I’ve been dying to get out on the trails and since the snow is finally clearing out I figured today was the day. I kept close to home, deciding to try the Headlands trail loop on the Thomas cove trail system only a few miles from home. I’ve done the main loop many, many times and have wandered the mud flats at low tide but never the secondary loop.
What a surprise!! Frank, my partner and I spent the better part of the day exploring the older spruce forest through a well-worn path. We had lunch, wished we had binoculars and planned some upcoming trips for backpacking and kayaking.
Before setting out, I quickly glanced at the newly placed trail map to see what the afternoon would bring. I hadn't looked close enough because I missed the trail to the bridge!! But as I walked around the tidal plain I found the path, thankfully missing the chance to get hip deep in mud crossing the emptied river. The path wound around to the smallest point of the Economy River to a debarked log fashioned into a bridge.
Frank was the first across, darting straight into what I’ve named Squirrel Haven. The path was littered with spruce cone remnants and the squirrels yelled above us to leave their sanctuary. We hiked along to a bench overlooking the mouth of the river. The tide was completely out and people walked along the red clay basin bottom. We shared a little snack as we watched people milling about the mud flats.
After our shared jerky and water, Frank and I trotted on toward the coastline.Frank was bounding on and off the trail, at home in the cold April afternoon. My pack was only 10bs, just a small taste for what is come as I get back into backpacking shape. The view of Five Islands was amazing and even though the day was hazy, I could see all five. The tide was out so far the basin looked like the Grand Canyon. Seagulls flew low through the channels, looking for crabs or whatever else the surf has to offer. Crab shells lined the eroding banks above, poor souls lost in the cycle of life.
The trail meandered from the coastline into the soft, mossy canopy. The birds sang above as I hoofed it through the last section before the loop connected back to the bridge. I saw a few different trail marker along the way, the yellow I knew was the Headlands trail, the red the entirety of both loops but I was unsure what the orange marker indicated.
Once back at the trail head, I saw on the map that there was third loop breaking off which must have been the orange markers. With so many trees down from the winter storms, I am sure I missed an exit somewhere along the way. I have plans to come back and do all the loops with a full pack as a training day for the season opener.
News Flash! The season opener this year is Cape Chignecto. I did it with some friends almost two year ago and although I swore as I walked out with blistered feet that I would never hike it again, I think I am finally ready for expedition numeral dose!! I am totally out of shape for a back-packing trip like Chignecto (53Kms) so if I don’t start gearing up for the for season I might not be ready in time.
I am sure there are a few of you out there who are experiencing the same thing right now (too many storm chips!) and are looking to get back out on the trails. I have been laying the ground work for a club to get together for day hikes, over night back-packing trips or whatever gets us out in the woods!!
I’m curious about my readers past experiences and what ya’ll plan to do this year. What’s your longest hike? Any over nighters? How do you plan for an excursion? What do you bring? Any luxury items that you know you shouldn’t!? How are you getting ready for this season? What are you planning? How’s far too far for you doggie companion?
If you want more information on the Thomas Cove Trails , visit https://www.colchester.ca/thomas-cove-coastal-reserve