Outdoor inspiration during lockdown

Even though we’re in pandemic lockdown, you can still get outside. Hike Nova Scotia has the ideas and information you need while staying close to home. 

“The Province has specifically told us to get outside, but to do that in our home communities,” says Janet Barlow, Hike NS Executive Director. “It’s crucial to do this to stay healthy – both physically and mentally. Go spend some time at a nearby park, trail or other greenspace.”

If you need inspiration or advice, Hike NS has lined up a slate of outdoor-themed webinars you can access no matter where you live in the province or your level of outdoor experience. They are free for paid Hike NS members or $20 for non-members, who then get a free one-year membership. Upcoming webinars include: 

  • Intro to Birding
  • Wildlife Encounters & Safety
  • Intro to Hiking
  • Leave No Trace
  • Tick Prevention

“People are just craving this type of outdoor knowledge,” Barlow says. “For example, we just held a wildly successful Tick Prevention webinar with about 100 people registered.”

As long as pandemic restrictions allow them to go forward, there are a number of in-person courses scheduled for later this spring including Field Leader – Hiking (how to be a hike leader), Navigation (how to use a map and compass) and Re-Connecting with Nature (teaching adults how to engage kids with nature).

Webinars and in-person courses are offered with the support of the NS Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage, the Outdoor Council of Canada and other partners. Learn more and register at www.hikenovascotia.ca

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

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Social Media

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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

Why do you hike?

Guest blog by William “Whistler” Monk, who lives in Granville Ferry, Nova Scotia. He is a lover of nature, long distance hiking and a book author. He has written two books: Whistler’s Walk: The Appalachian Trail in 142 Days and Whistler’s Way: A Thru-Hikers Adventure on the Pacific Crest Trail.

A question for the ages, “Why do you hike”? If you lined up one hundred hikers you would likely get one hundred varied responses. As a long-distance hiker who has successfully thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail (AT) and the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT), I asked myself that very question. Where does that desire come from to walk away and abandon the comfortable life that I know and love so much? Why would anyone think it was a good idea to pack meagre supplies in a backpack, throw it on their back, and walk away from life as they know it for a day, a week or in my case, five to six months? 

Thru-hiking the 2,189 miles of the AT in 2017 served as an awakening. It changed me, and I discovered something—I discovered that I liked people. Sounds a bit crazy but it’s true. I found what makes people good, kind, and compassionate. I found that I enjoy hiking with today’s youth, and that they enjoy hiking with me. I found that on the trail, we are all truly equal. We each have the same goal—or purpose—with a definitive target in our sights. We know where we come from, and we know where we must go in order to discover the enlightenment we each seek as we complete the task (hike) at hand. 

With that burning question waiting for a logical answer, it really only brings forward more questions looking for answers. Sometimes we end up with answers to the questions that haven’t yet been asked. What I have learned is that sometimes you get answers as you get closer to nature, closer to the earth, closer to the sky and closer to other humans. Life off the “trail” tends to distance us from nature, earth, sky and one another. When I hiked the PCT in 2019 I hiked by myself for a majority of the time. That was okay though, because it gave me the opportunity to “be with me”. 

But I also had the opportunity to hike with others I’d met on the trail. One of the hikers I met was a guy from Germany who went by the trail name, ‘First One’. ‘First One’ and I happened to hike up to Crater Lake together which had us both acting like giddy school boys. You see, Crater Lake is the deepest lake (592 meters) in the United States. Its unusually deep blue waters are due to its depth and clarity and indescribable to anyone that might ask for a description. In other words, you have to see it for yourself to believe it. While we were enjoying this “other worldly” sight, ‘First One’ shared a German saying that goes something like this… “Luck and happiness are doubled if shared”. I love hiking by myself. I love that I can spend time by myself and thus learn more about myself. But sometimes the enjoyment of an experience is multiplied when shared with others. 

So, why do you hike? 

Crater Lake, Oregon
Whistler on the left and First One on the right

Hiker Gift Ideas 2020

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:

  • Ice cleats/crampons
  • First aid kit
  • Compass
  • Snowshoes
  • Trekking poles
  • Walking stick
  • Hiking socks
  • Back pack
  • Headlamp
  • Hiking boots
  • Thermos
  • Water bottle
  • Pocket knife

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.

Quotes

“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.

Photos

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

Social Media

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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
Email 
www.hikenovascotia.ca 

Hike NS Introduces Hiking Virtually

How do you introduce people to hiking in the middle of a pandemic? In an age where in-person workshops aren’t allowed and group hikes a no-go, Hike Nova Scotia came up with a solution: go virtual with an Intro to Hiking webinar.

Quotes

“Now that Nova Scotians are allowed back into parks and on the trails we figured there would be interest since people were so thirsty to get back outside,” says Janet Barlow, Executive Director of Hike NS and the webinar presenter. “The webinar is our way of engaging people who want to start hiking or hike more but want some basic knowledge to stay safe and have a good experience.”

Event Details

Date: Thursday, May 28, 2020 at 7 pm
Cost: $20 (free for Hike NS paid members), non-members receive a free one-year individual membership
Registration Deadline: May 27 (webinar spaces are limited)
Registration Link: Learn more and register at www.hikenovascotia.ca

Fast Facts

  • This “taster” session covers how to prepare for a hike and hiking best practices.
  • It includes information you need before you leave, what to bring and wear, self-care and hiking etiquette.
  • The one-and-a-half hour webinar also includes a half-hour question and answer session. 
  • Hike NS thanks the NS Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage for its 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
Email 
www.hikenovascotia.ca 

Hiker Gift Ideas 2019

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

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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

Hike NS Summit Award 2019: Garnet McLaughlin

Photo: Garnet McLaughlin celebrates his Summit Award with his family: wife Alexia, daughter Madeline, son Seth and daughter Avary.

May 2019

Hike Nova Scotia is pleased to present Garnet McLaughlin with the Hike NS Summit Award. This award recognizes outstanding leadership and commitment to the growth and development of hiking in Nova Scotia.

Over the past 20 years, Garnet has logged countless hours in the development of trails, inspiring people to take action throughout Nova Scotia to create more outdoor adventures in the development of trails and pathways.

Garnet would rather be designing and building trails but he understands community, the importance of volunteer organizations and the importance of developing strong foundations and organizations for the long term.

Often it is not about time but the commitment to find the time to chair, be a board member, show up and attend meetings, create strategic plans, write and submit grant applications and lobby when and where necessary for the protection and development of trails that does and will create long term hiking opportunities.

By profession Garnet is a trail builder and started building trails in Economy at Thomas’ Cove in the mid-nineties. He has a background in integrated resource management and understands the biodiversity of the forest and the value of protecting the resource.

In the mid-nineties Garnet returned to Nova Scotia to run a youth crew building wilderness trails in the newly designated Economy River Wilderness Area. His passion for trail building, design and mentoring is based on a strong work ethic and more importantly an ethic to give back to the community. He worked on Kenomee Canyon, Devils Bend, Escarpment trail and upgraded Thomas Cove trails which is over 30 km of trail.

As a trails coordinator for Musquodoboit Trailway Association he finished up this wilderness trail system including the North and south Granite Ridge trails along with Admiral Lake loop, Bayers Lake and Gibraltar.

Over his 20-year career Garnet has been involved with different trail planning projects across the Maritimes including Neil’s Harbour in Cape Breton, Dollar Lake Provincial Lake, Mica Hill in the Cape Breton Highlands National Park, Gros Morne National Park, Birch Cove Blue Mountain Lake, Gully Lake and Nova Scotia Nature Trust trails.

He’s done it all. He has prepared assessments, reconstruction and rehabilitation of Cape Chignecto Provincial Park while working with both his staff and staff of the park. He has hosted trail building/restoration workshops across the province with volunteer groups, schools, municipalities and provincial governments at various sites.

He was an active volunteer board member for the NS Trails Federation for almost 10 years and worked on the Great Trail (or Trans Canada Trail) in Nova Scotia.

He took part in strategic discussions on the Atlantic Canada Trails Destination process to improve the hiking experiences that would appeal to international markets.

He started his own family base company, Cobequid Consulting after the devastating effects from Hurricane Juan in 2003 to repair the damage along so many of Nova Scotia’s trails.

He leant his expertise to the design and construction of the Crowbar Lake Trails (Waverly-Salmon River Long Lake Wilderness Area), living in the woods at the time and canoeing to the job site every day.

He worked with the community to create the Kenomee Trail Society serving as volunteer president and has been involved in many capacities with the society since 2001 when he was also balancing his volunteer role as fire chief of the Economy Fire Brigade. He is back as Chair again in 2019 volunteering for Kenomee.

In 2007 Garnet was involved in the creation of Cobequid Eco-Trails Society (CE-TS), focusing on the development and promotion of non-motorized trails, with an emphasis on environmental appreciation and stewardship. Garnet was their first Chair. This community based group designed and developed the Gully Lake Trail system creating over 30 kms of hiking trails within the Gully Lake Wilderness Area.

At the time it was one of the newest wilderness trail system in the province. Garnet was president, volunteer builder and trail builder throughout the process working with many dedicated volunteers which lead to hiking pathways such as Rogart Mountain Trail, Earltown Lake and Portage Trail to name only a few.

He has worked with the Cape to Cape Trail group that is part of the vision of a 400 km hiking trail through five counties which will include many of the trails he has helped shape throughout Colchester and Cumberland counties.

Garnet has been on the Hike Nova Scotia board since 2009 and is the immediate past president of Hike NS serving for 5 years. Garnet has been instrumental in providing strategic leadership that allowed the association to grow and expand.

He has led many hiking and snowshoeing events including  in Kenomee, Gully Lake, Beaver Mountain, Keppoch and Trenton Park trails to name only a few and his understanding of nature makes him a natural for sharing forest knowledge.

He has presented at many recreation conferences and seminars to share key messages around protecting our forests, setting aside land for biodiversity and promoting active lifestyles through the creation of quality sustainable hiking trails.

At the NS Trails Conference held at Cornwallis several years ago, he worked to design and create a legacy that would enhance the Mickey Hill Provincial Park so that delegates could learn trail building techniques on the ground and in doing so created a new section of hiking trail.

Garnet is a family man that wants to pass on his love for the outdoors and the importance of connecting with nature to both his family and others and it is for this and many other reasons mentioned that Hike NS wishes to acknowledge Garnet’s outstanding leadership and commitment in the development of hiking opportunities in Nova Scotia.

Thank you for your dedication, passion and for your expertise in inspiring communities around Economy, across Colchester County and Cumberland and, indeed, across Nova Scotia.

Hike NS is pleased to present Garnet McLaughlin the 2019 Summit Award.

Congratulations Garnet!

 

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

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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

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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

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