The Erratics first winter hike – snowshoeing?

Jonathan Riley
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As Simple as That - a column by Jonathan Riley

The Fundy Erratics are going snowshoeing.

Well if not snowshoeing, we’ll at least go for a sweet winter walk.

We’ve picked a short but hilly trail through a very scenic little piece of woods.

The hike is planned for Saturday, Jan. 18 –we’re hoping someone can arrange for a big dump of snow. And accordingly, we’ve made plans for people who don’t have their own snowshoes—read on.

The trail is actually a public (K-class) unmaintained road but some of the trail extensions do pass through private property. I had a great talk with the landowners who are very excited to see people get out and use the trails.

Still, for now I’m going to keep the exact location to myself. I will say it is only about a 15-minute drive from the rink.

The hike would be about 4 kilometres total – not long but the trail is steep in parts and does demand a certain degree of fitness and mobility.

The trail passes up through several forest types – from lowland spruce, into hemlock and then into upland hardwoods.

Highlights include great views of the surrounding countryside through the bare hardwood canopy, one extremely large tree, a meandering stream lined with tall shady hemlocks, a deep ravine and the piece de resistance, a large waterfall.

The waterfall and stream are a little hidden by snow at this time of year, but once we’ve shown you the path, you’ll be able to come back in spring when I hear the falls are at their best.

The twisty trails are perfectly suited for snowshoeing and are kept well-tracked by the landowners.

The forecast at this point doesn’t hold much snow but who knows. If conditions look real bad – real rainy or icy or something equally miserable than we’ll look at postponing to the next day or the next Saturday.

We have talked to Digby Area Recreation and we should be able to get snowshoes for anyone who doesn’t own a pair – but you’ll have to let us know in advance.

If the weather looks nice, but snowless, we’ll go anyway but that would mean ice, I imagine –but a better view of the waterfalls—a trade off.

Also we’ll be out in the cold for a couple hours– you’ll want to dress in layers so you can remove outer layers as you heat up. You’ll want to wear a base layer (not cotton) that wicks away moisture (sweat) and an outer layer that doesn’t get wet from snow or melting snow.

Warm sturdy winter hiking boots are best.

You should bring a snack for energy and a drink – a small thermos of tea or coffee is always a good idea on a winter hike.

We’ve kept the distance small because winter hiking, let alone snowshoeing, is something new for the group but I’m sure you’ll enjoy this little gem of a trail.

The plan at this point is to meet at the rink at 10 a.m. on the 18th.

As always, let us know if you’re coming, either on the Fundy Erratics Facebook group, by email (see below) or call me at the Courier office. Also let us know if we have to get snowshoes for you.

The best way to keep up-to-date with last minute change of plans is of course the Facebook group, or you can let myself or Greg Turner know you want to come and make a point of telling us you don’t have Facebook.

jriley@digbycourier.ca

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