Nova Scotia

An easier winter walk: snowshoeing makes a comeback in Nova Scotia

One of the oldest modes of winter transportation, the snowshoe, has been enjoying a renaissance in the last few years and Hike Nova Scotia wants more people to get outside to take a pair of snowshoes for a test drive.

Hike Nova Scotia wants more people to experience one of the oldest modes of winter transportation

Hike Nova Scotia is offering more guided snowshoe hikes right across the province to show people how easy it is. (Steve Lawrence/CBC)

One of the oldest modes of winter transportation has been enjoying a renaissance in the last few years and Hike Nova Scotia wants more people to get outside to take a pair of snowshoes for a test drive.

This winter, the group is offering more guided snowshoe hikes right across the province to show people how easy it is to get moving even in deep snow.

"We keep seeing a growing interest in snowshoeing," said Janet Barlow, executive director of Hike Nova Scotia.

55 hikes in 2017

"We've offered a guided series since 2011 and year after year we keep increasing the list because the number of people who want to try keeps going up," she said.

This year, the group is going on 55 guided hikes, most of which are free.

Part of the reason for the renewed interest in the old school mode of winter transportation is that snowshoe design has improved dramatically over the years: they are lightweight and easy to put on.

'If you can walk, you can snowshoe'

"It's pretty intuitive. If you can walk, you can snowshoe," Barlow said as she was snowshoeing through the woods at Halifax's Sir Sanford Fleming Park.

"We want to get more people out on our trails, either walking, hiking or snowshoeing. The benefits of physical activity and mental health for being outside and connecting with nature are huge."

A complete list of Hike Nova Scotia's guided hikes, which covers Cape Breton to Digby can be found on the group's website.

Stargazing and full moons

The group has a guide to locations where snowshoes can be rented or borrowed.

This year's series has a lot of nighttime hikes to take advantage of stargazing and full moons.

One of the more challenging routes will be Franey Trail in Ingonish Feb. 19, which includes a 366-metre climb to the top. But apparently the panoramic view at the top will take your breath away — if the climb up didn't already do that.

About the Author

World champion curler Colleen Jones has been reporting with CBC News for nearly three decades. Follow her on Twitter @cbccolleenjones.