20 Ways to Get Outdoors This Summer
By Genevieve Allen Hearn
Looking for ways to enjoy the warmer weather? We compiled a list of hikes, bikes, swims, and outdoor experiences from Windsor to Kingston. All suggestions are family friendly – why not try one of these ideas with your pops on Fathers’ Day?
1. Hike It Baby, Wolfville
This non-profit organization is dedicated to connecting families to nature with birth to school age children. Weekly walks rotate between toddler paced hikes and baby carrier adult paced hikes. To find out about hikes, join the “Hike It Baby Wolfville” Facebook group. hikeitbaby.com
2. OnTree Park, Windsor
What happens to a ski hill in the summer? It transforms into a Fun & Adventure Park! OnTree Park is Nova Scotia’s first high rope course climbing and zip lining park, and offers physical challenges for people of all ages and ability. ontreepark.com
3. Uncommon Common Art, Annapolis Valley
Uncommon Common Art takes art out of institutions and place it within a rural landscape, allowing individuals to discover visual art through physical activity as they adventure through the Annapolis Valley. Make it a summer scavenger hunt and try to find all twenty art installations! Guidebooks can be found in Visitor Information Centers, galleries, and cafes around the Valley. uncommoncommonart.com
4. Bike the Starr’s Point Loop, Port Williams
The Starr’s Point Loop is a collective of agri-tourism experiences situated along Starr’s Point Road in Port Williams. Easily accessible by bike, you can spend an entire day trying out local experiences while overlooking green fields, winding dykes, and the Cornwallis River. Experience life on an organic farm, taste local craft beer and liquor, eat amazing food, explore a historic house museum, pick your own fruit at one of the U-picks, and sip wine overlooking a vineyard! starrspointloop.com
5. Activities in Oakdene Park, Kentville
There is lots happening in Oakdene Park these days! Yoga in the Park happens every Wednesday at 5:30pm, Super Happy Active Family Time (S.H.A.F.T) is Saturday mornings at 10am, and if you need a boost at the beginning of the week, try Hoola Hooping in the Park on Mondays at 7pm! Follow the “Town of Kentville” on Facebook for more information.
6. Valley Yoga Fest, Kentville
On August 12-13, Valley Yoga Fest will be back for a 4th year on the soccer fields behind Kings County Academy. The goal of Valley Yoga Fest is to bring communities together, share a sense of wellness, promote physical activity, and teach the benefits of yoga and meditation. valleyyogafest.weebly.com
7. New Minas Splash Pad, New Minas
A great way to cool off during the hot summer days! The New Minas Splash Pad is located in Lockhart & Ryan Park, operating from 10 am to dusk. Follow the “New Minas Splash Pad” Facebook page for more information.
8. Canoe and Kayak Rentals, Middleton
The Town of Middleton has four canoes and six kayaks that can be loaned for out for free between 8:30am and 4pm. Start at the Riverside Park in Middleton and paddle down the beautiful Annapolis River! The program is available for paddlers of all skill levels, and beginners are encouraged to try the guided tour outing starting at 6:30pm on Thursday evenings. Reservations can be made by calling Middleton Recreation at 902-825-8143.
9. Blomidon Naturalists Society Walks, Annapolis Valley
Participate in a guided walk with the Blomidon Naturalists Society! This season’s walk topics include a birder walk, a mushroom walk, and a moth walk. Walks are open to the public, and sometimes pre-registration is required. blomidonnaturalists.ca/events
10. Community Gardening, Berwick
The mission of the Berwick Garden Club is to create accessible, beautiful, and edible green spaces, teach gardening skills and sustainable practices, and increase urban agriculture through growing and sharing produce. Anyone is welcome to help maintain the gardens and enjoy the fresh produce. Join the “Berwick Community Gardens” Facebook group for more information.
11. Valley Stove & Cycle Weekly Bike Rides, Annapolis Valley
Valley Stove & Cycle hosts weekly bike rides, with mountain biking on Thursdays and road biking on Saturdays. Don’t have a bike? They also have a full fleet of bicycles available for rent including Hybrid bikes, Fat Bikes and a tandem. Check the “Valley Stove & Cycle” Facebook page to find out where they are meeting.
12. River Tubing, Gaspereau
This favorite pastime hardly needs mentioning, but we’d be remiss if we left it off our list! The lazy river winds along the scenic Gaspereau Valley, past farmland and vineyards. Tubes are available for rent at the beginning of the river. Contact King of the River 902-542-3002 or follow “Tubing Gaspereau River” on Facebook for river conditions and information.
13. Kingsport Beach, Kingsport
A great daytrip spot, the Kingsport Beach is equipped with a boat ramp, floating docks, a swimming beach, a boardwalk, and a canteen. A season boat pass or a day boat pass can be purchased at the canteen. And you can feel good about buying that ice-cream – all canteen and boat pass proceeds fund the charitable work of the Kingsport Community Association.
14. Archery, Canning
Try your hand in archery at the Look-Off Campground! You can shoot a bow and arrow in the archery range with Gordon Porter (leader of the Northeast Kings Archery Club) on Saturdays and Sundays 9am – 4pm. It costs $3 per hour or $5 for three hours. lookoffcamping.com
15. Beach Volleyball, Kingston
On Tuesday and Thursday nights starting at 7pm you can participate in recreational/competitive beach volleyball games at the beach volleyball court on Elm Street in Kingston. All are welcome and it’s free to join! For more information, contact the Kingston Village Office at 902-765-2800.
16. Hike Cape Split, Scots Bay
It’s hard not to mention this popular hiking trail when it won a landslide vote for ‘Best Place to Hike’ by our readers. It’s a hike with a massive reward at the end… hard to beat on a clear day! Give yourself at least 4 hours, pack a picnic, and head to Scots Bay for a ubiquitous Valley adventure.
17. Bike the Rails to Trails, Annapolis Valley
A motion was recently approved to enter into a lease for another 10 km of railway path, connecting Grand Pre to the 89km stretch of mixed-use recreation trail. The trail – extending from Grand Pre to Annapolis Royal – is called the Harvest Moon Trailway, and was voted ‘Best Place for a Bike’ by our readers!
18. Mini-Putt & Driving Range, Coldbrook
Home on the Range Golf Centre is a family friendly outdoor golf facility where you can hit range balls or enjoy a game of mini-putt. There is a lending library with a variety of golf books onsite, and you can register for their second annual mini-putt challenge happening July 8th! homeontherangegolf.ca
19. Crystal Falls, Kingston
This is an easy 3km hike to a beautiful waterfall where you can enjoy a dip. If you haven’t been here yet, you can get directions at the Kingston Visitor Information Center. Make it a daytrip and stop at McMaster Historic Mill on your way out, then grab a bite to eat at Pascalice’s Bistro!