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Don’t hibernate this winter, go snowshoeing in the Valley instead

You could stay indoors and hibernate, but Hike Nova Scotia said the better option is to get outside and go snowshoeing. There’s a long list of snowshoe treks in the Annapolis Valley over the next few months.
You could stay indoors and hibernate, but Hike Nova Scotia said the better option is to get outside and go snowshoeing. There’s a long list of snowshoe treks in the Annapolis Valley over the next few months. - Lawrence Powell

ANNAPOLIS VALLEY, NS - The weather gurus say this winter will be colder and snowier than past years and Hike Nova Scotia says bring it on!

Rather than hibernate until spring, the provincial group hopes people will get out on the trails, perhaps using snowshoes.

“Some people think of winter as a time to stay indoors, but we think it’s a great time to experience nature and get in some physical activity,” says Janet Barlow, Hike NS executive director. “Now more than ever there are guided winter hikes and places where you can borrow, rent, or buy snowshoes.”

Hike NS and 20 host organizations partnered up to offer the Winter Guided Hike Series in January, February, and March. There are 50 hikes are scheduled provincewide, led by local folks and participants qualify to win trail prizes. Hikes are free or low-cost and pre-registration is required unless otherwise indicated. Most are snowshoeing events or just regular hikes if there’s no snow.

The full schedule with registration details and directions is found at www.hikenovascotia.ca. Hike NS thanks its local partners for organizing the hikes on the ground as well as MEC, Goose Lane Editions and the NS Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage for their support. Hike NS encourages and promotes a growing hiking culture throughout the province, striving to be the voice for those who hike, walk, and snowshoe.

Wondering where to find snowshoes? Not to worry, since you can easily find snowshoes to borrow, rent, or buy using Hike NS’s online guide, with more than 90 listings. There are at least 65 venues listed where you can borrow them for free.

Following are upcoming hikes in the Annapolis Valley:

Jan. 19 at 10 a.m. -- Winter Guided Hike at The Gorge, Kentville. Snowshoe event (will be a hike if no snow). Meet at 53 Gladys Porter Drive. Parking is available at the trailhead. If there's enough snow we can snowshoe, if not, we will hike. Snowshoes available to borrow from Town Hall Monday to Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Feb. 1 at 7 p.m. -- Full Moon Snowshoe Stomp at Irishman’s Road Recreation Site, Newport Station. Snowshoe event (will be a hike if no snow). Pre-register: 902-798-6929 or westhants@westhants.ca. Meet at Irishman’s Road Recreation Site. This is a beautiful trail through the woods and well marked. If you do not have snowshoes, you can contact the West Hants office and book a pair in advance (limited quantities). Windsor Recreation also has pairs available. Feel free to come hike if you cannot access snowshoes. Afterwards we will have treats and prize draws.

Feb. 2 at 1 p.m. -- Avondale trail system Avondale Snowshoe event (will be a hike if no snow). Pre-register at tinyurl.com/y77wfr5u. Meet at the Avondale Community Hall parking lot trailhead at 50 Avondale Cross Road. We will offer two hikes at the same time: Westbrook trail (2.5 km), and the entire trail system (5 km).

Feb. 3 at 1 p.m. -- Harvest Moon Trail, Wilmot Snowshoe event (will be a hike if no snow). Pre-register at www.annapoliscounty.ca. Meet at the Wilmot Fellowship Centre (208 Dodge Road) in Wilmot. At the end of the hike six hikers will show some pictures and talk about their three-day trip from Grand Pré to Annapolis Royal along the Harvest Moon Trail.

Feb. 9 at 6 p.m. -- Primrose Trail, Canning snowshoe event (cancelled if no snow.) Pre-register at property@artscentre.ca. Free with your own snowshoes, $10 for rental. Meet at the Arts Centre at 555 Ross Creek Road, Canning. This is a torchlight snowshoe hike.

Feb. 9 at 10 a.m. -- Guided hike snowshoe event at the Kentville Ravine, (will be a hike if no snow). Meet at 32 Main Street. Drive up the hill beyond the Research Station (following signs for picnic area). Meet at the top parking lot near the picnic shelter. If there's enough snow we can snowshoe, if not, we will hike. Snowshoes available to borrow from Town Hall Monday to Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Feb. 10 at 1 p.m. -- Community Art and Snowshoe Day, Canning snowshoe event (will be a hike if no snow). Pre-register at property@artscentre.ca. Free with your own snowshoes, $10 for rental. Meet at the Arts Centre at 555 Ross Creek Rd, Canning. The snowshoe hike will be in combination with a Community Arts day we are having from 1 to 4 p.m. There will be food, music and art!

Feb. 10 at 1 p.m. -- South Shore Annapolis Valley Trail, Nictaux snowshoe event (will be a hike if no snow). Pre-register at www.annapoliscounty.ca. Meet in the parking lot of the Middleton/ Nictaux Lions Club Hall (8921 Highway 10) in Nictaux.

Feb. 10 at 12:30 p.m. -- Forest Lakes Multi-Purpose Trail System, Forest Lakes, Ardoise snowshoe event (will be a hike if no snow). RSVP for food/drink at https://info.forestlakescountryclub. ca/winter-hike/. Biologist to conduct guided tour. Meet at the Lodge at 40 Eagle View Drive, Ardoise. Natural ground and perfect for all ages, the Forest Lakes multi-purpose trail system is perfect all year round for hiking, biking, jogging, cross-country skiing, and more.

Feb. 15 at 6 p.m. -- French Basin Trail, Annapolis Royal snowshoe event (will be a hike if no snow). Pre-register at www.annapoliscounty.ca. Meet in the parking lot at 112 Prince Albert Street in Annapolis Royal. We’re concluding the Annapolis County hike series with a magical moonlight hike. We have partnered with the Town of Annapolis Royal to offer this spectacular evening. Join us for a fun night of snowshoeing, hot chocolate, and warming your hands by a bonfire.

Feb. 16 at 9:45 a.m. -- Winter tracking, Kentville Ravine snowshoe event (will be a hike if no snow). Meet by the upper trailhead parking lot behind the Kentville Research Station (see map at www.paulillsley.com/Kentville_Ravine_Trail/). We welcome all ages and abilities - see Welcome page on website on how we format our outings.

Feb. 17 at 3:30 p.m. -- Family Day Winter Hike Cheverie Salt Marsh Trail, Cheverie hike-only event (no snowshoes). Pre-register at 902-798-6929 or westhants@westhants.ca. Meet at the parking area along side the road. The 1km trail (2km return) offers stunning views of the salt marsh as it winds through the adjacent woods. This family friendly hike will have activities and prizes along the way to celebrate Family Day. Dress for the weather please. There will be a special treat after the hike around a bonfire (weather depending).

March 2 at 6 p.m. -- Torchlight Snowshoe, Canning Snowshoe event (cancelled if no snow). Free with your own snowshoes, $10 for rental. Meet at the Arts Centre at 555 Ross Creek Road, Canning. The hike will be guided by our environmental educator. We will meet in the lobby of the Arts Centre. The trail is along our Primrose path that loops in and out of our old growth Acadian forest.

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