Hiking Trails of Nova Scotia
by Michael Haynes (Goose Lane Editions)
© Michael Haynes/Goose Lane Editions. All Rights Reserved.
Drove up from Dartmouth to try this hike out. Happened by chance to be the only sunny spot in NS on this day.
The trail starts right off the highway outside antigonish in a grassy field with very informative signage (I definetly suggest a re-read after the trail is done). The best part of this trail is the diversity, you traverse through 11km of fields, marsh, and steep hills. To do the whole trail it took us about 3 hours, well groomed trail, however very hilly. An excellent workout.
There are a wide variety of loops in the system, making your walk very customizable. Along the way you'll find signs to guide and handy topographic trail maps (gives you a heads up for those steep climbs).
Don't forget to take a friend and share the view from the "Friendship Bench"!!!
We are from Philadelphia and I was giving a talk in Halifax, so we rented a car and headed up to Antigonish for some hiking. The trick is to choose your weather. My wife and I, both moderately-fit hikers in our mid-to-late 50s, chose a day in which the sun shone constantly - not one drop of rain fell on us and the temperature peaked at about 68F (20C). The evening before had been torrential, and the two days following were bone-chilling. After walking across the field and into the woods, we were delighted to immediately spot a beaver in the stream - he swam beside our path for a hundred feet or so, almost as a welcoming guide. We managed the 1200 foot ascent with occasional pauses along the way (I've got bad lungs from prior blood clots) and reached the "point of mandatory return" in about 1'45". Both of us were a little disappointed at the anticlimactic peak - it was just a turnaround spot in the woods, rather than a grand scenic vista. Nonetheless, we tempered our disappointment on the way back as some of the scenery was magnificent - the gulleys, the distant coves and ocean, the impossibly green fields. Difficulty Grade 3 (of 5) is about right; you'll get your heart rate up on a few of the rises, but even old fogeys like us got a great workout in a beautiful location. Worth the drive from Halifax.
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