Webinar teaches Leave No Trace Hiking

Being confined to our houses and neighbourhoods for a few months has spurred a renewed love of hiking. When allowed back onto trails in May, people flocked back in what might be record numbers. Few groups were happier than Hike Nova Scotia at the news, but it was also concerning.


“Close behind the elation of being allowed back on the trails was a feeling of concern, a fear that we might love our trails to death after such a long absence,” says Janet Barlow, Executive Director of Hike NS. “Personally, I witnessed hoards of hikers at a popular trail in the Valley area on a beautiful weekend in May. There were reports of similar crowds on trails across the province. Thankfully they did a good job of social distancing.”

Event Details

Date: Tuesday, July 7, 2020 at 7 pm
Cost: $20 (free for Hike NS paid members), non-members receive a free one-year individual membership
Registration Deadline: July 6 (webinar spaces are limited)
Registration Link: Learn more and register at www.hikenovascotia.ca

Fast Facts

  • Hike NS felt there was no better time to launch education on Leave No Trace principles, hoping it might counteract the negative environmental impact of so many people enjoying our trails.
  • The webinar is geared for new and experienced hikers. It covers responsible use of our natural areas and techniques to protect our environment and the hiking experience for one another. 
  • It will include an in-depth look at the seven Principles of Leave No Trace and a question and answer session. 
  • The presenter is Jody Conrad, certified Leave No Trace Master Educator. 
  • Offered in partnership with the Municipality of the District of Chester, it is supported by the NS Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage. 
  • Hike NS encourages and promotes a growing hiking culture throughout the province, striving to be the voice for those who hike, walk and snowshoe.


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

Social Media

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

Janet Barlow, Hike Nova Scotia
(902) 932-6902

NS Hiking Summit Postponed to 2021

Due to the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 Hiking Summit has been postponed to 2021 and will tentatively take place in Chéticamp from June 4 to 6, 2021. We will confirm these dates in September 2020 and provide additional information at that time. Anyone who registered and paid online for the 2020 Summit will be reimbursed. Learn more here.

Fall Colours Featured in Hike Series

Ask most hikers and they’ll likely agree that autumn is the best hiking season. Brisk air, no flies and those beautiful fall colours are drawing more and more people out onto our trails. That is what Hike Nova Scotia anticipates for its annual Fall Guided Hike Series taking place from September to November. 


“It really is a gorgeous time of year to be on the trails,” says Janet Barlow, Hike NS Executive Director. “From easy to more challenging hikes and from woodland to coastal trails, there’s something for everyone in Nova Scotia.”

Event Details

Date: September 13 to November 17, 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 25 host organizations partnered up to offer the guided hike series from September to November.
  • There are over 50 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. 
  • The series includes hikes of various lengths and difficulty levels. 
  • Feeling like you’d like to upgrade your outdoorsy skills for the fall hiking season? Hike NS has you covered with a slate of courses and workshops that teach nature activities to use with kids, how to be a hike leader and navigation.
  • 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.


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 


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

Janet Barlow, Hike Nova Scotia
(902) 932-6902


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.

Lyme Disease Prevention for Nova Scotians

Information, References, Resources and links to other sites

By Rob Murray

Note: The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of ​ Hike Nova Scotia.

Prevention is essential and an understanding of the biology of blacklegged Ixodes ticks will help. Ticks can be infectious at any stage but they are more likely to be encountered in the damp cool weather of very early spring or late fall. They can be active down to 4°C. Ticks do not like to be dried out and are unlikely to be found in the center of paths and trails. Birds can also disperse ticks so Canadians can be at increased risk in new areas where they have not been commonly found in the past. There are many pro-active steps that can be taken at the local level by individuals and municipalities.

No ticks are good ticks. Approximately 20% of the blacklegged ticks are vectors for serious diseases like Lyme, Bartonella, Babesiosis and Anaplasmosis while only 1% to 4% of the larger dog ticks carry the Powassan virus.  There is no known treatment for this virus and it can render the patient unconscious in as little as 15 minutes. Dressing appropriately with light coloured clothing with long sleeves and pants tucked into socks is key. Even rubber boots can help. Several people have picked up ticks while riding on sit-on mowers.

Tick warnings and trail signage are municipal responsibilities. Dog owners generally know where the hot spots are located.


Most things that people suggest as repellents don’t work on ticks. The best seems to be Natrapel lemon-eucalyptus available from MEC.ca and a few pharmacies. Products containing 30% Deet don’t seem to work as well or last as long. https://www.mec.ca/en/product/5038-081/Insect-Repellent—74ml-Pump?org_text=Natrapel  A student at the Mount Allison Tick Lab https://www.lloydticklab.ca has been testing repellents and this recommendation comes from unpublished results.


Permethrin is an insecticide available worldwide for protection against tick bites except in Canada. The commercial product is sold at a 0.5% strength and lasts for up to 6 weeks or 6 washes on clothing and footwear. I have found 0.25% permethrin sprays available from all garden centres, Canadian Tire, Home Hardware and the Home Depot and it should do the same thing. https://www.homedepot.ca/en/home/p.709-ml-home-defense max.1000464192.html A light spray on the clothing and footwear is allowed to dry and should do the trick. It doesn’t work on our skin, as skin oils will neutralize it within 20 minutes. The wet spray can injure cats and it should not be used near fish or pollinators like bees.

Information on the efficacy of permethrin and prevention of Lyme in Nova Scotia: http://versicolor.ca/noticks/

Tick Tubes:

Tick tubes are another use for the permethrin spray. Dryer lint or cotton wool can be sprayed with the permethrin and packed into toilet paper tubes. These are placed around the property, under the building, in woodpiles etc. where the rodents will collect the treated lint for their nests and this will kill the ticks at their source. http://www.practicalprimitive.com/skillofthemonth/ticktubes

Dogs:  Dogs can get Lyme disease, but with treatment shake it off and build up resistance over time.  People don’t build up resistance and can be re-infected. Veterinarians should be consulted as vaccines and medicines are available.  Dogs should be on a leash and kept on the paths or trails in tick season.

Cats:  Outdoor cats should wear a collar. Check with your vet because now other medications are available. Cats are resistant to tick borne infections, feed on rodents and can deliver ticks to the owner and homes.  The collar recommended by many veterinarians is: http://www.seresto.com/en/seresto-for-cats/ by Bayer.

Other Measures:

Prompt, complete removal of ticks (if bitten) is very important. https://canlyme.com/lyme-prevention/tick-removal/ Not all ticks are infectious and generally it takes ticks time to attach and feed before they can infect a person. Tick checks and showering can help reduce the chance of infection.

Avoiding tall wet grass and undergrowth is a good idea. Cutting back the brush along pathways is a good measure to take as shrubs, shade and tall grass encourage ticks. Removing animal attractants like bird feeders will help.

To kill ticks drop them in alcohol.  If ticks are on clothing place the clothing in a dryer for 20-30 minutes before washing. –see instructions ‘CanLyme Prevention’.

References and Links to Articles on Prevention:

Canadian Lyme Disease Foundation: https://canlyme.com/lyme-prevention/

NS Lyme disease Prevention and Control: http://novascotia.ca/dhw/CDPC/lyme.asp  The Lyme risk map can be printed as a poster. In addition there are links to print pamphlets and an additional poster on the column to the right.

Protection against Lyme disease in Nova Scotia:

Protecting outdoor workers from tick bites and Lyme disease:

Landscape Tricks to Reduce Ticks:

Government of Canada:

Canadian Centre for Occupational Health & Safety (CCOHS): http://www.ccohs-.ca/oshanswers/diseases/lyme.html

Tick Management Handbook, Connecticut, pdf. http://www.ct.gov/caes/lib/caes/documents/publications/bulletins/b1010.pdf

Tick Encounter Resource Center, University of Rhode Island/ prevention http://www.tickencounter.org/prevention
and eliminate tick habitat: http://www.tickencounter.org/prevention/identify_and_eliminate_tick_habitat

Signs: Tick Habitat Warning Signs: Amazon.ca AND https://www.campgroundsigns.com/tick-warning-signs

You Tube Videos

CanLyme videos: https://canlyme.com/lyme-videos/

Tick Talk; children’s: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HVQAxUclqgU

How to contact the author:

Rob Murray (DDS ret’d)
Lunenburg, NS
Tel.:  902-634-8542
Email:  murrayrgm01@gmail.com

Board member Canadian Lyme Disease Foundation (www.CanLyme.com)


Fall Hikes, Events & Courses

Fall is a busy time and this season Hike NS has over 60 hikes, events and courses available. Check them out!


Hike NS Fall Guided Hike Series 2017

Hike Nova Scotia and 28 host organizations across the province have partnered up to offer the 2017 Fall Guided Hike Series from September to November. There are 50 hikes led by local folks and participants qualify to win “trail prizes.” Hikes are free and Continue reading “Fall Hikes, Events & Courses”

Field Leader – Hiking & Paddling Course Aug. 28-30, Shelburne

RIMG1150-smallerA Field Leader – Hiking & Paddling Course will be offered in Shelburne on August 28, 29 and 30 at The Islands Provincial Park. It will provide participants with Outdoor Council of Canada (OCC) national certification in Field Leader – Hiking & Paddling. This includes skills to organize and lead others in a one day, educational or activity based experience in a natural environment. The course is two and a half days in length and will provide successful candidates with the necessary skills to be a confident hiking and paddling leader Continue reading “Field Leader – Hiking & Paddling Course Aug. 28-30, Shelburne”

Leave No Trace Summer Workshops

LNTWorkshops-2015-graphicLeave No Trace Canada has partnered with Hike Nova Scotia to promote Leave No Trace Principles and host a Summer Educator, who will help raise awareness about Leave No Trace Principles through delivering workshops to groups in Halifax and beyond. Workshops will be offered from mid-July to mid-August, 2015. Tailored for groups of various ages and interests, workshops will cover the seven Leave No Trace Principles that encourage low-impact use of our natural environment. A small fee or honourarium may be required depending upon workshop location and number of participants.
To learn more and book your workshop, please visit: www.hikenovascotia.ca/projects/leave-no-trace.

Leadership Level 1 – Hiking Course Nov. 29-30, Halifax

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAA Leadership Level 1 – Hiking Course will be offered in Halifax on November 29-30, 2014. It will provide participants with Outdoor Council of Canada (OCC) national certification in Leadership Level 1 – Hiking. This includes skills to organize and lead others in a one day, educational or activity based experience in a natural environment. The program is suitable for hiking club leaders, trail groups, recreation department staff, teachers, 4H leaders, Scout leaders, Girl Guide leaders, parents or individuals interested in leading hikes. Courses are taught by OCC certified instructors. The course is two full days in length and will provide successful candidates with the necessary skills to be a confident hiking leader. The cost is $90 ($80 for current Hike NS members). The course is offered through the Nova Scotia Chapter of the OCC in partnership with Hike Nova Scotia and supported by the Province of Nova Scotia and the Nova Scotia Outdoor Leadership Development Program. Click here for more information.

Featured Trail: Blue Rocks – Stonehurst Walk

Trail Name: Blue Rocks – Stonehurst Walk

Location: Lunenburg County

Description: The tiny community of Blue Rocks, and its neighbour Stonehurst, are two of the most picturesque areas on the South Shore of Nova Scotia. The area is greatly favoured by artists and photographers. But, it doesn’t get to see the influx of tourists like the famous Peggy’s Cove, despite being every bit as beautiful, and maybe more so. It’s more of a walk than a hike, but it is an ideal route to take in the winter since it’s mostly on pavement. It’s also kept clear of snow (although there is usually very little snow out on that peninsular) and there is almost no traffic.

Map: Find a map and directions here.

Submitted by: John Hutton