The view near the Wolfville Watershed Nature Preserve across a part of the Minas Basin to Cape Blomidon is excellent – truly. Last Sunday Scotian Hiker and co. completed a loop hike around part of the preserve. Many in the group had been there on previous hikes and even skied there years ago, but for some of us, it was our first time. I am so glad I found the time to go. It is a fabulous walk through some of Nova Scotia’s rare old growth hemlock forest. The preservation of these 605 acres is the result of an agreement between the town of Wolfville and the Nova Scotia Nature Trust. Following Ravine Trail led us over an old concrete dam – part of the old water supply system (and still a back-up system) for Wolfville. This dam is along either the Duncanson Brook or Little Indian Brook as is this waterfall. There are now at least two rough trails in the preserve as well as the parking lot. The preserve is fairly close to Wolfville, but definitely off the beaten track, so it is important to plan how you will get there. Check the map.
Driving home today, I stopped in Wolfville to stretch my legs and ended up spending an hour at the Harriet Irving Botanical Gardens at Acadia University. This botanical garden features plants native to the region. It is part of the KC Irving Environmental Science Centre and has gardens, trails, woods, programs for the public, and a research program – pretty neat if you like plants.
You can begin your walking tour in a walled garden then gradually work your way to the woods by way of the trial gardens, and a beautiful landscape complete with fountain. The trails wend their way through old fields and an overgrown old field and an old field that was planted with Norway Spruce as an experimental farm in the 1960’s. The gardens cover about 6 acres and if you walk the perimeter to the farthest reaches you’ll be walking uphill about half the time. At one point the trail crosses a power line and affords a great view back down to the campus and on to the Black River which empties into the Minas Basin. And more pictures…
The is a great place for a challenging town walk surrounded by plants and if you like information about plants and habitats there are excellent interpretive panels along the trail. Check out the trail map before setting out if you are a planner, otherwise, just head up hill. Located on campus at Acadia University this map will help.