Annapolis Royal celebrated in song

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Annapolis Royal shares shoreline, natural beauty, walking trails and culture (of all kinds) with any who care to stroll or hike through town – residents and visitors alike.  CBC is commissioning 13 songs about 13 places in Canada.  Annapolis Royal should be one of them.  Check out the Great Canadian Song Quest and vote (from October 12 – 23).

I know this post isn’t about walking, but what better place to walk than a small Nova Scotian town?  And Annapolis Royal is one of the best – everything is close and yet still leaves you time for a great tromp.  You can walk on the shore or on a board walk, you can walk by a marsh, or along an old rail way bed or in the woods.  My favorite Annapolis Walks are on the maps tab at map #3.  One of these walks will take you along Lower Saint George Street where the remains of the many wharves from an earlier era line the shore.

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And there are still more if you visit our town.

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Walking to Annapolis Royal – Arrival

Moschelle to Annapolis Royal

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This is it…we’ve walked the whole way from Bridgetown to Annapolis Royal following on the old rail way bed – Yeah!  This last section (or first if you begin in Annapolis Royal)  begins where the trail crosses the road that the 74th Crusaders, a motorcycle club, use to go to their camp.

This link in the trail is one of the most overgrown and shady – a fine thing on a hot August day.

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It passes a dyked marsh still used  as pasture land today, an un-named creek (home to ducks and beaver), and enters the town of Annapolis Royal perimeter.

The town of Annapolis Royal has chosen to make the section of the rail bed that crosses the town accessible to non-motorized traffic only.  This has   dramatically changed the look and experience you will see/have on the trail.

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AR rtot soccer_7223 Today is Saturday of the Natal Day weekend and the Annapolis Royal soccer tournament is in full swing.  The trail passes close to the high school and several fields.  Great to hear the sounds of games in play.  We took a quick peek.

Although the trail actually crosses town and continues, a good place to end this town to town trek is by the old railway station where there is parking. Parking is also possible on the Historic Gardens overflow parking which adjoins the  trail.  AR rtot entrance_7237 cv1

new map – hikes i like favorites

Just in time for Walkfest in Annapolis Royal.

There are lots of places to walk in Annapolis Royal and the town is developing a trail system.  I have some favorites and I wanted to share them so with the help of Todd Graphic here is a map that collects my top picks.  Over the coming weeks, I’ll post about each one.  One of the most popular in town and a great lunchtime or after dinner stroll is the French Basin Trail.

Fr-Basin-tr_4443-cropLots of nature to see:

Fr-Basin-tr_4470-cropMuskrat and wood duck with ducklings:

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Water, water everywhere – frozen at Fort Anne

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The ice was just wicked today.  No path in town was safe.  At Fort Anne National Historic Site the perimeter walking trail is always open, but not maintained in winter.  So on a day like today its worth checking out, but beware!  I made the trek around for the wonderful view of the river, the Annapolis River.  And actually it was a good walk as long as I followed the path  – on the grass beside the path.  Usually this is a very quick walk, about 15-20 minutes.  Today it took a bit longer, what with sliding over ice and climbing a few ramparts.

This walk is just right for a busy day when you want to get out and do a few errands at the same time.

For a great view of the Annapolis River stand on the edge of flag bastion and look down, down river – west towards Digby.  Today we could just make out Goat Island, but on a clear day you will be able to see Digby (or its lights at night).

fa-flag-bastion_1964Standing on the edge of the flag bastion you are about 20-25 feet above sea level, see the shore below.

Dusk around the basin

Dusk at this time of year lasts a long time; time enough to walk the French Basin Trail in Annapolis Royal. Half an hour or less is all it takes if you begin from the parking lot and do the loop at a brisk pace.  Of course, if you stop to admire the ducks, check the cattails or take pictures, it may take a bit longer.  Friends have reported fox, and deer at other times of year and I’ve seen heron, all sorts of ducks and other birds.

This easy trail leads around a dyked marsh which now encloses a large pond and through a small wooded area. The interpretive signs, present in the summer, point out aspects of local nature and the work of the marsh as a tertiary (or later) step in the town’s sewage water treatment system. For directions try the map or the town’s walking map.

across the water and town to the south moutain

looking across the pond and town to South Moutain

Lunch walk

“Do you enjoy a quick walk at lunch? How about a leisurely stroll after supper?” And so might begin a brochure promoting the boardwalk in Annapolis Royal, NS.  I love the shore, any shore, and this boardwalk takes me there as it meets marsh and rock along the Annapolis River.  Hidden behind stores and buildings along Saint George St. (the main street) you will find the entrance between King’s Theatre and the wharf at one end and by town hall at the other end.   This very short walk is fun because it puts you right by the river; you can smell the salt, see the effects of the tide, gaze all the way down the river to Digby; and if you want to, lounge on a bench and absorb the sun while you lunch.

Annapolis Royal river and boardwalk

Annapolis Royal river and boardwalk – fall colours.

Where is Annapolis Royal, NS?  Check out the maps.