Annapolis County Recreation Services is pleased to present the Annapolis County Outdoor Recreation Map. Its purpose is to showcase active outdoor recreation opportunities in hopes that residents and visitors will explore the County and have fun planning outdoor adventures in all four seasons. There is so much to see and do!
It is also meant to support an Active Transportation network happening across Nova Scotia, and indeed Canada, aimed at getting folks walking, running, biking, wheeling, in-line skating, and/or paddling as modes of transportation to work, to school and at play.
This map is yet another motivational tool to get people in the physical activity habit so they can take charge of creating healthy lifestyles and to get people moving about the county. You can be a role model. Start planning today.
It is good for the environment and our health when we reduce time driving and find ways to walk, bike and be more physically active more often. The Kings Transit system offers a link for residents and visitors to explore our Valley communities. Take a ride on the bus; visit other towns and communities. Bike racks are now available on the buses, so why not pick up a copy of Bicycle Annapolis County and use it in conjunction with this map to plan a cycling adventure?
Annapolis County's parks, trails, public and settlement (K-class) roads are some of the oldest in Nova Scotia, and indeed throughout Canada. We encourage you to use this map as a tool to plan active outdoor adventures for you, your family and friends.
Whether you walk, hike, run, bike or paddle, there are many areas to explore. Take time to discover Annapolis County actively, safely and respectfully. We wish you lots of good fun as you create new memories…half the adventure is getting there!
Bay of Fundy
Coastal regions in Annapolis County are dotted with small pebble beaches and rocky outcrops. Hiking along the shore is certainly a challenge, but it is a unique adventure; locals refer to this activity as beach combing or racking. Be sure to take a camera and pack a picnic lunch or snack. Remember it takes longer to hike one kilometre of coastline as it is uneven and requires some rock scrambling. Therefore you are encouraged to watch the tides as they can leave a hiker stranded!
Hike the Delaps Cove Wilderness Trail along the Bay of Fundy shore and plan to take a picnic and binoculars. There are two trails, Bohaker and Charlies, and if you are looking for an extra adventure, return from Charlies Trail along the Bay shore.
Many of the local wharves/beach areas provide coastal access or you can look for designated public parks along the shore.
Abandoned Rail Lines/Trans Canada Trail
There are two abandoned rail lines in Annapolis County.
The former Dominion Atlantic Railway will eventually be a part of the Trans Canada Trail network. Work is underway to make this a multi-use trail shared by off road vehicles and other recreation users. Much of it is still undeveloped but provides scenic views along the river and a great place to view farm animals and waterfowl from a distance. Many find it a great walking/hiking area in both summer and winter. If you are a mountain biker it is a flat region and there are some sandy areas, so beware!
The South Shore Annapolis Valley Recreational Trail runs south of Middleton through wilderness regions of the County, and connects to Lunenburg County. It passes by the Nictaux Dam and holding pond, and by many lakes and streams. The trail is presently under construction as a multi-use trail.
Cornwallis is home to a large tidal beach area that provides a great walking experience. Combine that with a trek south of Highway 1 and up the hill where you will discover a wilderness hiking trail. The views on the return trek will be worth the effort. Be sure to take in the gazebo at Veterans Park with its beautiful flower beds on Spinnaker Drive.
Kejimkujik National Park and Natural Historic Site of Canada
This park is an absolute gem and much loved by outdoor enthusiasts. “Keji” answers all your hiking, paddling and camping needs. Known as one of Nova Scotia's longer wilderness trails, Liberty Trail requires its users to plan for a multi-day excursion. Plan an afternoon at the park, or a few days. It is a great place for families.
Old Mill Trail is a short, wheelchair accessible trail that follows the Annapolis River.
Cottage Cove Provincial Park is great for watching sunsets and walking along the flat tidal areas, looping back along the road.
Margaretsville beach area features a shoreline waterfall and lots of opportunities for sightseeing. Hike around the community and enjoy a sunset.
In the community of Victoria Beach, you can walk one of the most steep and twisted paved hills in Annapolis County. Visit the Battery Point Lighthouse, part way up the hill, and take in the splendid view of the wharf and Digby Gut. Depending on the time of your trek you might see the Princess of Acadia as she sails to and from Saint John, NB. In December and January you might even see Old Squaw ducks, returning at night. Further along in the community is a great view of the Point Prim Lighthouse and oh my…the glorious sunsets! Bring binoculars!
The community of Bear River is located at the 'head of the tide' of the Bear River. It is a great place to walk and explore back roads and hilly countryside. The Medicine Trail at the Bear River First Nations is not to be missed.
Mickey Hill Provincial Park is noted for its walking/hiking trails and wilderness picnic sites. Follow the trail to the sandy beach where swimming is popular at Lambs Lake. During the winter, take in the cross country ski trails.
Visit Shannon River Canoe Access Park and paddle on the Shannon River-McGill Lake system. This is a gateway to Big Molly Upsim and you can make it into an overnight trip.
Annapolis County has over 220 lakes, rivers, streams and waterways. Use this map along with Canoe Annapolis County - A Paddler's Guide to Outdoor Adventure as helpful tools to plan a day trip or longer excursion. Canoeing is a great way to get away from it all.
Canoe Annapolis County is a guide to 25 paddling routes in Annapolis County. Included in the guide is information about trip planning, safety, creating equipment lists, wilderness ethics, canoe/kayak services, and a great photo album of paddling in days gone by. Pick up your copy at the Bainton's Tannery Outlet, Annapolis Royal, 532-2070; The Inside Story, Greenwood, 765-6116; Kejimkujik, Maitland Bridge, 682-2772; or Annapolis County Recreation Services, Annapolis Royal, 532-2334 or EMAIL
The following places rent or loan canoes: Annapolis Royal Inn, Raven Haven Beachside Family Park, Dunromin Campsite, Kejimkujik National Park & Natural Historic Site of Canada, and the Milford House.
Kayak rentals are available at Dunromin Campsite, Kejimkujik National Park & Natural Historic Site of Canada, Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Park in Bridgetown, and Raven Haven Beachside Family Park.
Cross Country Skiing
Cross country skiing is a traditional winter time activity for many. It is a great cardiovascular workout that exercises the arms and legs simultaneously. There are many spots in Annapolis County just right for this activity, such as the abandoned rail lines (DAR and CNR), old roads, fields, golf courses, and parks like Mickey Hill Provincial Park and Kejimkujik National Park & Natural Historic Site of Canada. Be sure to ask permission if you are skiing on/across private property.
Thanks to the glaciers of old, Annapolis County has a rich concentration of “glacial erratics”, or boulders. Rock climbers can find a myriad of “problems” to solve. While there are currently no developed sites on public land, some land owners allow informal access when asked for permission. For more info, call Derick Smith: 665-4433.
Bicycle Annapolis County - A Cyclist's Guide to Outdoor Adventure is available free of charge in hard copy from Annapolis County Recreation and online. This guide, similar in style to a map, lists 22 colour coded bicycle routes ranging from easy to moderate to challenging. It is especially designed for novice map readers and includes safety tips, Nova Scotia's bicycle laws, and other cycling information. Use it to plan a cycling adventure in your own backyard.
It is our hope residents will continue to value and/or rediscover the healthy benefits of cycling or mountain biking. Riding a bicycle will increase your fitness level. Ride your bike to and from work, or just for fun!
The abandoned rail lines, old roads and trails throughout Annapolis County offer an adventurous experience for those who wish to go horseback riding.
The centre for all activities equestrian in Annapolis County is the Annapolis Valley Exhibition Grounds in Lawrencetown. 4H groups meet there, and the facility hosts an annual farming exhibition featuring music and entertainment, livestock shows and much more.
Some stables, such as the Equus Centre, Granville Ferry; the Mandala Riding Centre, Hampton; and Greenwood Horse and Recreation, Hwy 201, provide instruction, classes, camps, retreats, day treks and other special events.
Each fishing season many people cast their lines hoping to catch the big one! Fishing is a great way to get out and get active. Whether by going for a walk along a stream or river, or getting out the canoe and paddling a lake, fishing can be a lot of fun.
The Annapolis River is an estuary, so fishing is a popular pastime in the Annapolis Royal and Bridgetown areas where one can catch both fresh and salt water species. Shad fishing is popular near Middleton and other regions along the Annapolis River. Many folks ice fish in the winter. Fly fishing and minnow or worm fishing are popular on the inland waterways.
A general fishing license or a salmon fishing license is required to angle in Nova Scotia waters. Fishing licenses can be purchased at many small stores in Annapolis County. Residents and non-residents under the age of 16 years do not require a license, unless they are fishing for salmon. The freshwater fishing season generally begins on April 1 each year.
Geocaching is an entertaining exploration game for global positioning system (GPS) users. Participating in a cache hunt is a good way to take advantage of the wonderful features and capabilities of a GPS navigational unit while being physically active. Finding the cache requires walking or running, and will take you to many scenic spots.
Geocaching is a relatively new phenomenon. Therefore the rules are very simple: find the cache; take something from the cache; leave something in the cache; write about it in the logbook; and where you place the cache is up to you.
Over 200 geocaches in Annapolis County are just waiting to be discovered. For more information on this new outdoor activity, visit www.geocaching.com
Golfing is a great activity for all ages; in fact some would even say it is addictive! Annapolis County has two 18 hole golf courses: Annapolis Royal Golf & Country Club, 3816 Hwy 1, Allain's Creek and Eden Golf & Country Club, 53 Hwy 201, West Paradise, as well a Par 3 course in South Farmington.
Practice your swing at driving ranges such as Action Jax, Granville Ferry or Eden Golf & Country Club, West Paradise.Lighthouses
The Bay of Fundy experiences some of the highest and most powerful tides in the world. Our shores vary from shallow mud flats and beaches to dangerous underwater shoals and rocky shorelines.
The lighthouses that dot the coastline are a testament to the historic importance and level of shipping activity in our coastal waters, and for the need to provide for safe navigation. The remaining lighthouses - Battery Point (Victoria Beach), Shaffner's Point (Port Royal), Annapolis Royal, Hampton, Port George and Margaretsville, are located in a “post card” setting. Plan a family outing to visit each one, and keep an eye “pealed” for waterfowl, seabirds, seals, porpoise or maybe even a whale!
For more information about lighthouses in Annapolis County and the rest of Nova Scotia, visit the Nova Scotia Lighthouse Preservation Society website at www.nslps.com
Annapolis County’s natural environment provides many opportunities to view nature and wildlife. If you take your time and listen, you will be amazed at what you can see and hear. Be aware of your surroundings and remember that the wilderness is their home; please be respectful. You can do your part by following the Leave No Trace principles and learn more about biodiversity.
The Annapolis Field Naturalists Society leads trips and sponsors workshops throughout the seasons on both wildlife habitat and the flora and fauna of the region. All kinds of surprises await you the next time you go for a hike in the woods. You might run into a deer, rabbit, squirrel…who knows…maybe even a bear!
Please keep in mind that hunting is a traditional and popular activity in Nova Scotia, so while hiking in the woods remember to wear hunter orange. Hunting season begins early in September and ends during the latter part of December. Season dates change from year to year. To be sure of the dates, contact Natural Resources at 584-2229.
Nordic walking simply put is walking with poles. To get the most out of this activity, you should use poles that are specially designed to engage the upper body during fitness walking. Nordic walking originated in Finland and was used as a summer training tool for cross country skiers. It is a great activity for people looking for an outdoor sport with a lower shock impact on the body than running.
Look for workshops and Nordic walking tours throughout the season.
Parks, Trails & Open Spaces
Annapolis County's unique physical features and landscapes from the South Mountain to the North Mountain and along the Valley floor, provide for a variety of active pursuits in parks, trails and open spaces. Whatever your active choice may be, our diverse landscape with its scenic vistas will inspire you.
The Annapolis County Parks, Trails & Open Spaces brochure features over 50 places that will bring you closer to active pursuits in your own backyard. For more information about these opportunities, pick up a free copy of this brochure at the municipal office, 752 St. George Street, Annapolis Royal or at Visitor Information Centres throughout the County.
Joining a fitness club or gym is a fantastic way to prepare for your next outdoor adventure. Most facilities have trained personnel that can assess your current fitness level and start you on a plan to increased good health. It is a great way to meet people to take along with you on your next outdoor adventure; you might even want to encourage family members and friends to join you.
Located at 1043 Hwy 1 Cornwallis Park, Annapolis County's Fundy YMCA is a unique world class facility dedicated to improving the personal health and wellness of people living in Western Valley communities. Come make a splash in the 25 metre, 4 lane pool and walk a mile or two on the 430 ft oval track - 12 times around equals 1 mile! There's also a state of the art fitness studio where you can pump iron and sculpt the physique.
Other fitness and exercise centres are Fitness Experience in Middleton and Bee and B Fitness in Bridgetown.
Playgrounds are located at most elementary schools and are available for public use. They afford opportunities for youth to be active while having fun and making friends and memories that will last a lifetime. Be sure to visit the sea-themed Lower St. George Street Playground in Annapolis Royal, Queen Elizabeth Jubilee Park Natural Playground, Bridgetown, as well as Raven Haven Beachside Family Park, Sandy Bottom Lake, during the summer season.
School playgrounds are located at: Bridgetown Elementary School, 7 Park St., Bridgetown; Clark Rutherford Memorial School, 63 Spinnaker Dr., Cornwallis Park; Champlain Elementary School, 109 North St., Granville Ferry; Lawrencetown Consolidated School, 10 Middle Rd., Lawrencetown; Annapolis East Elementary School, Middleton.
Protected Wilderness Areas
The province's 37 wilderness areas are provincially significant protected areas which represent typical examples of Nova Scotia's natural landscapes, our native biological diversity and outstanding natural forests. Three wilderness areas lie within Annapolis County.
The 103,780 hectare Tobeatic Wilderness Area is the largest remaining wild area in the Maritimes, spanning parts of five counties. The region is characterized by unique barren and semi-barren landscapes with outstanding undisturbed glacial landforms, including esker fields, moraines, kettles and outwash plains. The Tobeatic is interconnected by lakes, streams and rivers, offering outstanding wilderness camping and hiking.
Th 180 hectare McGill Lake Wilderness Area protects an outstanding wetland with diverse plant communities and scattered forest habitats within the South Mountain Rolling Plain natural landscape in Annapolis County. It features a diverse complex of bog and fen types, and forest communities of maple-oak-birch, and spruce-fir-pine/maple-birch.
The 10,830 hectare Cloud Lake Wilderness Area protects a significant headwater portion of the LaHave River watershed within the South Mountain Rolling Plain natural landscape. This landscape is an expansive granite bedrock, upland region characterized by a variety of forested landforms, glacial deposits, large scattered lakes, steep-sided streams and wetlands.
More information on these protected areas can be found on the Nova Scotia Department of Environment, Protected Areas Division:http://www.gov.ns.ca/nse/protectedareas/wa_tobeatic.asp
The Annapolis Youth Park was opened on June 25, 2011. It features a concrete skatepark and is located at 112 Prince Albert Road (Highway 1) in Annapolis Royal.
Snowshoeing is a great way to enjoy the outdoors during the winter season and it burns more calories than walking or cycling. The lighter construction and ease of use of the new snowshoe can be credited to increasing the popularity of this winter recreation activity. Parks, trails, fields, golf courses or your own backyard are great places for snowshoeing.
Learning to snowshoe is easy and it's fun for the whole family. If you would like to try snowshoeing, contact your local recreation department and sign out a pair for you and/or a family member. Also, if you are interested in snowshoe adventures such as workshops, winter treks or other related information, contact Annapolis County Recreation at 532-2334.
Walking is probably the easiest, least expensive and most popular outdoor recreation activity. Almost everyone can do it.
Our towns and villages with sidewalks and street lights are great places to go for a leisurely stroll or brisk walk. Why not pick up a copy of Walk Annapolis Royal, a listing of eight different routes through Annapolis Royal's National Historic District designed to get you fit, or a copy of Historic Cyprus Walk (Bridgetown), and/or Walking Tour of Middleton - A Historical Walk Through Town? The Bridgetown and Middleton brochures guide you on a walk through their respective towns while teaching you more about each towns' history and architecture.
Trails offer a more invigorating walk! Pick up a copy of our Parks, Trails & Open Spaces brochure for more information.
If walking is your favourite activity and you particularly enjoy the activity in the company of others, contact the Valley Trekkers Volksport Club, Rick/Linda Kanne, 847-1772 (www.walks.ca) about joining them on scheduled walks throughout the year. Other groups you might want to join are the Bridgetown Ramblers, Rachel Brighton, 665-4538 or contact us for a list of walking groups in the region.
While hiking or walking along the shores of the Bay of Fundy be on the lookout for one of nature's most spectacular features - the waterfall. In Annapolis County we don't have to go too far to witness these wonders. Photographers may be especially interested in the 43ft waterfall at Bohaker Cove that cascades over the cliff to the rocky shoreline below at the Delaps Cove Wilderness Trail, 2077 Shore Road West, Delaps Cove. Other waterfalls can be found in Margaretsville and Nictaux Falls; or perhaps you can find your own!