Meandering the Musquodoboit Trailways

By Brad Donaldson

For some reason we decided to hike during the warmest portion of the scorching day. Between 12:00 and 3:30 PM, the Admiral Lake Loop hooped us up, down, and around its mossy forests, sharp look-offs, and cool blue lakes that make the Musquodoboit Trailways one of the HMR’s premiere systems for hiking.

From the parking lot, located on Park Road, the gravel Rail Trail takes you 1.7 kilometres to the trailhead.

















As soon as our heads ducked into the trail, on the right, we were led around large granite boulders that were bigger than a car Continue reading “Meandering the Musquodoboit Trailways”

Bothy to Offer New Perspectives for Nova Scotia Hiking

By Brad Donaldson

Gordon Young knew something was missing.

“There’s all kinds of trails in Nova Scotia that [you can] drive out, park your car, hike in, have lunch, and hike out again,” says Young. “But if you say, ‘Hey, I want to go for a five day hike’ where do you go?”

For years, Young had left his home province in search of these long-distance hikes, destinations including places such as Quebec, Maine, and even overseas to England.

The idea to create such a trail in Nova Scotia came to Young, a native of Pictou County, while driving his daughter along the province’s back roads to Mount Allison University in Sackville, New Brunswick.

When reflecting back on these drives, he notes the inspiration came from overlooking that “spine” over northern Nova Scotia, which includes the Cobequid Mountains and the escarpment running into Antigonish.

In 2003, Young became one of the founding members of the Cape to Cape Trail Association, a small committee stemming from the Pictou County Trails Association.

Since then, he has been a driving force in the initiation and construction of Nova Scotia’s first long-distance footpath.

But what a trail of long-distance needs for its users are shelters Continue reading “Bothy to Offer New Perspectives for Nova Scotia Hiking”

Hike NS Presents Summit Award at Digby Event

Hike Nova Scotia has awarded a Digby area trail builder and a hiking group with its highest award. At its annual Hiking Summit, this year held in Digby from April 29 to May 1, Hike NS presented Larry Goodwin and the Fundy Erratics with Summit Awards.

Larry Goodwin (left) and Greg Turner (right), representing the Fundy Erratics, on the trail.

“The Summit Award is presented to an organization or individual who has demonstrated outstanding leadership and commitment to the growth and development of hiking in Nova Scotia,” explains Deb Ryan, Hike NS’s Past President.

Since 1998, Larry Goodwin has logged countless hours nurturing the development of trails in the Digby County area. As a member of the Digby East Fish and Game Association, Larry led this group to develop a trail system in the Acacia Valley region. The trail was featured during one of several hikes during the Hiking Summit.

Over the past four years the Fundy Erratics hiking group has been a dynamic force in the promotion and development of hiking in the Digby County region. What began as a small group has grown to a large network of people who regularly get together to explore trails. The Fundy Erratics organized and led the hikes featured during the Hiking Summit.

“The Digby area has really put itself on the map as a hiking destination,” says Hike NS President Garnet McLaughlin. “That was made crystal clear by the calibre of hikes they offered and in the leadership shown in making this Summit happen. We couldn’t be happier.”

Held in a different community each year, this year’s Summit in Digby was the biggest yet, with over 175 people attending. Avid hikers, hiking clubs, trail groups, provincial government, municipalities and others attended the event. They took in guided hikes, information sessions and social events.

The Summit was a celebration of Nova Scotia’s hiking culture, and included sharing best practices and stories, networking and hiking. It was co-hosted by Hike NS, the Digby Area Recreation Commission and the Fundy Erratics. Hike Nova Scotia thanks the Nova Scotia Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage for its support.

See media coverage on the Summit here:

Hike Nova Scotia to hold Hiking summit in Digby

Hike Nova Scotia honours Digby landowner for trail development

Walking and Talking Trails at NS Hiking Summit

Hiking Summit in Digby a celebration of hiking culture in NS

Hike Nova Scotia, along with about 175 people with an interest in hiking, walking and snowshoeing, will converge on Digby from April 29 to May 1 for the fifth annual Nova Scotia Hiking Summit. The Summit is a celebration of Nova Scotia’s hiking culture, and will include sharing best practices, stories and networking. Attendees include avid hikers, hiking clubs, trail groups, provincial government, municipalities and others. Hike Nova Scotia thanks the Digby Area Recreation Commission and the Fundy Erratics hiking group for hosting and the Province of Nova Scotia for its support.12039311_10154296081646002_9215799114871840658_n


“Every year this Summit grows in popularity,” says Janet Barlow with Hike Nova Scotia. “We’re excited for the Digby area to show off its trails to our biggest audience yet and to have really rich discussions and sessions.”

Event Details:

Date: Friday, April 29, Saturday April 30 and Sunday, May 1, 2016 (registration deadline April 25)


  • Friday and Saturday nights: Digby Curling Centre (27 Shreve St.)
  • Saturday: Digby Regional High School (53 Mount St.)

Time: 3 pm on April 29 to 3 pm on May 1 Continue reading “Walking and Talking Trails at NS Hiking Summit”

Hike NS in Five Years Survey

Snowshoeing - December 28, 2013Hike Nova Scotia will begin refreshing our strategic plan this winter/spring and we’re looking for input from current and past members, potential members, partners and others who have an interest in hiking, walking or snowshoeing in our beautiful province. Tell us what we’re doing well, what we could do better and where you think we should be in five years. To refresh your memory on Hike NS’s mandate, please visit our website.

Take the Survey Now

Please complete it by February 29. The Hike NS board will use your input to help inform our updated strategic plan.

If you need a bit more motivation for taking the survey, you could win a prize by completing it. All you have to do is leave your email at the end of the survey. You’ll be entered into a draw to win a $50 MEC gift certificate. The survey is completely anonymous; we will not associate responses with individuals.

Thank you in advance for your help and input. Happy trails.


Garnet McLaughlin, Hike Nova Scotia President, on behalf of the Board

Hiking Summit 2016: Digby Aprril 29 – May 1

???????????????????????????????Hike Nova Scotia invites individuals and groups with an interest in hiking, walking and snowshoeing to the fifth annual Nova Scotia Hiking Summit from Friday, April 29 to Sunday, May 1 in Digby. The summit is a celebration of hiking culture, including best practices, stories, networking opportunities and hikes Continue reading “Hiking Summit 2016: Digby Aprril 29 – May 1”

Snowshoeing Events Reveal Winter Wonders

019If this winter is anything like last year’s, you’ll want to be on snowshoes. That’s the idea behind Hike Nova Scotia’s 2016 slate of Winter Guided Snowshoe Hikes taking place all over the province. Snowshoeing is one way to get out on the trails in winter when your own two legs just won’t cut it.

Maybe it’s trying something new, maybe it’s a trend toward being more active or maybe it’s the pull to get back to nature all year round. Whatever the reason, snowshoeing attracts more people each year.


“This year we have our biggest selection of hikes for folks to try with over 50 guided snowshoe events,” says Janet Barlow, Communications Coordinator with Hike NS.

“We’ve seen an upward trend in the number of events we’ve offered and the number of people coming out since 2011,” Barlow explains. “More and more recreation departments and organizations are lending or renting snowshoes because of this pent up demand.”


Fast Facts:

  • The hikes are meant to help get more people outside in winter and active on the trails.
  • Hike NS and 28 host organizations across the province have partnered up to offer the guided snowshoeing series.
  • The series runs from January 10 to March 17.
  • There are 53 snowshoe hikes led by local folks.
  • Participants qualify to win trail prizes.
  • Most hikes are free unless otherwise indicated in the schedule.
  • The full list of dates, times, registration details and directions is found at Hikes include the following areas: Cape Breton, Highland (Antigonish and Pictou Counties), Fundy (Cumberland, Colchester and East Hants), Valley (Clare to West Hants), South Shore (Lunenburg County and areas) and Halifax Regional Municipality.
  • Hike NS keeps an online listing of where to borrow, rent or buy snowshoes.
  • Hike NS thanks its partners for organizing the hikes on the ground as well as NS Trails, Doctors Nova Scotia and the NS Department of Health and Wellness for their support.
  • Hike Nova Scotia encourages and promotes hiking, walking and snowshoeing throughout Nova Scotia.
  • Membership in Hike NS means keeping up-to-date on the latest hiking news and having a say in its many projects.
  • Hike NS is supported by the Province of Nova Scotia.


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


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


Field Leader – Winter Leadership courses in February 2016

Saturday, February 6, 2016 in Halifax

Sunday, February 28, 2016 in Chester Basin

A pre-requisite for taking this module is Field Leader – Hiking certification. This nationally recognized course will provide participants with Outdoor Council of Canada (OCC) training in Field Leader – Winter Leadership and allow the Field Leader to lead in low-risk winter environments as defined by the OCC. The course is $50 for non-Hike NS members and $40 for paid Hike NS members. It is delivered by OCC certified instructors and offered through Hike Nova Scotia in partnership with the NS Chapter of the OCC and supported by the Nova Scotia Department of Health and Wellness For more information, go here.

Gift Ideas for Hikers

Looking for a good gift idea for the hiker in your life? Look no further. Here are some ideas from Hike NS that might come in handy:

Continue reading “Gift Ideas for Hikers”