Blue Route Hubs Project Expands in the Annapolis Valley

Blue Route Hubs Project Expands in the Annapolis Valley

The Harvest Moon Trail winds through the Annapolis Valley from Grand Pre to Annapolis Royal, passing by quaint towns and open fields. The trail has been an open section of the provincial Blue Route cycling network for several years now. The local shops and wineries in the region make the Annapolis Valley a popular cycling destination. As lovely as the trail experience is, when you want to get off and visit a café, or pick up some groceries, you may find yourself on busy town streets with no cycling infrastructure. 

The Blue Route Hubs Project aims to change that. Through a partnership between Bicycle Nova Scotia, the Town of Middleton, and the Town of Annapolis Royal, we will be developing cycling network plans and concept designs for active transportation infrastructure throughout Middleton and Annapolis Royal. The Blue Route Hubs Project connects residents and visitors to the key destinations in town using the transportation mode of their choice. 


Increasing bike and foot traffic in downtowns is good for business. A study in Toronto found that replacing parking with a bike lane led to more customers on the street, customers spending more money at businesses, vacancy rates of retail locations were stable, and that people who walk, roll, and cycle visit the street most often and spend more money than people who drive. These findings have been replicated in the US and UK, demonstrating that cycling infrastructure has a positive impact on local businesses. Supporting local business is a great outcome from the Blue Route Hubs Project.


In addition to being good for business, active transportation infrastructure makes it safer and easier for people with disabilities and people of all ages to get around town. Some people with disabilities find cycling easier than walking, and may not be able to drive a car. Safe infrastructure that allows people with disabilities to get around is an important way to make towns more inclusive of everyone. Youth under the age of 16 cannot drive a vehicle, which leaves walking, rolling, and cycling as ideal modes of transportation, allowing them freedom of movement. Towns need to provide infrastructure so that everyone can travel using the mode of their choice.


Increasing walking, rolling, and cycling can contribute to overall nicer places to be. Bikes are zero emissions vehicles, and they don’t add exhaust or loud noise to the streetscape. Walking, rolling, or cycling allows people to participate in their community and connect with the people around them. If you are walking, rolling, or cycling it is easy to stop and talk to a friend you meet along the way, leading to a stronger sense of community. 

Over the next seven months, Bicycle Nova Scotia staff will be working with Middleton and Annapolis Royal to help them realize the benefits of increased active transportation use by developing an active transportation network plan and a concept design for a priority route. We will continue to work together after the project wraps up to support the Towns with funding applications to get infrastructure on the ground. Stay tuned for updates along the way!