LORD’S COVE, NL – The dedication of a small group of people from the Town of Lord’s Cove to upgrade a road leading Sandy Cove is starting to pay off.
Sandy Cove, located five kilometres from Lord’s Cove, has been used for generations, according to Margaret Mary Martin.
“It was always used (for) barbeques, family outings, school trips, everything, she said. “Then (hurricane) Igor hit and the trail was washed away, so you couldn’t get down there unless you were on ATV.”
About three years ago Martin and her brother decided to do something about that.
Martin took to Facebook to let people know they wanted to make the trail passable.
“We had donations come in left, right and center – people sent e-mail transfers and we did well,” she said. “That first year we put $8,000 (worth of repairs) into the road ourselves.”
Martin said the repairs allowed access to the location by truck or ATV, and people reached out saying how thankful they were to be able to get to the cove again.
“Many said it brought back childhood memories,” she explained. “It gave them a chance to make memories with their families.”
A committee was formed to develop the cove as a tourism destination. They went after funding from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) and Department of Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation and this summer, “we put $84,000 into Sandy Cove, and the trail leading to it,” said Martin.
Most of that was infrastructure for the road.
“Most of it was gone and we had to replace … culverts – it’s not excellent but anyone can drive down there now.”
Martin said the number of people visiting the cove has increased from last summer.
“We had them from all over the world – Spain, France, Portugal, El Salvador, Australia – and they all said the same thing, ‘this is like something out of a book.’”
Martin said the committee became the unofficial promotors of Lord’s Cove, letting visitors know about other local attractions such as The Pantry and the Wave Energy Research Centre, “so people were coming and doing all of it.”
Because of added visitors coming to the community, residents started other ventures.
“My niece started a horse and buggy ride and a petting farm, so we put Lord’s Cove on the map this year,” said Martin.
Martin said there is more work to be done, including widening the road from Lord’s Cove to Sandy Cove, putting in outhouses, changing rooms and picnic tables.
Martin said the committee and community are overcome by how many people have been enjoying the town, rather than driving past it.
“We were just a blurb and that was it, and now this year, to see the amount of traffic coming through Lord’s Cove and stopping was amazing.”
The list of things to do while visiting the cove is endless, said Martin.
“You can have a boil-up, go trouting, swim in salt water or fresh water, go berry picking – and it’s all free,” said Martin. “That’s one thing as a committee that we agree on – we don’t want to commercialize Sandy Cove.”