We had an uncommonly warm day on Thursday – warm for October anyways – it was 20 degrees outside (70ish for my American friends). We decided that since it was warmer, it was time for us to finally venture out to the ocean. We have been so busy working around the house that we haven’t been able to get out for many hikes. We opted for a 7 km hike on a trail called Gaff Point that starts from Hirtle’s Beach.
First I have to say that the website is misleading – in that you need to move awfully fast to do this hike in 1h20m. We also ended up hiking more like 7.5km, and it took us just shy of 3 hours – however, we did stop a lot to take pictures.
Starting off on the beach, I was fascinated by the ocean roaring on one side of me and a still pond on the other. I’m guessing that this is one of the places our friend Cate goes to ice skate in the winter. I cannot wait to try that out – ice skating with the roar of the ocean in the background!
The first km of the hike involves walking along the beach. Unfortunately, we arrived at high tide, which meant a lot of our beach walk was a scramble on rocks that were about the size of a softball. These were not the easiest things to walk on. My ankles got a good workout.
Prior to our hike, Scott was on a conference call. This call continued as we hiked. If you look closely you can see him in the distance behind me. I cannot imagine what the folks on the other side of his call where thinking about the roaring surf in the background.
We followed along the edge of a cliff, and then came to this spot where the trees just fascinated me – trees in the middle of the beach rocks.
It was at about this point that I first heard the rumble of the rocks as the water rushed back out to sea. The best way to describe it is to have you watch this video clip.
Once we made is across the beach, the trail brought us into an enchanted forest – at least that is what it felt like.
As the path worked its way up (not that much of a climb), the rocks slowly changed to roots.
I noticed in several places that trees had fallen near the trail, with their roots exposed. I wondered if they fell during one of the recent hurricanes – their root systems weakened by the trail.
As we reached the point, the forest gave way to a sea side trail. The rock formations along the sea shore were quite different here than on the beach. It felt like we were in a completely different place.
We walked a little further and over to the other side of the point, the waves calmed right down and things got quieter.
After leaving the shoreline, the trail changed yet again.
We came out of the woods one more time.
When we re-entered the forest, it was boggy, and the nice trail keepers built a wooden path. The logs that were wet were very slippery. At one point I slipped and made a very elegant recovery – amazed that I didn’t fall!
On the way back, rather than following the shore the entire way, we opted for a path that went above the beach. The nice owners allow people on their property as long as the horses aren’t out on that pasture. It made the return a lot easier, and also gave us a great view of Hirtle’s Beach.
Overall, we had a delightful hike. The variety in this trail will have us returning over and over again.
Have I said lately how much I love Nova Scotia?