I think we live in one of the best places in the world for hiking. Ocean vistas, waterfalls, mountains, rivers and valleys. Whether on a railway bed, local urban path or at one of the many provincial or national parks, the choices are endless. Best of all you don’t need to be an experienced hiker to enjoy all that nature has provided. Hikes are frequently rated these days so you always have a choice, from easy to challenging. Hiking is a perfect activity to connect adults and children providing a unique opportunity to explore and discover together.
Take Taylor Head for example, a gorgeous provincial park and one that I have wanted to visit for quite a few years now. This park and it’s trails are regarded by hiking author Michael Haynes as one of his favourites. I finally had the chance to explore this area. There are several trails to choose from and clearly colour coded with ratings. It was nice to know how long the hike would take so that you could plan out how much of it you wanted to do and they all end at the beach which was great! Definitely worth the effort to get there.
Hiking is something that does not take a lot of equipment or financial investment. Some sensible walking shoes, water and snacks in a backpack and you are good to go. Even if you have never walked before it is something that you can easily work into. Start off with 10 or 15 minute walks and go from there. Something as simple as a walk in the park to begin. Take your time on a hike, stop frequently as many hikes have marked spots to take in the view. You never know what or who you may see.
Your local recreation department can be a good place to start for maps of local trails. Check out Hike Nova Scotia http://www.hikenovascotia.ca/ and Nova Scotia Trails http://www.novascotiatrails.com/ for inspiration and information. These groups are always ready to encourage Nova Scotians to get out and discover our province. It’s good for the mind and the body and so easy - just put one foot in front of the other.
The library has several books that can start you on the path of becoming a hiker. Check out these titles. Have fun!
Manager, Special Collection Access Services
Annapolis Valley Regional Library