The south shore of Nova Scotia is a fantastic place to visit for outdoor enthusiasts - even in the winter months. There are so many different places to visit and spend time outdoors - beaches, hiking trails, historic sites and parks.
One of our favourite places is Hirtle's Beach, which is also the start and end point of the Gaff Point Trail, a seven kilometre trail that meanders along the beach and through forests along Hartling Bay.
Hiking in the winter is always an adventure. You never know what the trail conditions will throw at you. Our hike began along the rocky shoreline, accompanied by sunshine and the sound of crashing waves. Once in the forest, many sections were covered in deep snow, some of it firm and easy to walk on but in areas where the sunshine had warmed the surface, it was wet and soft and easy to sink in thigh deep. I'm certain I fell through and down more times on that hike than in the rest of my years combined. The snow, at least, was a soft cushion.
The views, as you can see below, were spectacular. Old man's beard hung from the trees in the forest and and a thick carpet of red covered the ground in exposed areas. Icicles dripped from rock faces and ribbons of shale stood exposed to the elements, evidence of the prehistoric.
No hike at Gaff Point would be complete without a pastry and hot drink from LaHave Bakery on the way home.