Cape Chignecto Provincial Park Coastal Trail – Final Section

Monday morning arrived with soft light and no rain. Breakfast was the quickest affair yet and with no tents to air or dry out we were back on the trail shortly after 7:30 am. 8 km to go… the finish line was so close!

With positive energy we forged ahead fully aware of the one big challenge still to come. Mill Brook provided our last water supply refill opportunity before we set out our final steep ascent of the 2 km long Mill Brook Hill.

Part of the frustrating part of Mill Brook Hill is that at the onset the blue sign informs hikers that there are 6 km to go to Red Rocks… roughly half to three-quarter of the way up it’s still 6 km… it’s a hiker’s head scratcher moment for sure! I took it slow and eventually reconnected with my companions. This time it took me 40 minutes with a 35 lb pack. This was a vast improvement over the first time a year ago with just a little water in my meagre day pack.

These birch bark curls were of particular note when I stopped for a breather.

And here we were, just about to step onto the beach leading to Red Rocks, the place we started out from 71.5 hours earlier.

Red Rocks beckoned and our steps got longer. We just had to take another picture in front of the “Not a Walk in the Park” sign… in Need of a shower and a little sore but still sporting huge smiles. The lobster boats chugging in the Bay … we were nearly home!

Photo curtesy of Gaby Ingram

Every epic adventure holds countless opportunities for learning. Circumnavigating Cape Chignecto was full of light-bulb moments: making sure we carry adequate water to avoid dehydration, taking smaller steps to better control slips and falls, levelling out the pack weight to manage shoulder pain and building in frequent rest periods to maintain optimum energy are just a few well known pieces of advice. Carrying extra dry socks is also important!

Choosing hiking partners who are encouraging, supportive and knowledgeable was my strongest asset. Gaby and Brian’s experience benefited this first time back country multi-day hiker immensely.

Getting home without knee pain is another huge win. Overall my body recovered in record time. Conditioning really paid off.

Will I do this hike again? Time will tell… all I know for now is that it won’t be next week or next month. 😁

I hope my honest and detailed account of this adventurous hike with its classification labelled “difficult” was to your liking.

Questions in the comment section are encouraged as always! Happy Friday, Anna

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