Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The French Basin Trail

It's funny. For the past 5 years my family and I have visited the town of Annapolis Royal and it wasn't until this past weekend that I realized how much there was to explore. Don't gasp when I tell you that I have YET to visit Port Royal National Historic Site. I told you not to gasp!

For the past few years, while driving past the Tidal Power Interpretive Centre, I've always noticed people walking along a marshy wetland. Well, on an overnight trip to Annapolis Royal this past weekend we went on a hike there. It was along this marshy wetland that I discovered its name, the French Basin Trail.

Basically right in the town of Annapolis Royal, the French Basin Trail is a 45-minute walk around a Ducks Unlimited wetland. Home to several species of ducks, at least one pair of Great Blue Herons, a family of muskrats and, if you're lucky, foxes. The well-maintained gravel trail around the marshland leads into an old Dominion Atlantic Railroad line railbed/trail that goes east or west as far as your feet will take you.

Along the trail were decorations hanging from trees or lying on the ground made from pine cones, birch bark and other natural materials that were a hit with the squirrels and birds. I was told later that these were made by art students at a local school.

Next time I visit the area, I am definitely taking along my running shoes. With no hills and lots of scenery, this trail is a runners dream.

To get there: In Annapolis Royal, drive along Saint George Street until you see the set of traffic lights (Historic Gardens will be on your left), turn onto Prince Albert Road then drive 300 meters and turn right onto the gravel parking lot.

More info:
Annapolis Valley Vacation
Annapolis Royal Recreation

Each Wednesday 12:15pm (January – March)
French Basin Trail
Shoes available
Info: 902.532-3144

At the French Basin Trail & pond: watch for the skating sign in the parking area (green indicates skating; red - no skating).

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