Sayward’s attractive location and small town coastal atmosphere provide easy access to an abundant and beautiful natural environment. The restoration of the historic Mary Kelly’s Trail was identified as an opportunity to make an accessible trail experience and support the community’s reputation as a desirable tourist destination for outdoor recreation. Essential to accessing the trail, the old decommissioned wooden footbridge needed to be replaced.
To complete the 1.5-kilometre trail around the perimeter of Mary Kelly Island (a 52-hectare conservation area), a bridge was built connecting the Salmon River Estuary with the Island’s shoreline. Kelly’s bridge is an 80-foot long steel structure uniting Mary Kelly’s trail with the component of the trail linking to the Village of Sayward.
The reopening of Mary Kelly’s trail contributes to the Village of Sayward’s strategy to create an outstanding outdoors experience drawing both tourists and residents. Since re-opening, the Village of Sayward has developed additional tourism amenities, linking the trail and contributing to a wider experiential tourism hub in the Sayward Valley.