WINNIPEG -- The Province of Manitoba has announced it will be investing up to $500,000 to support the development of trails in provincial parks, adding park trails will play an important role in recovery and rebuilding after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Municipal Relations Minister Rochelle Squires and Conservation and Climate Minister Sarah Guillemard made the announcement on Saturday through a news release.

“Accessing trails and pathways in a safe manner, while maintaining proper physical distancing, has become a respite during these unprecedented times," Squires in a news release. "Trails can play an important role in our recovery and rebuilding following this pandemic.”

The province said it will be partnering with organizations like Trails Manitoba, an organization formed in 1993 to support interest in recreational trail development across Manitoba. Trails Manitoba is now an umbrella organization for 22 trail associations, the province said.

With Trails Manitoba, the province said the funding will be used to complete six trails in Manitoba provincial parks and will help link the 1,755-kilometre Great Trail in Manitoba.

This includes:

  • South Whiteshell Trail;
  • South Whiteshell Trail – Penniac Bay;
  • Cabin Lake Creek Pedestrian Bridge;
  • Centennial Trail – Hansons Creek Bridge Phase 2;
  • North Whiteshell emergency repair washout; and
  • Spruce Woods Provincial Park.

“We are very grateful to the Province of Manitoba for its long-standing support of our provincial trail network,” Erik Dickson, president, Trails Manitoba, said in a news release. “This funding will help improve safety and accessibility in several beloved trails in our beautiful provincial parks as well as promotes sustainability in the adaptive re-use of two pedestrian bridges from Kings Park in Winnipeg.”