Halifax for cycling. It was announced by all three levels of government that an investment of $25 million will fund bike lanes planned for in the Integrated Mobility Plan's All Ages and Abilities (AAA) network. This is excellent news for the future of cycling in Halifax!

Read more about the project.

Bicycle Nova Scotia
Where to Cycle in Nova Scotia

Do you have your copy yet?

Buy local! It supports our local economy in so many ways. Please consider visiting your local bookstore; most bike shops will have the book available. We will also have books available at the BNS office. Contact to get your copy. 


Membership Update
Make your voice heard for Active Transportation on the Eastern Shore


Have you visited our website to register as a member?  Member numbers help us increase the impact of our campaigns.  If you haven't already joined, please take a minute to do so now and make your voice heard for a safe, sustainable active transportation network in Porters Lake and surrounding communities.

Basic membership is free but you must register.


Our paid membership is temporarily on hold while we  review our membership policies and structure.  Watch our Facebook  and website for updates. Coming in September.

Remember that joining our Facebook page is NOT joining SATA or the SATA Trails Society.  Answering the questions and joining us on Facebook only allows you access to our closed Facebook group.

Help us achieve our vision of a safe, sustainable Active Transportation (AT) infrastructure connecting communities across the Eastern Shore.

September is magical in Nova Scotia.  Explore to enjoy the Autumn colours, comfortable temperatures- and fewer bugs. 

Copyright © 2019 Shore Active Transportation Association (SATA), All rights reserved.

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