My first impression is wow what a pretty place. The campground attendant suggests I go have a drive around, choose the campsite I want and then come back and settle up. They currently only have three campers in the park, so I can have my pick of spots. “You can have a wooded site or one with a view.” I select a treed area close to a water source, showers and hiking trails. then return to the entrance booth. “Do you need firewood?” I am asked. “Sure,” I reply. Helps pass the evening ’til bed time and keeps the mosquitoes away.
After setting up camp, I head out on the Jodrey trail, A sign points me in the direction with a reminder about hiking safety in a group, not to feed wild animals and act big if you come across a bear. It is a pretty forested trail of maple and yellow birch.
At the first look-off platform I meet up with a pair of hikers I assume are a grandmother and granddaughter. The lady, about 60, leans her hiking poles against the railing and asks the young lady accompanying her, “Do you remember what the name of that flower is?” she points at the ground. The young lady scratches a spot on her upper arms then looks to see what has bitten her before replies, “Bunch berry.”
“That is right, very good.” She smiles, then continues to point out other features of the forest. I don’t stop long – the mosquitoes are ferocious and I have to keep moving to keep them from eating me alive.
Further along I come across a young couple who greet me with a smile and a “Nice evening.” “Lovely,” I reply as I shift sideways slightly to let them pass. The next look-off is very pretty with a view far out into the Minas Basin.
At the beginning of the Look-off trail is a monument dedicated to the Roy Jodrey, who donated 400 acres of land to be part of this park.
I jump a brook and walk up through the trail. This one isn’t as well used and is a little bit over grown. It is a short 900-m loop and comes back to a fork in the trail and I pause, not recalling this divide. Fortunately, another lady come down the path at the exact moment and I stop her for advice.
“Excuse me, have you come from the headquarters? I don’t remember seeing this trail on the way here, I was on the Jodrey, then the Look-off trail.”
She said, “Yes this path is the Woodland trail, it will get you back a little quicker – not much, but a little bit. You always follow the red on the way out, the white on the way back.” she points at the blazes painted on the trees marking the trail. “Thank you,” I say, and we go off in different directions.
Soon enough the trail ends at the open field. There is one more trail, Borden Brook, another 3.5 km that does the lower part of the park. I regretfully decide it is too late and I head back to my camp site to start supper.
As I stir my meal in the pot, I lay my spoon down on the picnic table and a bold squirrel jumps up and starts chewing on bit of food from the spoon. I shoo him away but he or she is very habituated and shows no fear. I gather up all my food items and store them in the truck.
The wood is wet and impossible to light, so after a good 45 minutes of trying to get it going I give up and crawl in my sleeping bag. Tomorrow I get to fulfil a dream hike to Cape Split. Please join me. Happy travels from Maritime Mac.
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