So what if there was a recent frost warning? Official summer is almost here and the sun is doing its best to cooperate. Meteorologists are calling for a warmer-than-average summer, which should provide ample opportunities to get outside and enjoy the natural beauty of our region. Here are five excellent guidebooks to help you plan your Atlantic Canadian staycation this summer:
Now in its 8th edition, Hiking Trails of Nova Scotia by Michael Haynes is a classic that highlights 50 trails across the province with directions, maps, and information on length, difficulty, cell-phone reception and facilities available. He also writes about the natural-history features of each trail. For this edition, Haynes re-hiked and updated his descriptions of 20 of them, and 30 of the trails have been newly added to the book. In fact, half of these trails didn’t exist for the 7th edition. Haynes takes pains to provide options for the hardcore and beginning hiker.
One of the most gorgeous natural features you can find through New Brunswick is waterfalls, which are such a popular destination that Nicholas Guitard wrote Waterfalls of New Brunswick. It highlights 100 different waterfalls in every corner of the province. The book provides a range of options in terms of accessibility and aims to help everyone from families in search of picnics to more dedicated hikers alike. The photos are beautiful and all the pertinent information is provided, including GPS coordinates and driving directions.
One of the iconic symbols of Newfoundland and Labrador is the iceberg. Icebergs of Newfoundland and Labrador by Stephen E. Bruneau started out as a booklet for bout-tour operators to help them give accurate interpretive information to tourists. But its tremendous popularity led to the production of a published guidebook to these “huge, completely clean, spectacular to look at” phenomenons, as described by the author.
A more recent addition to Goose Lane’s series of guidebooks is Trails of Prince Edward Island, also by Michael Haynes. It features 55 different hiking and cycling trails across the island, for all skill levels, and includes the recently-completed Confederation Trail. Once again, Haynes hiked every trail himself, creating maps and researching details on the timing and length of each. The book also includes tips and sidebars on the natural history of each area.
Jon Tattrie’s Day Trips from Halifax goes beyond your standard trail guide and helps readers piece together the full day including meals, sightseeing and activities. He draws on his own experience as a traveller and a seeker of curiosities and quirks to give insights into his home like no other. Readers will find little-known places to eat, beaches to check out and fascinating sights to see.