Tucked in behind Windsor, Nova Scotia and not far from the Martock ski hill, we started the first of many exploration hikes within the Castle Frederick Farms Hiking Trails.
The 2000 acre woodlot was recently put under a stewardship agreement with the Archaeological Land Trust of Nova Scotia to further protect the six archaeological sites and to further investigation.
The site was home to the large manor house & observatory owned by Colonel Joseph Frederick Wallet DesBarres in 1764. DesBarres is responsible for publishing the Atlantic Neptune maps & charts; the most important mapping resource for North America in the 18th century. He took 10 years to survey the coastline of Nova Scotia.
But evidence suggests that not only first nations people lived in the area, but also Acadians farmers well before the deportation of 1755. This backstory is what will hopefully be discovered by the ALTNS over the next few years.
What’s left are a few relics of the past. site of a chapel, a baptism well and discarded farm dump from the early 1900’s.
Our hike started off the road towards the family descendants. A very simple P marking on a telephone is your hint that the trailhead starts here. A quick walk to the forest will yield a map & donation box.
We started along Old Smith Rd trail. The trails themselves are a mix between footpaths, old farming/access roads. Overtime, as hikers come out, trail definition will take hold. While some sections are nicely marked, you sometimes get a bit confused once you get to a junction.
We got on Dave’s tail segment and continued along King’s Trail + Tom Cole Trail + Cross trail where the bulk of the infrastructure can be found.
Picnic table & firepit nearby the holy well is a nice break as you encounter tree identification cards along the way. The terrain wasn’t difficult in terms of elevation, nice rolling hills and soft ground.
I’d bring a GPS, snacks & water. We did about 4km on this loop, but you can easily add on closer to the overall total of 10km of trails. Plenty of activities are planned all year, including snowshoeing.
Links of Interest