Greatness Which Bows Before Children (Blomidon Trail, NS)

In early June of 2016, I attempted my first solo hike after a break up with my hiking partner. There was still a lot of sadness attached to this and I was mostly acting out of stubbornness than confidence. I didn't *want* to hike alone, I just didn't want to give up hiking.

I had a sunny Friday afternoon spring free after a cancelled work meeting close to a trail that had been on my TO DO list for years. I decided to go for it.

I'd read a trail description of Blomidon (Provincial Park) that suggested plainly that it was a hike for fit 20 year-olds. The loop trail lies perched along the towering Bay of Fundy cliffs. At ~ 13k in length (8 mi) with some steep climbs, and rated as difficult, you are well warned that it will test you. Moreover it is active coyote territory and there are warning signs everywhere giving you advice on what to do if you encounter one (or more) of the bad dogs. The last resort, the sign offers, is to fight for your life.

And so this was also the first hike of my life where I decided picking up a good walking branch/stick would be in order (I didn't have trek poles at the time).

I tackled the trail clockwise, starting at Borden Brook from the parking lot. I'd read this was the kinder of the two possible climbs. You cross the brook early on, still a bit optimistic and excited, taking pictures (so pretty!), and then it begins. A demanding climb so steep that I was forced to dig my feet in sideways to grab purchase and lean forward (sometimes nearly crawling) to not fall backwards. I stopped a few times to try to get my pounding heart under control. I wondered a few times if I would succeed. Finally (finally) the ground levels out.

But. (But.) This was not a happy hike. This was a hike where I missed my hiking partner, worried about the coyotes and wondered if I had what it took to make it alone through this trail. A few clicks into the start, the trail opens into a wide, grassy field that crests ahead. Just enough that you can't see beyond it. With the help of a posted sign I realised that I could keep going and track along the treeline to pick up the trail again; or quit, cross the field and walk back to the parking lot.

I chose the latter. I declared that day that I "hated" hiking alone.

Still, I hate unfinished business more. So on November 5th I returned to Blomidon, after several much easier, but still building in challenge solo day hikes. Certainly the weather and the forest was much different now, with the green gone and dead leaves obliterating the trail. It was often hard to see. Yellow blazes were sparse on one leg, and blended with yellow leaves. Many times I had to look behind me to try to pick up return red blaze in the other direction. And it was cold. But on November 5th I crawled up that steep section again (easier this time) and came to that same field. And this day I kept going.

I finished Blomidon that day. Not without concerns, and not without fears or some worrisome moments (and LOTS of coyote dung on the trail). On the whole of what I considered a popular trail, I met only one other small group of 3 hikers that day. My heart lurched with gladness to see them. Overall, it felt more like an episode of the Walking Dead than a lovely hike. It was lonely and it was desolate. But I finished it because I had gained the strength, confidence, and courage to not give up.

And because I couldn't be outdone by fit 20-somethings.

The good part is coming.

Where I went home the first time. Today we keep dancing.

Beautiful sprawling views of the Fundy from lookouts.

Yellow blaze on the return Joudrey leg. Super helpful in Fall!!

Just when you're ready for it to be over already she will throw you one of these.
How to get there:


  1. Great that you persevered, B! Good motivation for other to not give up, as well.

    1. Yes!! If at first you don't succeed get back on that trail :-)


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