Pull on the woolies and pack a few snacks, it's time to hit the trails at Ellenwood Park for some winter fun.
From May 16 to September 1, this 280-acre provincial park is a popular destination for campers and others looking for top quality canoeing, supervised lake swimming, hiking and boating. However a small group of volunteers, the Friends of Ellenwood Park, have continued the tradition of active recreation throughout the shoulder seasons, from mid-September until the end of April.
On weekends where you're just itching to get out and enjoy some winter activity, there's a good chance a Friends volunteer is already waiting at the cabin on-site, lighting a fire in the woodstove, and setting out the hot chocolate in preparation for a warm-up break.
These volunteers are delighted with this winter's unusually snowy weather. More people than ever before have visited the property to take advantage of the loan of free cross-country skis and boots to hit the trails. A trail groomer, obtained last year, is improving visitor experience even more.
The Friends have done a stellar job in organizing events as well. To date, they've hosted Guides, Brownies, and Scouts outings, Christmas carol singing with cookies and cider, a pine cone bird feeder workshop, camping primer, full moon potluck dinner, senior's picnic, yoga in the park, fly-tying workshop, nature scavenger hunt, photo safari, lost in the woods with Department of Natural Resources and much more.
NOTE: The entrance gate is locked from mid-Sept. to May and visitors must walk approximately 10 minutes to reach the cabin and trails. A shuttle service is provided on rare occasions for events catering to senior citizens.
Ellenwood Lake Provincial Park is located 12 miles northeast of Yarmouth and has an 87-site campground, two picnic areas, a boat launch, a supervised beach (in season) and several hiking trails. The shoreline holds some of Nova Scotia's rare plants, and lakes have both brown and speckled trout, chain pickerel and Atlantic salmon. The 2014 camping season is from May 16 - September 1.