Keji Seaside – in the wind

Kejimkujik National Park - Seaside

Excellent day hiking at Kejimkujik Seaside.  We walked the trail counter clock-wise out around Port Joli Head and that direction was a most excellent choice because the wind was really blowing!  Gusts up to 50 k (at a guess) and it was cold!  But with the wind at our backs, the ground frozen and the sun shining we had a first rate day.

To start we headed into the wind across a large wetland/bog typical of this coastal area.  The spruce are scrubby and often low and spreading under the influence of the constant wind.

Nova Scotia shoreline spruce

Generally the path is in very good condition with gravel, and boardwalk. In a some sections of the trail is beaten dirt. We were fortunate that the temperature was below freezing so the ground was frozen is these places, since it can sometimes be soft and mucky.

Kejimkujik Seaside, trail

Other posts about Kejimkujik Seaside can be found in 2009 and 2011 under shoreline or search Keji.  The general map has directions.

after-storm-waves

Storm waves_Nova ScotiaNova Scotia has an abundance of shoreline and after storms the waves are really something! A couple weeks ago we were traveling along Nova Scotia’s southshore where we stopped for a walk along a shore near Sandy Beach Road.  The rain was just about to end and the waves – just marvelous.

after storm waves in Nova ScotiaThe walk itself is pretty short.  In boots or during the summer you could walk much farther along the beach after crossing a stream from Moose Creek Pond.  Check out the map to find the spot.

Moose Creek Pond

Thomas Raddall – provincial park

provincial park - Thomas RaddalNova Scotia has a great collection of provincial parks and I’ve heard great things about Thomas Raddall.  I’ve wanted to go for ages and so was thrilled to finally get there this week.   Of course the gate was closed, so we walked three kilometers on squishy gravel road to get to the first “parking area” and trails.  We had taken our snow shoes, anticipating snow, but the road in was clear so we left them in the car. That did mean though that we had to more or less stick to easy walking as we explored.

We walked to the beach, a marvelous beach.  We took the Sandy Beach Trail, a short loop trail, from the beach back to the “parking” area. There are lots of other trails and we will definitely be back in the summer.

Thomas Raddall provincial parkThomas Raddall provincial park is just over two hours southwest from Halifax, along the south shore. The provincial website has an online map which is good for orientation, but the map in the brochure (available as a pdf file) is better.

Notes:   1) Because I really wanted to show the effect of the stream coming to the shore the beach picture is stitched – sorry for the difference in lighting.  This picture looks toward the area (Sandy Bay) now protected by the Nature Conservancy of Canada.    2) Thomas H. Raddall was one of Canada’s and Nova Scotia’s foremost authors and historians.

Nova Scotia Beaches

sandy beach in Nova Scotia Canada

It is pouring rain today, so here is a bit about sunshine beaches in Nova Scotia.  Living close (at least closer than two years ago) to the ocean is one of life’s pleasures, as is being able to walk on the beach; and any type of beach – sandy, rocky, cobbles, covered in seaweed, or squishy mud – will do.

Last weekend was a beach weekend, four in two days.  Kejimkujik National Park – Seaside was one and two others were:  Carters Beach and Summerville Beach provincial park.  These beaches are easy to find and have parking too.

sandy nova scotian beach

A friend recommended Carters Beach as the place to find sand dollars.  And indeed, we did find more than the usual number.  Carters Beach is actually a series of three beaches.  We only walked the first; a stream separated us from the next two.  Access to the beach was down a rocky bank, not for everyone, but the beach is lovely and sandy.

Summerville Beach provincial park is a marvelous sandy beach. It is very close to the road and access is easy since as a provincial park there is a boardwalk and stairs to the beach.   Down-loadable coordinates for all provincial parks can be found here. And if you would like to share your experience NSbeaches.com is the place.

Across hikesilike the best way to find beaches is to use the tag shoreline since I began posting by including the shorelines of streams, rivers, ponds, lakes and the Bay of Fundy as well as the ocean beaches of Nova Scotia.

Kejimkujik Seaside – a delight

Kejimkujik Seaside, national park, Nova Scotian beach

Beaches, beaches and more beaches.  This past weekend I had the pleasure of walking on three different Nova Scotian beaches.  The last beach was at the Kejimkujik Seaside, a part of Kejimkujik  National Park.  There we walked from the parking lot across about 2 km of barrens to the shore where we took to “shorter” path along the shore in a northerly (left) direction.  This map shows the alternate paths.  The walking for the first couple kilometers is not difficult, but the beach walking includes cobbles and rocks where some climbing is necessary to get to the great views and to best see the seals.

There are always great things to photograph at the beach.  Small streams of water create fascinating patterns in the sand that this photographer could not resist.

The longer walk around Port Jolie Head is also a great walk.

Barrens and lichen by the shore

Somewhere between Peggys Cove and West Dover we set out walking to explore a small piece of Nova Scotia shoreline, barrens two days ago.  Lichens are one of the most striking features of these barrens.  Nova Scotia has hundreds of types of lichens and they come in an array of colours and forms.  Maybe it is the combination of algae and fungus (in symbiosis) that lends lichens their great variety – a closer look for the keener!

A general introduction to lichens in Nova Scotia is available through the Nova Scotia Museum website.

Most of the paths on these barrens are paths worn by people over time – not “officially” planned routes – some lead to unexpected ends.  We ended up scrambling down a short cliff after following our noses along a path as a short cut back to the car before dark.

The shoreline is spectacular in the style of Peggys Cove – spare and windswept – without the small village setting.

A family member showed us where to park along highway 333, but really any good spot to stop (ie a parking lot) should be fine.  Between Indian Harbour, NS and West Dover, NS much of the land is crown land and there are a multitude of paths.  I have marked where I think (GPS not working properly!) we were on my map to provide a sense of the area. The Nova Scotia Atlas is a great resource indicating public lands.

Peggy’s Cove

Yes, I know this isn’t really in the Annapolis Valley, far from it in fact; but it is down the road from my current (temporary) residence.  Today the weather was fine and I was home early so I just went on down the road for a quick walk and a moment of quiet contemplation.  Hard to believe, isn’t it?  But at this time of year at the end of a crisp fall (okay almost winter) day there were few people there.  The waves were soothing and I had lots of space to myself.  The sunset was just lovely today along the shore.  Radio shows were even remarking in how fine it was!  So I took a shot or two and  will add mine to the millions of others that must have been taken over the years.  Try flickr for some of the ‘few’.

Peggy's Cove NS_8283

Peggy’s Cove and the lighthouse found there is a Nova Scotian icon.  A visit is a must for many visitors to the province.  Most provincial maps will point the way and the signage is good.  Allow plenty of time from Halifax (an hour and a half) whether you are coming on the old highway or the main highway (no. 103, exit no.5).

Walking in the area is limited on the rocks, but the area does contain lots of land on the landward side of the road where you can walk.  More on this in a later post.