Walking Trails for Seniors in Northeastern Nova Scotia
Walking is good for the body heart and soul. It is not only for the exercise, but we are blessed in having a variety of nature experiences close at hand. I find that learning about the plants adds to the interest and these change as the seasons pass. Enjoy the outdoors and fresh air as we are heading into autumn colours. These selected trails are for seniors and people looking for an easy trail to enjoy the outdoors. Locations are based in Antigonish or noted distance from Antigonish.
By Denise Davies
Some of these walks are excerpted from the Out and About Antigonish book where you can find maps and additional details. The book is available at The Curious Cat Tea and Books and Antigonish 5 to $.
1.5KM trail. The entrance is on Adam St. near Granny’s Antiques or from the Landing Road near Tony’s Meats on Hwy 337. This level gravel path along the Antigonish wetlands provides changing views of the water and farmlands of Williams Point on the far side. Every season brings new wildflowers and blossoms, ducks and water birds, eagles and ospreys. A mid-way raised viewing platform is wheelchair / stroller accessible.
Just past St. Martha’s Regional Hospital turn left on the Bethany entrance on the left. The Motherhouse of the Sisters of St. Martha stood on these grounds for almost 100 years. The grounds have several areas to walk and enjoy nature. Throughout the area the Arboretum includes 25 selected trees which are marked with the name of the species and a dedication to a person or event. More trees will be added over the years to come.
Saint Theresa’s Garden with its pond, flower beds and beautiful water lilies and peaceful path are a delight in every season. The short Sacred Heart Forest Trail leads from St. Theresa’s Garden to the Sacred Heart Grove through old growth forest. This is a lovely shady walk for hot summer days.
The new Bethany Centennial Garden includes a heritage walk with interpretive panels marking significant events in the St. Martha’s history. A reflecting pond with the steeple of the Bethany Chapel is a peaceful spot for meditation by the flowing fountain.
Columbus Field on Main Street has a track for walking (or running!), quiet trails through the woods as well as tennis courts, a dog park and a playground. It is next to Club 60.
Take exit 30 off of Hwy 104 West and follow the signs to The Keppoch. This is a community run and managed, all season, recreation area with trails for walking, hiking, biking, mountain biking, snow sledding, cross country skiing and snowshoeing. Member and day use fees.
Take exit 30 off of Hwy 104 West. Turn left, cross the overpass and turn right on Beaver Mountain Rd past the Riverside Speedway. Note that there may be some road construction for the next year or so. A 6Km series of trails with varying levels of difficulty wind through wooded areas. The main trail is paved and wheelchair accessible. Gorgeous view overlooking Antigonish County.
Jitney Trail, Pictou
The Jitney Trail in Pictou is a beautiful recreational trail (3 KM) with interpretive panels from Pictou’s waterfront starting near the Ship Hector, to Brown’s Point.
The trail meets up with the Pictou to Oxford section of the Short Line Railway Trail (127 KM). The trail is a former rail bed along the Northumberland Strait and passes
Samson Trail, New Glasgow
The Samson Trail is a 4km trail along the river in New Glasgow. A perfect easy trail to enjoy a walk with beautiful views. Enjoy the lovely walking and biking paths along both sides of the river with over 6KM of riverside trails.
Black Duck Cove
The Black Duck Cove Provincial Park in Little Dover has a series of boardwalks and walking trails that lead around the nature area with a variety of vegetation and views of the Atlantic Ocean. The swimming beach has lovely soft sand and a protected beach. Benches and picnic tables make it easy to stop and relax whether you are a swimmer or not. The Canteen at the parking entrance has ice cream and meals with picnic tables and benches in the sun or shade. Locals as well as visitors frequent the place as it is one of the few places available for food in the area. (check if open)
The Shoreline Walking Trail starts at the end of Guysborough Main Street and winds along Chedabucto Bay along a grassy track. Interpretive trail signs describe the history dating back to the 1600s when the area was buzzing with ship building and a large vibrant port. For a longer hike, the Trans Canada trail runs through Guysborough (45KM) on the bed of a railway abandoned in the 1930s. The Guysborough Trail was the first section of the Trans-Canada Trail to open in Nova Scotia. It offers a spectacular view from the McAlister Bridge and portions of the trail go along the scenic Chedabucto Bay and other portions along the Salmon River, across a suspension bridge and views of beautiful waterfalls.
Boylston Provincial Park has picnic tables and grassy area with lovely views of Chedabucto Bay. Walk down to the left of the entrance gate along a shady boardwalk to take you to a footbridge over to a small island. A swimming, beach walking looking for pebbles and a shady island path are fun for the whole family. The park is just a few KM before you reach Guysborough town.
Celtic Shores Cape Breton
For hikers and bikers, the Celtic Shore Coastal Trail winds along the coast of Cape Breton from Port Hastings to Inverness. This 92KM all-purpose trail is relatively level and built on the bed of old railway tracks. It is well surfaced with many entry points along Hwy 19. Interpretive signs describe the history of the area and nearby communities, industries, and people, and how the trail was built. Spectacular views of the ocean, beaches, headlands, farmlands, meadows, and multi-colored wildflowers are around every corner. Well marked signs show amenities and distances. Along the Ceilidh Trail there are lots of opportunities to enjoy and learn more about the distinctive and popular Cape Breton music. The trail is great for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing in the winter.
See the Out and About Antigonish Book for details of directions, maps, descriptions, photos and plan your itinerary. Out and About Antigonish Book