|Glorious Autumn on Nova Scotia's Eastern Shore|
Fall Colours Musquodoboit Trail Slideshow Courtesy Adrien
Most of the tourists, at least those with school age families, have gone home.=, taking with them rocks and shells gathered on the beaches, t-shirts with pictures of Theodore Tugboat, the Titanic or breaching whales, and perhaps a lobster pot or two strapped to the roof of the car.
A quiet hangs over the city waterfront, where only a few weeks ago was the throb of fiddle music, the hum of harbour tour boats and the sound of laughter in a hundred different languages.
In the country and coastal areas, Nature is dressing for her biggest show of the year. The fog that creeps over the land in early spring and summer has given way to warm sunny days and cool made for walking evenings. The mosquitoes and blackflies are gone and the air smells of ripening wild apples and spruce, and the salty tang of the ever present sea. The Acadian boreal forests that spill over hills and valleys from the edge of the Atlantic coastline make a final show of brilliant colour that defies belief. It doesn't get much better than this.
The Eastern Shore is a perfect example of the natural autumn splendor that has made Nova Scotia famous the world over. For the fall traveler, there are almost as many outdoor choices as in the summer, but with fewer crowds. Whale watching, river canoeing, kayaking, surfing and sailing are still popular, but for those who just want to spend a few gentle (and drier) hours communing with nature, the province has an expanding network of walking and hiking and trails. With a group or going it solo, you can spend hours or days on the many trails on the Eastern Shore.
If your kicks won't reach the lamp-shade anymore, there are delightful areas where a walk is only a skip-jump to a beach and rest area. And for those who want to pick up the pace by bike, motorcycle or (gasp!) a car, try 'shunpiking' the off-trails where time has little meaning.
Here are some of the best viewing spots on Nova Scotia's
of Islands Region
At Moser River, take a drive up the Wilson's Falls Road
toward Kelly Lake. The Kelly
Lake region is closed to bird hunters (although larger game is still
unprotected). You might glimpse deer, moose, bear, fox, coyote and lots
of smaller wildlife... if you're really quiet. Seaward, you'll see hundreds
of small islands. Part of this outcrop scattering includes The
Eastern Shore Wildlife Management area, a group of 70 islands that
have been protected since 1976 for their nesting colonies of seabirds
and Grey Seals. The islands, bearing intriguing names like Pumpkin,
Frying Pan and Brokenback are popular with sea
kayakers and sailboat enthusiasts.
A Cross-Canada cyclist (Kate Kennedy) who toured the country with the Climate Change Caravan had this to say, "As we drove we came to the alarming conclusion that we had forgone perhaps the nicest bike ride of the entire trip in our attempt to be productive. The landscape along the eastern shore is out of this world. The road follows the coast almost the entire way and with the setting sun edging the islands in view made for a beauty that challenges my praises of the Saint Lawrence landscape in Quebec."
Here are a few links to help you unearth the backpack you haven't seen
for several years, weatherproof your old hiking boots, and get ready
to feel exhilarated by the east coast of Nova Scotia's truly great,
truly beautiful outdoors in autumn.
More Eastern Shore Nature
NS Environment Links
Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History
Nova Scotia Frog Sound Files
Federation of Nova Scotia Naturalists
Nova Scotia Nature Trust
"The best time
to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now".
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