Beginning in June 2007, Fort Folly First Nation began the development of a Medicinal/walking trail to enhance the benefit of community members health, to beautify the community and to highlight local plants to promote Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge and culture. Initially the trail was 1.9km and has now been extended to 3km, reaching the far corners of the reservation. This in turn created employment for Aboriginal youth under the Fort Folly Habitat Recovery Program. The Bear and Eagle sections of the trail are now complete with the original developed section (Bear) having interpretive panels highlighting medicinal plants that were used in traditional ways and their uses in English, French and Mi’kmaw. The Mi’kmaw interpretations and spelling were done in collaboration with long time friend of the Fort Folly Community, Elder Gilbert Sewell from Pabineau First Nation.
We are excited to announce that starting in July 2016, Elder Gilbert Sewell, FFHR staff Laura Buck & Wendy Epworth, and Mount Allison University student Sarah Murphy, began the process of collaborating on interpretative panels for the new ‘Beaver’ section of the walking trail. Like the ‘Bear’ trail, also known as the ‘Medicine trail’, the ‘Beaver’ section will be known as ‘Cultural Experiences’ and will explore Fort Folly’s cultural ties/experiences with the land and the relationship the community has had with the environment over many generations. This final piece of the trail is 1.62kms in length, making the entire trail on the Fort Folly Reserve over 4kms of beautiful walking trail. Although this new section is certainly open to everyone now, we hope that by next summer the section will be completed with panels, picnic tables and benches.
(There are 3 sections that make up the trail: Eagle, Bear, and Beaver, with Eagle being the only section not developed with panels or being developed with panels in the near future).