Fundy Erratics offer buffet of hikes on Long Island

As Simple as That - a column by Jonathan Riley

Jonathan Riley, Digby Courier
Published on July 9, 2014

Long Island has a wealth of developed and traditional trails, each showcasing a particular shoreline with a particular geology and ecology and each highlighting a particular piece of the Island’s history and culture.

The Fundy Erratics are taking the ferry to Long Island on Sunday, July 13 to walk as many of these trails as possible.

Because summer weekends are busy, we have again built in two starting times.

I will meet the first group of hikers at the rink at 9:30 a.m. so we can leave Digby at 9:45 and catch the 10:30 ferry to Tiverton.

Greg will meet a second group for 12:30 p.m. leaving Digby at 12:45 to catch the 1:30 p.m. ferry.

For the first hike we will park out of the way in the marina parking lot, to the right just as you come off the ferry.

From there we will walk up hill on pave for 700 metres towards the lighthouse and then duck into the woods.

Although many of the Erratics have been up to the Althouse Look off before, Greg hasn’t, so the first group will have to mark the trailhead for the second bunch.

It’s sounds like an adventure already, doesn’t it?

This is probably as a good a time as any to mention that Greg might not actually be able to lead the afternoon hike– he is inline to become a grandfather

We’re hoping a leaderly type will sign up for afternoon hike and that I can talk them through the easy start and stops of three short hikes – just in case we get the good news.

The Althouse trails offers a breathtaking view of Tiverton and Petit Passage (the channel between the Neck and the Island) like you’ve never seen them before.

It is an easy walk which travels for a bit over the original road to the lighthouse.

We will also follow the new road all the way to Boar’s Head to see the lighthouse up close, play a bit on the rocks below the lighthouse and watch the tide as it rips and rolls around this headland.

If we’re lucky we might see whales, more likely seals.

(For those who did this hike with us before, we won’t be continuing on to Bear Cove, no matter how much you beg me.)

Then back to the cars and up the road just a couple clicks to the Balancing Rock Trail.

I’m particularly excited to see this trail now that Garnet McLaughlin (president of Hike Nova Scotia) has finished a realignment.

He’s added twists and turns to parts of the trail which before were straight as an arrow.

The trail starts with a boardwalk through a bog with interesting and colourful plant life, then climbs the ridge before plunging down to the shore on the St. Mary’s side.

A wooden stairway, with 200 plus steps, provide a stable and safe path down the basalt cliff – transporting us into another world and giving us a picture perfect view of that impossibly erect rock, literally balanced there on a pedestal.

The next hike is one Greg will probably skip because of time in the afternoon.

Again, just a few more kilometres down the road is the Central Grove provincial park and at the back of the park is a little trail that leads out to the Bay of Fundy.

It wanders around basalt outcrops and through scrubby Island forest.

The going here can (and given the recent weather should) be quite wet – so maybe throw in a pair of rubber boots for this walk.

The trail takes us to the usual basalt shore of Digby Neck and Islands, a great spot to lie back and just watch the waves roll in.

The (possibly) final hike of the day starts in Freeport—we will park past the ferry ramp and then walk back to downtown Freeport to the Freeport Community Development Association offices, which look like the former bank offices they are.

The Fundy View Trail starts here and again leads up over the ridge to the Bay of Fundy though this trail though has more meadow and grass and human history.

Here there are two observations decks and interpretative panels and near the shore we will see foundations of the homes of early settlers.

At the shore, we have a choice, depending on time and energy, of turning right and walking to Beautiful Cove and thence to supper, or turning left and heading round Fish Point direct to supper at Lavena’s.

At some point on this hike, the morning and afternoon hikes should join up so we can enjoy the Erratics first dinner out.

Greg and I need numbers ASAP so we can let Lavena know who is coming.

Please email me, FB us or call 245-8054 and let us know which hike and how many of you there are.