Featured

Hiking for the Holidays Online Auction: Nov. 16-30

Support the Hike NS Hiking for the Holidays Online Auction. Shop once and give twice: once to your loved ones and once to Hike NS. Do your holiday shopping online with us and spend more time hiking, less time shopping. From big gifts to stocking stuffers, we’ve got presents that hikers will love. Special thanks to The Trail Shop and Goose Lane Editions for donating most of the items in the auction. Bidding opens Nov. 16 and ends on Nov. 30. View items at www.32auctions.com/hikens2019

Hiking Summit Features South Shore Trails

Hiking Summit at Oak Island, Western Shore, a celebration of hiking culture in NS

About 200 people with an interest in hiking, walking and snowshoeing, will converge on Western Shore, on the South Shore, from May 24 to 26, 2019 for the eighth annual Nova Scotia Hiking Summit. Hosted by Hike NS along with Events Lunenburg County and Oak Island Resort and Conference Centre, the Summit is a celebration of Nova Scotia’s hiking culture. It includes sharing best practices, stories, networking and hiking. Attendees include avid hikers, hiking clubs, trail groups, provincial government, municipalities and others.

Platinum sponsor is O’Regan’s South Shore Subaru. Gold sponsors are the Municipality of Chester and the District of Lunenburg. Silver sponsor is the NS Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage. Bronze sponsors are Clif Bar, Scotiabank, Parks Canada, Atlantick, Saltbox Brewing Company, NS Department of Lands and Forestry, NS Department of Environment and Orthotics East Ltd.

Quotes

“This is the first time the Hiking Summit has visited the South Shore,” says Janet Barlow, Hike NS Executive Director. “It’s an area of the province that showcases a range of what Nova Scotia has to offer for hiking, from coastal hikes to woodland meaders, there’s something for everyone.”

Details

Date: Friday May 24, Saturday May 25 and Sunday, May 26, 2019
Location: Oak Island Resort & Conference Centre, 36 Treasure Drive, Western Shore
Time: 12 pm on May 24 to 5:30 pm on May 26

Fast Facts

  • Keynote speaker is Jan Sebastian LaPierre A for Adventure
  • MC Laura Barkhouse, local trail guru
  • Acadia First Nation opening ceremony
  • A kids’ program
  • Hikes featuring the beautiful scenery of the South Shore
  • Interesting sessions, skills workshops and Pecha Kucha presentations
  • Friday night reception and Saturday night supper with keynote speaker
  • Hike Nova Scotia’s Summit Awards
  • Silent auction and displays
  • Songs and stories around the campfire

The program and other details are found here

Photos

Find photos on Facebook  or Instagram or use some of the photos below.

Social Media

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on Instagram

Contact

For more information on this event or Hike Nova Scotia contact:

Janet Barlow, Hike Nova Scotia
(902) 932-6902
info@hikenovascotia.ca
www.hikenovascotia.ca

Photos from the 2018 Hiking Summit in Ingonish, Cape Breton

HikeNSSummit2018JackPineCoastal32595196_10156095447870202_6971990518624419840_nDSC_0249image2image1HikeNSSummit2018Opening32207614_10156942482181002_9121069545111420928_oIMG_2351

2019 Slate of Hike NS Courses Released

Hike Nova Scotia’s schedule of 2019 courses and workshops across the province is now available. From June to October and from one end of the province to the other, they range from how to share nature with children to how to be a hike leader to navigation.

Quotes

“As a hiking organization, we want to see people have fun and stay safe and that’s what these courses are all about,” says Janet Barlow, Hike NS Executive Director. “Hiking and interest in outdoor activity is growing and these courses ensure both novice and experienced hikers have the skills they need for a great time on the trail.”

Details

The specific offerings include:

  • Re-Connecting with Nature Workshops
  • Field Leader – Hiking Courses
  • Navigation Maps & Compass Courses

Fast Facts

  • Re-Connecting with Nature Workshop: This is a one-day, hands-on workshop held mostly outdoors to improve your ability to lead and share an appreciation and understanding of nature with children and youth.
  • Field Leader – Hiking Course: A two-day course with a systematic approach to planning and managing a one-day hiking activity.
  • Navigation Maps & Compass Course: A two-day course with a comprehensive introduction to navigation using maps and compass.
  • Dates, locations and costs vary, depending upon the course or workshop.
  • Learn more and view the schedules and details at www.hikenovascotia.ca/courses-workshops.
  • Partners include the Outdoor Council of Canada and the NS Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage.
  • Hike Nova Scotia encourages and promotes a growing hiking culture throughout our great province. We strive to be the voice for those who hike, walk and snowshoe. With every step we’re building a community of outdoor adventure enthusiasts.

Photos

Find photos on Facebook  or Instagram or use some of the photos on this page.

Social Media

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on Instagram

Contact

For more information on these events or Hike Nova Scotia contact:

Janet Barlow, Hike Nova Scotia
(902) 932-6902
info@hikenovascotia.ca
www.hikenovascotia.ca

Pictures 1 059IMG_2790-smallIMGP4621SONY DSCIMGP4647

NS Hiking Summit May 24-26, Western Shore

Hike Nova Scotia invites individuals and groups with an interest in hiking, walking and snowshoeing to the eighth annual Nova Scotia Hiking Summit from Friday, May 24 to Sunday, May 26, 2019 in Western Shore at Oak Island Resort & Conference Centre. The summit is a celebration of hiking culture and includes workshops, hiking stories, networking opportunities, hikes and a kids’ program. It is hosted by Hike NS, Events Lunenburg County and Oak Island Resort & Conference Centre. Platinum sponsor is O’Regan’s South Shore Subaru. Gold sponsors are the Municipality of Chester and the District of Lunenburg. Silver sponsor is the NS Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage. Bronze sponsors are Scotiabank, Parks Canada, Atlantick, Saltbox Brewing Company, NS Department of Lands and Forestry and NS Department of Environment. Local trail guru Laura Barkhouse is the MC and the keynote speaker is Jan Sebastian LaPierre from A for Adventure.

There is limited space, so please register early to secure your spot (last year it sold out in one month). Registration is $125 (plus 15% discount for paid Hike NS members) and $100 for children, youth and students. Registration includes some meals, evening events, morning workshop sessions and afternoon guided hikes. Registration does not include accommodation – you must arrange this on your own. If it does not sell-out, registration will close at the end of the day on May 19th. Learn more and register here.

Don’t Hibernate this Winter: Go Snowshoeing Instead

The weather gurus say this winter will be colder and snowier than past years and Hike Nova Scotia says bring it on! Rather than hibernate until spring, the provincial group hopes people will get out on the trails, perhaps using snowshoes.

Quotes

“Some people think of winter as a time to stay indoors, but we think it’s a great time to experience nature and get in some physical activity,” says Janet Barlow, Hike NS Executive Director. “Now more than ever there are guided winter hikes and places where you can borrow, rent or buy snowshoes.”

Event Details

Date: January 13 to March 22, 2019
Location: Province-wide

The full schedule with registration details and directions is found at www.hikenovascotia.ca. Hikes are listed by date and region. Hikes include the following areas:

  • Cape Breton
  • Highland (Guysborough County, Antigonish County, Pictou County)
  • Fundy (Municipality of East Hants, Cumberland County, Colchester County)
  • Annapolis Valley (Municipalities of Hants West and Clare, Counties of Digby, Annapolis and Kings)
  • South Shore (Counties of Yarmouth, Shelburne, Queens, Lunenburg and District of Argyle)
  • Halifax (Halifax Regional Municipality)

Fast Facts

  • Hike NS and 20 host organizations partnered up to offer the guided hike series from January to March.
  • There are 50 guided hikes scheduled province-wide. Most are snowshoeing events or just regular hikes if there’s no snow.
  • Hikes are led by local folks and participants qualify to win trail prizes. Hikes are free or low-cost and some require pre-registration.
  • The series includes hikes of various lengths and difficulty levels.
  • Wondering where to find snowshoes? Not to worry, since you can easily find snowshoes to borrow, rent or buy using Hike NS’s online guide, with over 90 listings. There are at least 65 venues listed where you can borrow them for free.
  • Hike NS thanks its local partners for organizing the hikes on the ground as well as MEC, Goose Lane Editions and the NS Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage for their support.
  • Hike NS encourages and promotes a growing hiking culture throughout the province, striving to be the voice for those who hike, walk and snowshoe.

Photos

Find photos on Facebook  or Instagram or use some of the photos on this page.

Social Media

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on Instagram

Contact

For more information on these events or Hike Nova Scotia contact:

Janet Barlow, Hike Nova Scotia
(902) 932-6902
info@hikenovascotia.ca
www.hikenovascotia.ca

RIMG1625-smallIMG_3087RIMG1617-small019

Hiker Gift Ideas

If you’ve got a hiker or potential hiker on your gift list, we have lots of ideas for you! Consider giving:

Books:

Donations:hardcover_standing_1_grande-AforAdv

Gift cards and certificates:

Hiking gear:

  • First aid kit
  • Compass
  • Snowshoes
  • Trekking poles
  • Walking stick
  • Hiking socks
  • Back pack
  • Headlamp
  • Hiking boots
  • Thermos

Hiking for the Holidays Online Auction

November 17 to December 1, 2018

Support the Hike NS Hiking for the Holidays Online Auction. Shop once and give twice: once to your loved ones and once to Hike NS. Do your holiday shopping online with us and spend more time hiking, less time shopping. From big gifts to stocking stuffers, we’ve got presents that hikers will love. Special thanks to MEC for donating most of the items in the auction. Bidding opens Nov. 17 and ends on Dec. 1.

View items and participate here.  

Trailing Spirit Project

I am a city girl surrounded by the woods. At home in Fall River I live amidst the trees, which I love, though I am never more than a few minutes away from a paved surface, which is my comfort zone.  I am neither athletic nor “outdoorsy”.  Who I am is a fifty-something, out of shape, adventure-seeking woman living a life that often feels frenzied, disconnected and overwhelming.

As a full-time high school counsellor, I spend my days supporting youth during exciting and traumatic periods and events in their lives.  It is wonderful, demanding work that both inspires and exhausts me, and I am privileged to be doing it.  As well as my counselling work, I am a visual artist and teacher, a mother of two teenage daughters and a wife to an amazing partner. I have a full and blessed life and often find myself challenged to slow down the pace and connect to myself.  The easy option at the end of the day is to park it on the couch and turn on the television.  All too often however, I find myself saddened that yet again, I have wasted my evening watching an already forgotten series of shows.  There has got to be more.

The recent death of my cousin’s husband to ALS in August left me searching for a more meaningful challenge in my life. Before the cruel disease took his ability to move and communicate, Jeff was a dynamic man who ran marathons and pushed himself to live life fully.  His death sent me into a reflective period, out of which came my new mantra, “Because I can”. Two weeks later, while browsing in a bookshop, I was taken by the idea of hiking the trails of Nova Scotia; Jeff may no longer be moving through life, but I can.

This quest of mine is comprised of the 60 hikes in Michael Haynes’ Hiking Trails of Mainland Nova Scotia; 9th Edition, the book I took off the shelf that day in the store.  My original intention was simply to do all the hikes in the book within a year, no blog involved.  Somewhere along the first hike however, I found myself saying out loud, “I’m bored!”  Here I was in a beautiful forest, with an amazing man, exploring the natural world and yet somehow, I was apathetic to my surroundings.  Even as the words left my mouth I was shaking my head in disbelief.

Throughout the next week I contemplated what had happened on the hike.  What went wrong with my great plan to get outdoors and commune with nature and myself?  And then it hit me- somewhere along the way I had slipped into “Get ‘er done” mode; the hikes had become yet another task to check off of my ‘To Do’ list.  What I needed to do was find a way to slow down, be present along each step of this journey and embrace the worlds around and within me.  I needed to stop and smell the proverbial tree sap.  I decided that creating a blog of this personal challenge would force me to be present and take note of my surroundings, necessary if I was going to write about them. Making an artwork that depicts the things I see along the trails, will give me a visual record of the hikes and steps along the way.  And thus the Trailing Spirit Project was born.

Please join me at Trailingspirit.com.  Eight hikes in and only 52 to go…  Because I can.

Wisdom From the Trail:

  • We lose so much of the experience when it doesn’t measure up to what we had imagined.  If we can slow down the living in the past and the future of our minds, and can be in the moment of our bodies, we will rarely be let down.
  • In seeking out perfection, we forget that there is much of value in the less-then-perfect.  Embrace the special in the everyday instead of always striving for “beyond the ordinary”.
  • The beauty is often in the details. The sum of the pieces often adds up to greater then “the whole”.

 

self-1-768x576
Trailing Spirit author Stephanie Dean-Moore.

Chic or not, hike series gets you moving

Hiking is “the peak of chic” according to the title of a recent article in a popular UK newspaper. The folks at Hike NS have long known this to be the case (insert eye-rolling emoji here), but argue that you don’t have to be a trendy celebrity or fashionista to hit the trails.

Quotes

“Hiking really is for everyone,” says Janet Barlow, Hike NS Executive Director. “Our partners have lined up a great selection of guided hikes clear across the province this fall. There are various trail lengths and levels of difficulty to try. No matter what you’re experience, there’s something for you.”

Event Details

Date: September 14 to November 4, 2018

Location: Province-wide

The full schedule with registration details and directions is found at www.hikenovascotia.ca. Hikes are listed by date and region. Hikes include the following areas:

  • Cape Breton
  • Highland (Guysborough County, Antigonish County, Pictou County)
  • Fundy (Municipality of East Hants, Cumberland County, Colchester County)
  • Annapolis Valley (Municipalities of Hants West and Clare, Counties of Digby, Annapolis and Kings)
  • South Shore (Counties of Yarmouth, Shelburne, Queens, Lunenburg and District of Argyle)
  • Halifax (Halifax Regional Municipality)

Fast Facts

  • Hike NS and 30 host organizations partnered up to offer the guided hike series from September to November.
  • There are 58 guided hikes scheduled province-wide.
  • Hikes are led by local folks and participants qualify to win trail prizes. Hikes are free or low-cost and some require pre-registration.
  • Hike NS thanks its local partners for organizing the hikes on the ground as well as MEC, Goose Lane Editions and the NS Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage for their support.
  • For those who wouldlike to upgrade their outdoorsy skills for the fall hiking season, Hike NS offers a slate of courses and workshops that teach nature activities to use with kids, how to be a hike leader, navigation and Nordic Walking.
  • Hike NS encourages and promotes a growing hiking culture throughout the province, striving to be the voice for those who hike, walk and snowshoe.

Photos

Find photos on Facebook  or Instagram or use some of the photos on this page.

Social Media

Share on Facebook  

Share on Twitter

Share on Instagram

Contact

Janet Barlow, Hike Nova Scotia

(902) 932-6902

Email

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIMG_5861

Picture-2

Norris Whiston Receives Summit Award

Norris-SummitAward-June2018
Norris Whiston (centre), receives the Summit Award from Deb Ryan, Hike NS Past President (left) and Vince Forrestall, Hike NS Vice President (right).

Hike NS Summit Award
June 23, 2018
~ Norris Whiston ~

Norris Whiston was presented with a Summit Award at the Hike NS Annual General Meeting in Truro on June 23. The Summit Award recognizes outstanding leadership and commitment to the growth and development of hiking in Nova Scotia. Norris is a long-time board member of Hike NS and has been involved with the Cobequid Eco-Trails Society. His passion for hiking, nature and history has contributed greatly to the development of trails in Colchester County.

Norris was one of those folk that attended the very first Hike NS meeting held in Truro and shortly thereafter joined the board of Hike NS over 10 years ago. After retiring in 2008 his interest in hiking has not wavered and he has been involved locally, regionally and provincially in supporting and advocating change to create more hiking trails, linking people to our history and nature in creating new opportunities in Colchester County and beyond.

He attended one of the first international (International Appalachian Trail (IAT) meeting held in Iona, Cape Breton, supported efforts and connected people in the concept of a Cape to Cape Trail, worked on the Hike NS  board and has been involved with the Cobequid Eco-Trails Society (CE-TS).

Norris has a passion for the outdoors and nature and feels that the best way to connect more people to nature is through the development of hiking trails and education.

Norris is a founding member and was instrumental in the creation of the Cobequid Eco -Trails Society (CE-TS). He has been an active member and has been working collaboratively with CE-TS board volunteers to make a difference in creating, promoting, advocating for the protection of hiking trails in Colchester County for over 10 years.

He chaired the committee that built the Earltown Trails that would lead to a network of trails in the region. He researched the region including local historic trails, local landowner’s folklore and genealogy that existed in the area so that the group could shape, define, design and promote interesting trails.

Overall there were three trails built in the area that would include 35 km of hiking trail and he created a book on the background and history of each of the trails.

Rogart was the first trail build of the CE-TS group in 2008 (80 percent built by volunteers) which involved negotiations with five landowners. Norris spent many hours coordinating trail builds and worked with many volunteers keeping track of the hours spent on the trail builds, motivating people to come out and participate through his email journals and interesting tidbits. He was the glue that kept the team together.

He worked alongside volunteers and trail builders designing, flagging and building trails with Macleod’s and Pulaski’s and welcoming people back to his house for a social whenever possible. “Maggie the Hiker Dog” went on more trail builds than many volunteers and many enjoyed the interesting stories of Maggie’s exploits on the trails.

He worked on Earltown Lakes and Portage Trails with three private landowners  to create agreements to allow the connection to the Gully Lake Wilderness Area. Like many other volunteers, he understands the long and tedious process of building trail that includes planning, researching, searching for new funding opportunities, working with private landowners, negotiating with land owners for agreements, creating the designs, attending open houses and public processes, working through the DOE many steps for trail development, not to mention other regulations.

Although we are recognizing Norris’s hiking and trail achievements, Norris has written over 50 books and brought that passion to the landscapes of Colchester County, to the forests and to the pathways.

He took a course on how to identify mosses, lichens and such. He has taken over 5000 photos and categorized them to benefit the community of Colchester. Those inventoried photos include fungus, trees, mosses, grasses, lichens, vascular plants and many others too numerous to mention.

The information he researched was used in the creation of interpretative signs and historic information on native culture including the naming of the Sandy Cope Trail and Meguma Falls.

Some of those books include:

  • “Hardwood, Scrubs and Nature’s Dynamics of Maritimes and Northern New England”…31 pages and growing.
  • “Cobequid Mountain Field Guide to Ferns, Club Mosses, Mosses and Lichens”
  • “History of Gully Lake to Nutby Mountain Hiking Trails”…106 page book
  • “Climate Readings of Carbon, Climate, and Forests”… over 600 pages

Norris wants to remind us that we are just not just hiking we are walking through time and nature so we need to stop reflect on the beauty and look and understand our surroundings. Further and just as important in all of this, we need to stop the clear cutting and stop the soil degradation.

In all the research, there is one giant point that he raises: we are depleting the soils of nutrients that can never be replaced. What started as a project to promote hiking and trail building has taken on a greater need in getting people to understand the devastating effects of clear cutting on the soil.

We may ask ourselves why this is important and the simple answer is the need to protect our forests for biodiversity and for our planet.

Norris brings these issues to the board’s attention as we all need to be advocates for the conditions of our forests and he does this through his research, book creations and his Putcha Kutchas presentations at our Hiking Summits.

He says he might get carried away at times, however he is so committed to bringing nature and history of the region alive to the average person.  In doing so he has developed many friendships far and wide due to his passion and interest in the natural environment and hiking.

So from being a runner, a hiking leader, a trail builder, an advocate of the forests and the environment and an educator, he is committed to it all!  From simple flora and fauna explanations to the trips he has lead to the top of Nutby Mountain, Norris has done it all with passion and zeal!

It is for all of these reasons that Hike NS is pleased to present Norris Whiston with the Hike NS Summit Award.

Congratulations Norris!