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TRAIL UPDATE - November 24, 2023:

  • The Aspotogan Trail is OPEN. 
  • Hubbards to East River is OPEN.
  • East River to East Chester (Duncan Road) is CLOSED. This closure includes the Castle Rock trail system. There is no access and no emergency services available in this area.
  • East Chester (Duncan Road) to Chester (Smith Road) is OPEN. 
  • Chester (Smith Road) to Gold River Bridge (west end of Croft Road) is CLOSED.
  • Highway 12 (Chester Basin) to Frank Swinamer Road (Western Shore) is OPEN except for Gold River Bridge. Also, from Swinimer Road to the Martins River Bridge is OPEN except the bridge between Swinimer Road and Frank Swinamer Road is still under repair and that small section is CLOSED.
  • Martins River to Lunenburg is OPEN including the Dynamite Trail and the Bay to Bay Trail.

For a complete list of all trail closures on the Rum Runners trail system, please visit


TRAIL REPAIRS CONTINUE. (March 27, 2024) While work slowed somewhat through the winter months, and while spring weight restrictions remained in place, the provincial contractors have now been hard at work in the past few weeks getting new trail structures installed.  Specifically, new bridges at Barry’s Brook, another north of the Castle Rock trailhead, and another near Goat Lake.  By the time you read this, the decking and railing work should be nearly completed.  Several new culverts were also installed through the Goat Lake to East River corridor.
Once the water crossings are completely reestablished, our municipal contractors can then gain access to Castle Rock. Keep in mind that Castle Rock is municipal property, while the rail-trail is provincial, hence why two separate contractors are doing this work - albeit in a complementary and sequential manner. 
The first step of repairing the popular main route to Castle Rock (red trail) is to have an engineer provide some advice on how to rebuild it so that future flood events have less of an impact.  Then our municipal contractor will be able to begin repairs.  The same contractor will also begin doing the final top-dressing of the rail-trail tread to reestablish the surface we’ve had before.
Once the provincial contractor is done in the East River area, they will jump over to Western Shore and Middle River, where there are two other bridges to be installed.  After that, they will tackle the Marriotts Cove bridge installation.  The expectation is that both of those projects will be done by Summer.  Again, trail resurfacing will follow once the bridges are installed.  
While there is lots of materials and machine time still required, our hope is to have the Castle Rock trails, and the remaining sections of rail-trail completely re-opened before summer arrives.
As always, please respect trail closures and keep out of work areas so that the crews can safely work.  Additionally, there is no emergency vehicle access in those areas that have been cut off.  If you were in there and something were to happen, fire and ambulance services could not get to you.
Trail closure and reopening updates can be found at; or


The Rum Runners Trail from Halifax to Lunenburg was severely damaged by the major flash flooding event in July.

The Municipality of Chester operates 46 kilometers of trail on the abandon railway from Martins River to Hubbards. The route connects our communities, serves as a safe off-road passage within our villages, and features some of the natural beauty of the South Shore.

The surface of the trail is crusher dust and this, combined with the flat terrain, makes it ideal for easy travel. This is a multiuse trail so you should expect to see walkers, cyclists, off-highway vehicles and even horseback riders. In the winter, you may come across people on snowmobiles, skiing and snowshoeing.

The Municipality officially opened the 35-kilometre Chester Connection Trail (Martins River to East River) on July 19, 2003. Shortly after, we took over the 11-kilometre Aspotogan Trail (East River to Hubbards). In 2017, the Rum Runners Trail officially opened, connecting Halifax to the Town of Lunenburg.

The old rail bridges hold a special allure on the trail, and there are 12 of them in the Municipality. The Gold River Bridge is the longest and highest span at 367 feet long and 56 feet high. Not quite as grand but equally as beautiful is the Middle River Bridge and East River Bridge.

Trail Mapping


Trail Etiquette

The best way for all trail users to have a safe and enjoyable experience on the trail is to be polite and courteous to each other.

  • Respect the trail and adjacent landowners
  • Always be aware of other trail users
  • Stay to the right when approaching fellow trail users
  • Obey all posted signs
  • Clean up after your pets and keep them on a leash
  • Walkers can't always hear someone approaching from behind. A friendly "hello" or ding of your bell is appreciated

Off-highway vehicles should always be extra cautious when meeting another trail user, preferably pulling over to the side of the trail and stopping while the other person passes by.

Trail Rules

You are responsible for your own safety while on the trail; therefore, exercise caution at all times. Please keep in mind the following rules while using the trail:

  • Motorcycles, automobiles, trucks, sport utility vehicles that are registered for the road are not permitted at any time.
  • Off Highway Vehicles, including dirt bikes, that are registered as Off Highway Vehicles, are permitted.
  • Maximum speed is 20km/hr by any mode of transport
  • No person shall use the trail between 11:00pm and 6:00am of the following day.
  • All pets must be on a leash.
  • No hunting or trapping is permitted.
  • No person shall have in their possession or discharge a loaded firearm or bow.
  • No person shall have in their possession an unloaded firearm or bow unless permitted under the Wildlife Act.

In Case of an Emergency Call 911.