These are two very distinct trails that are linked by Hwy 103 and Hwy 3. If you choose to travel the loop be careful of the highway road traffic. Local residents describe walking the Tom Tigney Trail and the Foot Bridge Trail as “Going around the River”. The Sable River has great significance to the people who live on both the east and west sides of it. It physically divides them but in actual fact unites their sense of community and spirit.
Multi use Tom Tigney Trail
The Tom Tigney Trail is located along the abandoned Halifax and Southwestern railway line. The railway carried passengers and freight between Halifax and Yarmouth from 1907 – 1969. The trail winds through a quiet residential area beside the Tom Tigney River across the highway several times and then across the planked and railed former CN rail bridge ending at Hwy 3. There is a wonderful view from the bridge both up and down the Sable River.
The Trail head is located just off Hwy 103 beside the East Sable Road. Signage, a picnic table, and hand painted mural invite the traveler to stop and rest. Other hand-painted murals by local artist and historian Bessie Robart can be viewed along the trail. Uses on the trail recently changed to include motorized ATV use, thus making it a shared-use trail. This trail links up on both ends with trail developed and maintained by the Woodland Multi-use Trail Association. At the Hwy 103 end it links with 8.3 kms of trail going to Wilkins Lake and the Queens County line and then to the Broad River Bridge in Port Mouton. The other end of the Tom Tigney Trail at Hwy 3 connects to 10 kms of trail through marsh and forested areas, and past a lake to Canada Hill road. This trail is great for bird watching and observing other wildlife.
A return trip on the trail is about 2 km on a flat graveled surface. A leisurely stroll stopping to enjoy the scenery may take about 40 minutes.
The trail is not groomed but is open for rear round use as snow cover in this area of Nova Scotia is minimal. Respect private property and stay on the trails at all times. Beware of traffic where trails cross roads. Leave nothing behind except your footprints. Pets are welcome but must be on a leash. Please clean up after your pet.
Foot Bridge Walking Trail
The Foot Bridge Trail head is located on property owned by the Sable River Volunteer Fire Department. The trail leading from the parking area to the century old swinging bridge still owned by the N.S. Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal is clearly marked and only accessed on foot. The bridge takes you across the Sable River. It is a strange sensation to feel the bridge moving up and down under your feet. Many photos have been snapped of this unique historic site. Local painter and historian Bessie Robart has painted a beautiful mural to recognize the role the railroad played in Sable River’s past. Plans are in the works for an interpretive panel at the bridge to provide historical information regarding the Mi’Kmaq people who were early settlers in Sable River. After leaving the bridge follow the Freeman Mill Road to Hwy 103.
A return trip on the trail is about 2 km on a flat graveled surface and dirt road. A leisurely stroll stopping to enjoy the scenery may take about 40 minutes.