Christmas Eve in Moschelle

Workers take a break from bridge repairs this Christmas Eve.  Our regular walk along the old train tracks crosses Sawmill Creek – from there you can see the Highway 201 bridge and its sorry state.  We’re really glad it is being repaired 🙂

Farther along the trail the Round Hill Brook flows into the Annapolis River via an aboiteau.  Osprey have incorporated bailing twine into the nest.

(Just in case you’re wondering what I’m doing online Christmas morning….waiting for my family to wake -up!)

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Melanson Settlement – early Acadian village site

Pre-Deportation Acadian Village location

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There is a lovely little walking path at this site, but in addition you can walk through the fields for a super view of the marsh below and the Annapolis River.  Walking this site is an absolutely marvelous way to experience the type of landscape found along the river during the Acadian period – dyked marshes and neighbouring uplands where people lived.

This site, known at the time as le point aux chènes, protects the below ground remains of a pre-deportation village typical of those found along the Annapolis River in the late 17th and early 18th centuries. It commemorates the Acadian villages that dotted the Annapolis River marshes in this area before the Deportation of 1755. – Depicted here in an image taken from the orientation panel at the site – drawn by Kevin Sollows.

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The Queen Anne Marsh is today partly farmed and partly being overtaken by low scrub.  It makes for difficult walking and following  our wet June and July is thick with mosquitoes and very healthy pricklies (canes and wild roses)!  So, I wouldn’t recommend walking down to the river from here. – At least not in shorts like we tried on Sunday!!  There is no path and the marsh is not part of the national historic site.

There are also some wickedly healthy hawthorne on the site.

MS hawthorne_7775The short loop path takes about 10 minutes to walk.  Walking to the uplands and back will take about an hour and is a nice easy hike, but does require good footwear since there is no path, the ground is uneven and crosses a small wet area.   The site is located on the road to Port-Royal NHS and makes a good stop to stretch your legs, before or after a visit to the Habitation.

Walking to Annapolis Royal – Part VIII

Marsh Road West to Moschelle

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On Sunday we walked the penultimate leg of this walk to Annapolis Royal.  We started out twice… cold rain sent us home to bring in the laundry the first time!  This is a great section of the trail for excellent views of the river. It swings by Sawmill Creek, woods and fields, and other un-named creeks that flow under the built-up rail-way bed.  In some places large amounts of earth have been gathered to form the rail bed raising the tracks over wet areas and creeks.  What great views passengers on train rides must have had!

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Today you may see Highland Cattle along the trail and on Sunday they were especially close.

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Wild peas are blooming now.  These flowers (maybe everlasting peas) can be seen in profusion along some parts of the trail.

wild-pea_6516-cv1The map shows where to park for this section of the walk.  Most access points have somewhere to park, but not all, so do check.

Annapolis River bank swallows

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Yes, I know, these posts are all about walking, but yesterday we went for short jaunt in the kayaks and I just have to mention it.  The water was so still – just like glass; and really easy paddling.  And: we paddled along a section of the Annapolis River where bank swallows would be nesting – if the nests we had identified last winter were indeed bank swallows … yes, there were swallows – bank swallows – swooping in and out of the nests, really little burrows in the river bank.  Pretty neat.  We were on a section of the river between Pré Rond Marsh and BelleIsle Marsh.  There are mud banks all up and down the river here, some hosting (or housing) just a few nests and others 20 or more.  (more photos)

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For the sticklers: yesterday’s location is not exactly in the same place as last winter’s photographs which were just a bit east along the BelleIsle Marsh side of the river, but I am sure it is bank swallows up and down the river – we cruised past several little colonies.

As a side benefit to my Walk to Annapolis Royal series (tagged under rails to trails), we had identified a new location to put the kayaks in the water.  It worked out beautifully.  Try the end of Wharf Road off highway 201.

Walking to Annapolis Royal – Part III

Tupperville to Tupperville

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Nova Scotia has place names every where.  Some are no more than the blink of an eye along a short stretch of road, others take longer and encompass a  real community.  Tupperville is several kilometers long – whether along highway 201 or along the rail bed.

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Our walk yesterday began in Tupperville and ended in Tupperville.  It was just a short walk, no more than a kilometer -or it would have been if we hadn’t got side tracked walking between fields to the Annapolis River.  The Annapolis River is full of curves and bows winding from Bridgetown to Annapolis. Our “short” side trip took us out into one of these curves (we had begun at the bottom of the bow). So, beware … a short walk may lead you to unexpected places.

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Our next section of this walk To Annapolis Royal will be considerably longer and take us from Tupperville to Round Hill.

rails-to-trails at Round Hill

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We took a little side trip on our walk today and followed the dirt path along the Round Hill River.   The day was overcast so the colours are particularly rich.  This easy path has the water on one side and fresh fields of new corn on the other.  A nice pasterol diversion.

We then backtracked to our original trail – the old train tracks in Round Hill.  This section of the old train route is a great way to see the Annapolis River – it follows the shoreline very closely and plants are low.

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Take the Round Hill Road towards the Annapolis River (north) and park along the edge where the road crosses the old train route.  Walk east, for the best  river views.  Check the map for specifics.

dykes and rail beds

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Annapolis Royal is surrounded by dykes.  This past weekend we had a delightful walk along a combination of old rail bed and dykes.  (The train ride must have had a superb view of the Annapolis River!)  Walking here will take you along the Allains Creek where it meets the Annapolis River and then follow this larger river west.  You can follow the old rail bed exclusively or you can take side jaunts out onto some dykes.  If you walk out onto the dykes and it is low tide, then you can even walk out onto some salt marshes.  Pretty neat – You’ll be right along the Annapolis River.  Be prepared, if you venture very far onto a salt marsh, it is muddy and mucky!

At one point a stone covered path leads down from the rail bed (also the dyke at that point) out to the salt marsh.  Here we found seaweed stranded by beach plantain. This salt resistant plant has extra thick leaves when compared to its more fragile cousins.

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Walk for as long as you like and then turn to retrace your steps.  The walk is just to the west of Annapolis Royal on highway #1.  Cross the Allains Creek bridge and be ready to turn and park on your right.  Check the map for the exact location.