Shearwater Flyer

Shearwater Flyer – 8.0 km (one way)

NB: Cole Harbour Parks & Trails Association have no association with the Shearwater Flyer Trail as of January 1, 2023, but we include this map of a neighboring trail for your convenience.

This trail follows the route of the Musquodoboit Railway from Shearwater to Bissett Road, where it joins the Salt Marsh Trail. It is a 99 foot right of-way with mostly private properties on either side. It crosses bridges that offer good fishing spots, and passes several bogs with unusual flora. The trail is level and the surface is a mix of gravel and crusher dust.

Sport played a major part in life at Shearwater Air Base. Initially, the RCAF Station Dartmouth Flyers (renamed Shearwater Flyers in 1949 when it became a naval air station) competed in the Halifax City Canadian Football League. Subsequently, they played in the Nova Scotia Football League from 1951 and the Atlantic Football Conference in 1965. They won the national intermediate football championship in 1957. To this day Shearwater based teams proudly display the Flyers team name.

How this point was reached is a bit of a story.

CHPTA built the Flyer over several years in the early 2000s. From the beginning CHPTA attempted to work with local ATV supporters to meet the Minister's direction that the Flyer be a 'shared use' trail. An ATV club in the area disbanded. 
Since that time CHPTA had become increasingly frustrated trying to keep this trail up to standard while adhering to our principal objective. 

At the 2018 AGM the CHPTA membership unanimously endorsed that the Board ask the Minister of Lands and Forestry to make CHPTA’s system, including the Shearwater Flyer non-motorized. In order to allow as many people as possible to make submissions to CHPTA on the issue, we did not ask the Minister until 30 April 2019.

  • May 2019 following a community meeting the area MLA advised CHPTA “.., the province is moving towards increasing ATV access to our parks and trails around the province.”
  • June 2019 Minister of Lands & Forestry advises CHPTA “To move forward the department requires additional confirmation that the broader community supports the proposed change in use.” ” was decided to explore funding opportunities to complete a more in-depth independent community engagement session to aid in the decision making process regarding trail use.”
  • In October 2020 CHPTA learns through social media that the survey has been released for public participation.
  • Late April 2022 CHPTA received a copy of consultant’s WSP report on the survey that had been obtained by a 3rd party under a Freedom of Information request. As of 15 March 2023 no one from DNRR or WSP had contacted CHPTA to provide an unredacted copy or discuss the report.
  • Acting on guidance from the area MLA, CHPTA requested the Minister of DNRR make a decision on the proposed non-motorized status of the trail. The request had a deadline of 31 December 2022. If the no decision was made or the trail stayed motorized CHPTA would surrender their LoA for the Shearwater Flyer effective 1 January 2023.
  • On 17 December 2022 social media posts indicated that the Minister was keeping the trail motorized and a group based 30km distant was applying for the LoA. Four days later the Minister advised CHPTA that the WSP report was inconclusive (it wasn't) so the trail would remain motorized. 
  • On 2 January 2023 the former Shearwater became an ‘Abandoned Railway’. 
For current information on this contact DNRR.
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