Exploring Travel Routes at Five Islands

I entered into a meeting room one day and started to look at the Nova Scotia Geological Map and the other person in the room told me a story about how early European traders used to throw out their ballast to make room for all of treasures they would bring back to Europe from the fur trade with the local Mi’kmaw.

The ballast would include non-native stones such as flint which was found & used afterwards.

Another story was about the area now known as Cape d’Or, where the early Europeans were looking for riches and were directed to the area, but realized that the shiny mineral that appeared like gold was actually copper.

The conversation then turned to travel routes of the Mi’kmaw along the Glooscap trail, which followed the geological concentrations of certain stones like agate. Agate was used to make stone tools by the Mi’kmaw.

These conversations were the basis of the second geocaching passport series by Nova Scotia Parks. Five Provincial parks provided the backdrop for visitors to learn more about Aboriginal Culture & Heritage. Gerald Gloade provided some of his knowledge and artwork to this series.

The launch event was held at Five Islands Provincial Park this past June 2011. Along with Blomindon, Caribou, Thomas Raddall and Whycocomagh, they complete the second series.

During the event, a guided tour of the ocean floor was made available. Accessed via the day-use area of the park, interpretation while looking at the rock formations allowed rock hounds to learn more about the geological formations.

The powerful tides of the Bay of Fundy provided a new vista of agate, jasper and chabazite for the visitors.

From the ocean floor, you stared out towards the Five Islands, which according to legend were created by Glooscap by throwing chunks of sod at a wizard.

Other Glooscap legends can be found at Blomindon & Caribou as part of the series.

Thomas Raddall offered a rich piece of history along its shores.

Before the land was settled by the MacDonald family in the late 1700’s, Mi’kmaw used the area as a fishing station for the various shell fish in the area as far back as 2500 years ago. Today, all that remains are shell middens; the processed waste from clam, mussel & oyster shells. Amongst these mounds, archeologists have been able to find household items, stone tools and other objects.

The calcium from the shells provided protection against the acidic Maritime soil; otherwise these items would not have been preserved over time.

[notice class=”approved”]Originally posted on novascotiablogs.com[/notice]