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: Caribou-Munroes Island

By Amanda Cashin

We’re tying a different format for our Featured Trails. One of Hike NS’s board members, Amanda Cashin, has a blog of the hikes and adventures she takes. Her blog is called Beachcomber & Trail-Roamer. We’d like to share some of her blog postings with you.

On what may have been the coldest day in October to-date, I had a

beach day. It was a chilly 9 degrees and under overcast skies my partner and I enjoyed a hike at Caribou-Munroes Island Provincial Park. As we set out for our day trip to Pictou County we were hopeful; the sun was shining brightly and fluffy white clouds filled the sky. By the time we arrived along the Northumberland Shore though, it was down-right cold and the sun had started to disappear.

In typical Nova Scotia fashion though, the sun did show itself and warm our walk in short intervals. Cold or not, I’m not going to pass up a day at the beach. Read the full posting here.

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

Safe Hiker: An Introduction to Hiking Workshop

Hike NS envisions more Nova Scotians and visitors enjoying a broad network of places for hiking, walking and snowshoeing and doing so in a responsible manner. To realize this, we need to give hikers the skills and knowledge to do it safely, with minimal impact and with confidence. Hike Nova Scotia’s Safe Hiker Workshop aims to teach new and inexperienced hikers how to have safe, low-impact and enjoyable hiking experiences. It is supported by Mountain Equipment Co-op. Learn how your organization can host a Safe Hiker one-day workshop.

Blue Mountain Birch Cove Lakes Regional Park: Public Meeting May 31

From the Halifax North West Trails Association

Hello all,

We have just learned that HRM Staff and Chebucto Community Council will be hosting a Public Meeting on the future of Blue Mountain Birch Cove Lakes Regional Park at St Peters Church Hall, Dakin Drive and Kearney Lake Rd at the Bedford Highway. Come early (6:30 PM) to look at some new maps.

Halifax North West Trails has been involved since the early discussions about the proposed Regional Park and is excited to share that progress is being made.  HRM Staff and the Protected Areas Branch of NS Environment have been discussing a Grand Vision for the Regional Park and will be making a presentation at 7:00 PM followed by Q&A.  Next steps will be crafted over the next few months. Please come out and support this event.  We need strong (overwhelming) public support to convince HRM Regional Council that we are ready to move ahead to make the Regional Park a reality!!

See you on May 31st and bring your friends and neighbours so they can learn about this future park, destined to be the largest near-urban Wilderness Park in Canada!

This link with 3 Draft maps and more details was posted on May 22 by HRM. http://www.halifax.ca/RealPropertyPlanning/bluemountainbirchcovelakes.html

The scope of the proposed park and process to achieve its creation will be the focus of the meeting. We hope that the meeting will be informative and hope to see you there.

Please feel free to forward this information on to others.

Bob McDonald, Chair
Halifax North West Trails

Here is a recent news article on the park: http://thechronicleherald.ca/metro/99263-meeting-to-discuss-creation-of-new-park

Featured Trail: Crowbar Lake Hiking Trail

Trail Name: Crowbar Lake Hiking Trail

Location: Porters Lake, Halifax Regional Municipality   

Description: “This 18 kilometre hiking trail system offers a variety of scenic trail loops in a rugged, forested wilderness landscape of exposed, high ridges; and beautiful lakes and waterways. The trails are footpaths, suitable for single-file hiking. Most of this trail system is within Waverley-Salmon River Long Lake Wilderness Area.” There are four main trails, offering a variety of hiking lengths and challenges ranging from 1.5 kilometre to 18 kilometre.

Map: Find a map and directions here

Leave No Trace Tips: Be Considerate of Others

As part of our regular feature on the seven Leave No Trace Principles, we’re featuring Principle #7: Be Considerate of Others.

One of the most important components of outdoor ethics is to maintain courtesy toward other visitors. It helps everyone enjoy their outdoor experience. Many people come to the outdoors to listen to nature. Excessive noise, unleashed pets and damaged surroundings take away from everyone’s experience. So, keep the noise level down while traveling and if you bring a radio or music, use headphones so you will not disturb others. Also keep in mind that the feeling of solitude, especially in open areas, is enhanced when group size is small, contacts are infrequent and behavior is unobtrusive. To maximize your feeling of privacy, avoid trips on holidays and busy weekends or take a trip during the off season.

Groups leading or riding livestock have the right-of-way on trails. Hikers and bicyclists should move off the trail to the downhill side. Talk quietly to the riders as they pass, since horses are spooked easily.

Take rest breaks on durable surfaces well off the designated trail. Keep in mind that visitors to seldom used places require an extra commitment to travel quietly and lightly on the land. Click here for more details on being considerate of others, including campsite etiquette, how to lessen visual impacts, dog-owner etiquette and respecting the land.

Learn more about Leave No Trace Canada.

Winter Guided Snowshoe Hike Series

Hike Nova Scotia and its partners across the province present the Winter Guided Snowshoe Hike Series in January, February and March. Over 30 hikes are led by local folks. Participants qualify to win “trail prizes.” Hike NS thanks Mountain Equipment Co-op for it support.

Leave No Trace Tips: Respect Wildlife

As part of our regular feature on the seven Leave No Trace Principles, we’re featuring Principle #6: Respect Wildlife.

Learn about wildlife through quiet observation. Do not disturb wildlife or plants just for a “better look”. Observe wildlife from a distance so they are not scared or forced to flee. Large groups often cause more damage to the environment and can disturb wildlife so keep your group small. If you have a larger group, divide into smaller groups if possible to minimize your impacts.


Quick movements and loud noises are stressful to animals. Travel quietly and do not pursue, feed or force animals to flee. (One exception is in bear country where it is good to make a little noise so as not to startle the bears.) In hot or cold weather, disturbance can affect an animal’s ability to withstand the rigorous environment. Do not touch, get close to, feed or pick up wild animals. It is stressful to the animal, and it is possible that the animal may harbour rabies or other diseases. Sick or wounded animals can bite, peck or scratch and send you to the hospital. Young animals removed or touched by well-meaning people may cause the animal’s parents to abandon them. If you find sick animals or animal in trouble, notify a game warden. Click here for more details on respecting wildlife.

Learn more about Leave No Trace Canada.