Coastal Hiking In The Fall

There’s something about hiking along a shoreline in the fall that I enjoy. It must be the cooler temperature, or the scenery when the leaves have started to fall off the trees The grass is still green and I need to be outside!

One outing brought us (my dog Keji and I) to Graves Island Provincial Park. Located nearby Chester – this island campground provides great spot for camping and in the off-season a popular dog walking location.

The park management plan is underway and many long term improvements can be seen. The first is the re-planting of an Acadian forest to replace the clear cut of the spruce forest that over took the island. An Acadian forest is a mix of pine, fir, birch & spruce. We will find out in another few years how many of the seedlings established themselves.

Our plan during the visit was to simply walk along the newly renovated walking trail, which goes along the shoreline of the island. Along the trail we saw evidence of the early European settlers from the early 1700’s. We saw apple trees & some stones which could have been old foundations.

The island is also where a small stone monument of Canada’s first geocache is located, not far from the administration office. The actual geocache is a few kms away at (N 44° 35.607 W 064° 10.838 ). The sandstone used came from Wallace, Nova Scotia and carved by Keith Elliot Stone.

The hiking trail provided several views overlooking the ocean and a glimpse of Mahone Bay. The trail was wide with crushed gravel and should provide an easy walk.

Our next hike was across the mainland to Parrsboro where we hiked Partridge Island. Phil Neville posted more information about nearby Ottawa House in his blog entry. We walked past Ottawa house and across the sandbar to the island.

The island was used as a terminus for the Mi’kmaw as they would portage down from Amherst and either continue across the Minas Bay to Blomindon or downstream towards Windsor which eventually would lead to Halifax. The Europeans also used the area as a fishing station until Parrsboro gained importance via ship building due to its protected harbour.

A geocache of note would be the highest point of the island which is located at (N 45° 22.046 W 064° 20.129).

The trail was more of a footpath, which meant rocks & roots stuck out. There were a number of resting benches along the way, which came in handy as the main lookoff point at the end of the trail provided a fantastic view of Cape Split & Blomindon.

I’ve included the GPS track file below of the hike to Partridge Island for you to download onto your device or import into google maps.

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