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Take a hike: Nova Scotia Trails Federation launches new trail guide

Comprehensive online guide shows trails all over the province

3 min read
caption Man walks along the Atlantic View Trail in Lawrencetown, NS.
Olivia Malley

The Nova Scotia Trails Federation (NS Trails) has launched a comprehensive online guide of the province’s trails that will change how people explore the outdoors.

People can search for trails by community, keywords and region. They can even break it down to intended uses like snowmobile or equestrian. After selecting a trail, the online guide then provides information that could include whether it’s accessible, trail length, contact information for the trail, and any social media links.

Users can also enter their current location plus how far they are willing to travel and the guide will show them all the trails in that range. This is ideal for those travelling to parts of the province they aren’t familiar with.

The guide is great for mobile usage too, NS Trails CEO Vanda Jackson said in an interview.

“You decide you’re going to do a trail, you search the database and away you go.”

Many of the trails are also accompanied by photos so people know exactly what they are getting into before they head out.

“We have heard from people that they wanted an easier way to be able to learn about the trails that exist in Nova Scotia,” said Jackson.

caption Woman hiking the Balancing Rock Trail in Digby County, N.S.
Olivia Malley

Jackson believes the new guide, launched Jan. 17, is the most comprehensive online provincal trail guide.

Last year NS Trails, businesses, landowners, Mi’kmaq communities and different levels of government created a strategy for improving the province’s trail systems. One of the goals outlined in that strategy was to provide information and resources that support increased trail use.

“We will always be making improvements to the guide but I think it is a really good start,” Jackson said. “I think it is really going to change the way people enjoy the outdoors in Nova Scotia.”

Kings County Coun. Brian Hirtle agrees.

“I think it’s going to create a bit of a competition, a little bit of an objective, for families and tourists alike to come into our community and say there are 10 trails here and I have time to do five,” Hirtle said in an interview.

He believes the new guide will benefit his community because it separates motorized and non-motorized trails. This distinction has often been a subject of debate in his community.

“There are parts of our community very much opposed to that noise level (from motorized trail users), or speed or whatever the reasons,” said Hirtle. “If I am a snowmobile person I can click one button. I can go and find out where I am allowed, and if I want to do a biking trail I can do that.”

If people think something is missing from the guide, they can submit the information to NS Trails for review.

Jackson said allowing people to volunteer information to the guide is important to NS Trails because they owe a lot to volunteers.

“We are so fortunate to have all the amazing trails we do have, and we only have them because we have volunteers all across the province who are dedicated to building and maintaining those trails,” she said.

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About the author

Olivia Malley

Hailing from Dartmouth Nova Scotia, Olivia is a journalist passionate about the HRM. Outside of reporting she enjoys singing in King's a capella...

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    Brian Hirtle

    Thank you Olivia. What a great job you have done
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