Welland Tribune

Bishop's Falls Announces Exploits River Development Strategy

Nicholas Mercer

Nov 3, 2020
The wind blowing off the Exploits River was quick to bite at the hands of those gathered in Bishop’s Falls on Friday.

They were members of the town council, along with provincial and federal officials, and they were there to announce the next step in the central Newfoundland town’s Exploits River tourism development project.

This latest step follows the town’s focus to give people easier access to the river at various points in the community.

“Over the past five years, council has focused on developing the four access points along the Exploits River that were identified in the Exploits River development strategy,” said Bishop’s Falls Mayor Bryan King.

It is the continuation of development of a strategy that started in 2015 aimed at increasing adventure- and recreational-based tourism in the town by opening up access to the Exploits River. The strategy exists in three phases.

Salmon anglers flock to the area annually, and the town wants to capitalize on that fact.

This development is taking place on a stretch of land in the shadow of the iconic railway bridge in Bishop’s Falls.

It will add onto a small-boat slipway already in place that will give tourists and locals alike an easier time getting their kayaks and canoes into the river. It will also give anglers better access to the upper section of the river and its salmon pools.

This step will also connect two parts of the popular Riverside River boardwalk that exists on either side of the area planned for development.

“We want to provide a variety of ways for people to experience the Exploits River, and this site is one of the ways we are going to achieve it,” said King.

Funding for the project is made up of three components. The Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency is contributing $258,025, while the province is putting $120,136 toward its completion.

Bishop’s Falls is on the hook for $189,052, which is available through its gas tax funding.

The Riverside Drive access point, when finished, will join three other completed or near-completed projects.

Already completed is Fallsview Lookout, which features steps leading to the banks of the river and gives people a place to admire the scenery. The Station Road boat launch and slipway is the second of the four projects to be completed, while construction of the boat launch at the Fallsview Municipal Park is still underway.

Coast of Bays-Gander-Notre Dame MP Scott Simms, a Bishop’s Falls native, said he is pleased to see the work being put into showcasing the stretch of the Exploits River that runs through his hometown.

“We live on one of the most beautiful places in the world,” said Simms. “Let’s celebrate it for ourselves, but let’s show it off to the rest of the country and the rest of the world. … It’s not just about the money, but the vision we endorse.”

https://www.wellandtribune.ca/ts/news/canada/2020/11/02/bishops-falls-announces-next-phase-of-exploits-river-development-strategy.html

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