Trails Master Plan

The Manuels River Natural Heritage Society’s aim in undertaking this trails master plan is to support its mission of conservation, education and recreation by updating, enhancing, and further developing the trails network. The natural resources which the Interpretation Centre builds upon to achieve its educational mission are accessed by the trails network. The trail system forms a critical role in the effective operation of the Manuels River Hibernia Interpretation Centre: guided walks and outdoor education programs rely upon user access to the landscape. Re-discovering the natural history in the landscape helps to reinforce the educational content relayed through exhibits and educational programs.

The Plan

In 2015, Manuels River engaged the services of local firm, Tract Consulting , leaders in land use planning and landscape architecture, to undertake the development of a Trail Master Plan. The Plan defines and guides upgrading, expansion and maintenance of the trail system for a 10-year period (2016-2025). Phase One of the Trail Master Plan began in Fall 2016 and will finish in Spring 2018. Phase two will begin in 2018 and will include the upgrading and expansion of Ocean Trail East and Ocean Trail West.

The trail system at Manuels River is currently 4.5 kilometers long and extends both upstream and downstream along the river. The Trail Master Plan will upgrade the current trails to improve safety and accessibility for everyone. In addition to the upgrades the Trail Master Plan will also extend the trails by 2.5 kilometers and will introduce trail looping. The Manuels River trail system provides users with an intimate experience of the river and valley in a way that both enriches users and protects the varied character of the natural landscape. Trials traverse exposed geologic and paleontological features as well as varied ecological environments such as boreal forest and riparian zone. The proposed trail expansions will provide access to the coastal zone, which will support more education programs.

Aside from its educational value, the trails system also provides an important recreational facility for the community who have a long tradition of recreation by the river as a means of relaxation, exercise and renewal.

The Goal

Since the opening of the Interpretation Centre, trail traffic has increased substantially, and an investment in upkeep is warranted to prevent environmental degradation, to ensure the safety of trail users, and to enhance accessibility and programming opportunities.

The goals of the Trail Master Plan are to:
• Remove unnecessary barriers from all trails,
• Upgrade suitable trail sections to facilitate use by all,
• Ensure accessibility for first responders,
• Create new accessible trail sections,
• Create looped trail sections,
• Provide wayfinding materials describing trail conditions, and
• Provide special facilities & equipment to allow all universal access to key experiences.

Phase One

Phase One of the Trails Master Plan was completed in the Spring of 2018 and upgraded and expanded the trails downstream to Martha’s place and upgraded both the Blue Jay and King Fisher bridges. In addition to the upgrading of the trails, way finding signage was added at the trail gateways.


Phase Two

Phase Two of the plan is set to begin in Spring 2019. It will finish the Ocean Trail on both the east and west sides of the river and will join both trails at the ocean on Conception Bay

To complete Phase Two of the Trails Master Plan we need your support! Please visit to learn more and to donate today!