Snowshoeing Grows with Hike Series

Now that winter is upon us, rather than hibernate indoors, Hike NS says to get out and try snowshoeing. You’ll be in good company, since everyone seems to be trying it. Hike Nova Scotia and its partners across the province are offering the 2018 Winter Guided Snowshoe Hike Series from January to March.

Quotes

“Snowshoeing is probably one of the fastest-growing outdoor activities in our province,” says Janet Barlow, Hike NS Executive Director. “We’ve had the highest number of events registered across the province this season, even surpassing our fall hike series. Last year, people came out in droves.”

Event Details

Date: January 13 to March 17, 2018

Location: The full schedule with registration details and directions is found at www.hikenovascotia.ca. Hikes are led by local folks and participants qualify to win trail prizes. Hikes are free or low-cost and pre-registration is required​ unless otherwise indicated. Over 65 hikes are listed by date and region. Hikes include the following regions:

  • Cape Breton (Cape Breton Island)
  • 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 38 host organizations partnered up to offer the guided snowshoeing series in January, February and March.
  • Over 65 snowshoe hikes are scheduled province-wide.
  • Hikes are led by local folks and participants qualify to win trail prizes. Hikes are free or low-cost and pre-registration is required​ unless otherwise indicated.
  • Hike NS thanks its local partners for organizing the hikes on the ground as well as Goose Lane Editions and the NS Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage for their support.
  • 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 75 listings. A growing number of municipalities, businesses and organizations are buying sets of snowshoes to lend or rent. There are at least 55 venues listed where you can borrow them for free.
  • 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

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Social Media

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Contact

Janet Barlow, Hike Nova Scotia

(902) 932-6902

Email

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Snowshoeing Nova Scotia: Part 1

by Brad Donaldson

This winter we’ll be highlighting some of the province’s best trails for snowshoeing. In part one, we begin in central Nova Scotia, listing some of our favourites in the Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM).

1. Shubie Park: Nestled between Lake Micmac and Lake Charles, Shubie Park offers city dwellers a chance to get outside without having to travel far. Commonly known for kayaking and canoeing, the park is also a place for walking, camping, and snowshoeing. Within the 40-acre urban park are three main trails that loop around lakes, over canals, and under towering trees making for a full day of adventure.

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2. Oakfield Provincial Park: One of the many provincial parks found in the HRM, Oakfield is on the shores of Grand Lake, just off Highway 2 (near Fall River). As a day-use park, the area is filled with intertwining trails that funnel down to the lake through a beautiful hardwood forest.

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3. Salt Marsh Trail: Moving through the wetlands of Eastern Passage, Cole Harbour, and Lawrencetown is the Salt Marsh Trail. The 6.5 kilometre trail (one way) is long, flat, and gravelled, making it perfect for snowshoeing. Part of the Trans Canada Trail, and formed from the old Musquodoboit Railway, the trail is popular place for wildlife sightingso keep your eyes peeled!

4. Point Pleasant Park: Found at the southern tip of the Halifax Peninsula, Point Pleasant is a perfect escape for those who might find themselves gridlocked during the cold winter months. Throughout the wooded area are endless, winding routes that wrap around the Atlantic shoreline, offering different levels of elevation and distance. Created in 1866, the park boasts a number of historical monuments commemorating military and navy efforts to see while braving the cold.

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5. Uniacke Estate Museum Park: Once a summer oasis for the family of Richard John Uniacke (a 19th-century Attorney-General), the area has recently been converted for public use. Within the grounds are eight trails that explore the heritage site, travelling  over rivers and along lakes. The trails vary in length and difficulty, and are available for use year round (although the museum and toilet facilities operate on a seasonal bases).

*Note: While snowshoeing, please be respectful and mindful of other trail users. You may notice trails that are not multi-purposed, and specifically groomed for cross country skiing. In this instance, we ask you to not damage the hard work that goes into grooming and enjoy responsibly.

Share the Hiking Love on Giving Tuesday: Nov. 28

Why do you love hiking? Is it the fresh air, the calm feeling of green or the heart-pumping rush of reaching a summit for a great view? Share the Hiking Love: On @GivingTuesdayCa (@NSGives) – November 28 – share a photo of you on an NS trail on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and then donate to Hike NS! Don’t forget to tag Hike NS when you post: #HikeNS @HikeNS @hikenovascotia. Check out our donation page

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Hiking for the Holidays Online Auction

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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 for donating most of the items in the auction. Bidding opens Nov. 18 and ends on Dec. 3. View items here

Franey in the Fall

by Brad Donaldson

 

I thought it might be too late, that when I finally got up to the Cape Breton Highlands National Park to see the leaves in all their seasonal glory there’d be none left. But luckily I was terribly, terribly wrong.

* * *

On Saturday, October 21st, I woke up early and drove towards Franey Mountain. When I arrived at the trail head, the gravel parking lot was empty. The morning was cold and crisp, with a chance of showers. I dressed in layers and started in on the trail. Continue reading “Franey in the Fall”

The McLachlan Bothy: A Community Build

By Brad Donaldson

As some readers may know, last year I followed the revealing of the Doris and Jack McLachlan Bothy.

The bothy stands on Six Mile Brook Trail—a trail that is part of the Cape to Cape trail system—and was constructed by community volunteers and a number of high school students in the Chignecto-Central Regional School Board.

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Many of those students came from the North Nova Education Centre, in New Glasgow, and were led by a name mentioned in last year’s piece: Andrew Parsons.

He was and still is a driving force behind the creation, maintenance, and constant improvement of this unique overnight shelter.

So, last week I attended one of these student outings to see the bothy for myself.

* * *

As a life-long mountain biker, Parsons enjoys bringing students out of a traditional school setting and into the natural world to explore different ways of learning. Along the trail, his age doesn’t show. He trucks through the babbling river in rubber boots and excitedly points out strands of trees, asking students—between grades ten to twelve—if they remember the names.

Working with the school’s Career Exploration Program (CEP)—an alternative learning program—Parsons teaches Building Systems, which focuses on the hands-on side of things: construction, electrical, landscape, etc.

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In the past, and under Parsons’ supervision, students built a number of timber frame trail kiosks for the area. So when a friend mentioned the first tentative idea of an overnight shelter in the same area, Parsons saw students as a perfect fit to help with the project.

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In Parsons’ eyes, students would not only learn tangible skills constructing the shelter, but also have the chance to “contribute back to the community [in a way] that would have a long-lasting impact.”

“I think that problem solving, and approaching community projects, is beneficial not only to the community but to individuals because it gives them a sense of place and belonging, and ownership,” Parson adds. “But also, in their own future, they can see a role for how they might envision being connected in the greater community.”

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In high school, teenagers are often trying to find their thing and fit in. But projects such as the Doris and Jack McLachlan Bothy have given students a chance to try something new, something in an area they might not normally travel to.

In the midst of all the work happening around the bothy that day, Parsons mentions a story of a student who, after working on the bothy, brought their family out to the area for a hike— something the family had never done before—to show off the accomplishment.

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Parsons hopes that his students “choose to do [similar ventures] in their future so we see more people in wilderness, taking advantage of these wild places we have on our doorstep.”

Because, he says, the benefits are developing right before his eyes.

 

 

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!

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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”

Slate of 2017-18 Hike NS Courses & Workshops Released

Hike NS’s schedule of courses and workshops across Nova Scotia is now available for 2017-18. Beginning in June through to February, they range from how to share nature with children to how to be a hike leader to navigation. 

Continue reading “Slate of 2017-18 Hike NS Courses & Workshops Released”

Celebrating Trails and Hike NS at Hiking Summit

Hiking Summit in Tatamagouche a celebration of hiking culture in NS

Hike Nova Scotia, along with about 200 people with an interest in hiking, walking and snowshoeing, will converge on Tatamagouche from April 28 to 30, 2017 for the sixth annual Nova Scotia Hiking Summit. The Summit is a celebration of Nova Scotia’s hiking culture, and includes sharing best practices, stories and networking. Attendees include avid hikers, hiking clubs, trail groups, provincial government, municipalities and others. Hike Nova Scotia thanks the Cobequid Eco-Trails Society and the Municipality of Colchester for hosting and the NS Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage for its support.

Quotes

“We’re particularly excited about this year’s Summit because it’s a celebration of Hike Nova Scotia’s tenth anniversary and we’re launching our new look,” says Janet Barlow, Hike NS’s Executive Director. “Tatamagouche and Colchester County have some beautiful trails and keen trail groups. We’re eager to showcase that as well.”

Event Details

Date: Friday April 28, Saturday April 29 and Sunday, April 30 2017 (registration deadline April 24)

Location:

  • Friday night: Tatamagouche Creamery Square, 39 Creamery Rd.
  • Saturday: North Colchester High School, 90 Blair Ave. (with lunch at the Legion)
  • Saturday night: Royal Canadian Legion Branch 64, 80 Queen St.

Time: 1:30 pm on April 28 to 4:30 pm on April 28

Cost: $30 for paid Hike NS members and $40 for non-members

Fast Facts

  • Nine guided hikes
  • Keynote speaker Dianne Whelan, award-winning Canadian filmmaker, photographer, author and multimedia artist who is traveling the longest trail in the world, The Great Trail (The Trans Canada Trail)
  • Sessions including: Mi’kma’ki, the Land of the Mi’kmaw and the Verb Based Language of the Traditional Place Names; How to Prepare for a Backpacking Trip; We Built It….. And People Keep Coming; Geocaching: not just finding Tupperware in the Woods; How building trails builds a strong rural economy: Sugar Moon’s story; How to Avoid Getting Lost; Cobequid Eco-Trails Society Then and Now
  • Stories from the Trail Pecha Kucha presentations
  • Hike Nova Scotia’s Awards
  • Silent auction
  • Displays
  • Friday and Saturday night socials

View the agenda, directions and other details. 

Photos:

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

Social Media:

Share on Facebook  
Share on Twitter
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Contact

Janet Barlow, Hike Nova Scotia
(902) 717-4408
Email

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