Until last fall I hadn't thought of Sackville as a place to enjoy a bit of nature. That was before I discovered Sackville Lakes Provincial Park. This past summer, the province of Nova Scotia designated the 292 hectare site along First and Second Lake in Lower Sackville as Sackville Lakes Provincial Park. The media buzz around this designation had me itching to lace up my hikers and check it out.
Intermixed with the spruce forests, we would pass berry shrubs and barrens until we started getting close to the edge and finally getting a good look at the Bedrock cliffs of Gaff Point. At this point, my hiking buddy was leashed to make sure he stayed on-trail. We went around the point clockwise, so a good portion of the hike was along the bedrock exposures. We took a moment to enjoy the fantastic views of the glacial till as we rounded the point. From here, we saw the more recent trail work keeping us dry as we cross the last few boggy sections.
I think a frog was the first to greet us, and then a few ducks. Next we were super excited to see something a little bigger moving toward us. It disappeared under water before we could identify it, but when it popped up again we realized that it was a beaver! I felt like one of those guys from a documentary wildlife show (Jack Hannah maybe?) as we sat quietly trying to get a closer look.
The beach was lined with an incredible fortress of driftwood that protected our private oasis. It was covered by smooth rocks tumbled by the extreme tides, with a strip of black sand that was perfect for walking. Sara and I enjoyed our surroundings while the kids decided to brave the chilly water. They were splashing about and having a blast!
The clockwise loop of the Rogart Mountain Trail crosses a few streams and old foundations along the way. The climb isn't very hard and the trail is well used. Once we started the final climb to the summit, you could see some great views including Nuttby Mountain, the highest peak in mainland Nova Scotia. The mix of hardwoods and maple trees made the hike very scenic, we could imagine how nice it would be in the fall.
We spent two days deep in the backcountry of Kejimkujik National Park. The proposed route this year was 48 kms of hiking and/or biking across both the northern & southern portions of the park. Park users can travel one of three ways: hiking, biking & paddling. Our route focused on hiking & biking.
Starting in 1793, York Redoubt was an important defensive piece of the British during its various conflicts with France. With straight line of sight to both the Halifax Citadel and Fort McNab, York Redoubt was the first line of defense as you approached the Halifax Harbour.
I decided to take the drive up to the Pomquet area, specifically to Monks Head to hike the local trails. We parked the car at Chez Deslauriers and checked out the trail map. The general area was settled by George Monk in 1784, the home that sits on top of the hill was moved to its current location sometime after the 1860's.
Being that it was November (with no leaves left on the trees) we had an extraordinary view of the water most of our way and we even saw a partridge! The funny thing is that it wasn't until two days later that I realized the connection... we saw a partridge... on "Partridge Island" - how cool!
The park offered two trails to explore, we decided to hike the longer Port Joli Loop. The trail featured more coastline. We hiked along the gravelled trail for about another kilometre until we got to the trailhead. I noted the colourful warning sign of bear activity in the area.
The terrain offers a challenge for anybody who has been wanting more than groomed trails. At many points along the trail, you will need to watch your step. There are plenty of views along the way, but one has to stop so that he/she doesn't trip. The added difficulty also means that you will be taking a lot longer to cover the distance.
Samuel de Champlain visited the Bay of Fundy in 1604 and legend has it that he named this area Cape d'Or because the copper minerals reflecting from the cliffs reminded him of gold. However, the copper was known to the local Mi'kmaq far before that time. Champlain found copper on the west side of the point.