The Fundy Erratics are returning to Digby Neck for a 7.5-kilometre Father’s Day hike, but this time on the St. Mary’s Bay side.
Although we will be walking between Centreville and Sandy Cove again, the St. Mary’s shore is something completely different from the Fundy shore, where we walked last time.
Instead of smooth basalt, we’ll be walking on a cobble or loose rock-covered beach. But the beach is level with none of the stepping or climbing up and down like we had last month.
You have to be attentive on the cobble but if we walk at an easy pace, and we will walk at an easy pace, the going is easy enough with no barriers or challenges at all.
The only hills are going and coming from the shore, at the beginning and end of the hike, and for that we’ll walk on good trails.
We’ll start on a dirt road just west of Lake Midway and walk two kilometres from Hwy 217 to the shore. It should be a pleasant enough walk in the woods if steadily, steadily up hill.
We’ll cross over the old road between Centreville and Sandy Cove (which is itself worth a walk some day in the future).
To get down to the shore, we will duck under some spruce tree branches and head off along a new four-wheeler trail – no ruts or muddy spots but a well cleared path. It is not marked and takes some effort to stay on, but I’m confident I know the way now.
The trail meanders through beautiful Digby Neck woods past an amazing moss-covered rock wall 200 metres long.
The long forgotten fence or road boundary is worth the hike by itself – but there’s more.
It’s two km to the shore and three and a half on the shore to reach T.R.’s Cove. The St. Mary’s Bay side tends to be quieter and more peaceful but the wrong wind can make it a lively spot. The tide will be falling as we walk.
At T.R.’s Cove we will follow a little trail to the top of Digby County’s best waterfall. The more adventurous can climb down a rope-lined goat path to stand beside or even in the falls. Bring your swim trunks.
It’s another two km from the falls to the Sandy Cove wharf where we will have parked our vehicles.
You’ll want sturdy walking shoes or boots and food or water for four hours on the trail. And don’t forget the sunscreen and bug dope.
All in all, the hike is of moderate difficulty – walking on the cobble takes a little more effort than you might expect but not bad.
Meet at the Digby rink parking lot at 1:15 p.m. for a 1:30 departure. We can meet Digby Neck folks at the old fish plant by Lake Midway near 2 p.m.
Greg and I are looking forward to showing you this beautiful stretch of Digby County shoreline. More information and last minute announcements on Facebook.
[Last week's column on the Leave No Trace ethic for hikers: Let us walk softly on the Earth ]