A lifelong Haligonian, I fondly remember family bike rides at Point Pleasant Park, beach combing at McNabs Island, and acting out epic childhood adventures at York Redoubt. The outdoors was an important part of my childhood. Enthusiasm for the outdoors is behind every adventure I share, which I hope entices more explorers to “Canada’s ocean playground”.
My favourite jobs, sports, and other recreational activities have always been outdoors. As a kid, I played in the yard, at the park or biked around the city. During university at St. Francis Xavier and Saint Mary’s University, I planted trees in Spring and Summer for the forestry industry. It involved hauling heavy loads of trees through kilometers of clearcut wastelands in every manner of inclement weather with nowhere to take shelter. I learned a lot of valuable lessons testing my physical and mental limits with the daily adversities. I eventually thrived on the challenges and became a highly productive planter, planting many hundreds of thousands of trees during my few seasons.
Beyond the life lessons; a major thing that stuck with me from tree planting was the feeling of disgust at the abhorrent treatment of our environment. Each day in remote clear-cuts, hidden from public view, felt like living a dystopian future that I didn’t want any part in creating. I gained a new-found appreciation for the beauty of wilderness in its natural state. These early days played a big part in why I created HalifaxTrails.ca.
If I gain enough support, I’d love to continue my mission:
- Inspire healthy living and an appreciation of the natural world through outdoor activity.
- Bring recognition and support to local volunteer organizations, groups, and unsung heroes. I want to see more support for those who construct, maintain and protect our natural assets.
- Explore, map, photograph and promote all of the parks, trails and outdoor adventure destinations in Nova Scotia. We are blessed to have so many and too few people know about them.
- Put Nova Scotia on the map of the best ecotourism destinations in the world. Help encourage a modern, sustainable economy based on our unique natural assets as an attraction for new citizens and business.
- Develop a mobile app.
- Upgrade hardware and software to improve productions.
- Eliminate the need for advertisements on the website.
Why I Created HalifaxTrails.ca
I created HalifaxTrails.ca in 2009 as I started to explore new areas of our great outdoors. I relied mostly on word of mouth to find new places. Searching online for maps, photos and videos of local trails didn’t turn up many results, so I decided to create them myself. Through the years I’ve documented most of my trips in hopes of helping people explore the amazing natural resources which make Halifax and Nova Scotia so beautifully unique. It is my view that the more people we can get out enjoying nature, the more aware we become collectively of how fragile, threatened and under-funded our natural assets are. As these places become well known to the public, their preservation will hopefully become more important to those in a position to do something about it. (the collective saving of Blue Mountain – Birch Cove Lakes wilderness area is a great example).
I have put a lot of time and effort into the site through the years, and have learned many valuable lessons and skills along the way. It has been a joy to share my work with the public and get feedback from people who feel as passionate as I do about the amazing places we have in our own backyard. I gladly respond to emails from tourists and locals alike and am proud to say I’ve helped many people discover our great outdoors. Through Halifax Trails, I’ve been able to help promote the work of local volunteer organizations, and environmental causes while staying independent and self-funded. I do every aspect of work on the site; every photo, video, map, blog and social media post is created by myself alone. It’s a lot of work for one person, especially without government or corporate backing but I hope to gain enough supporters to continue on.
Thank you, and happy trails!
A ridiculous amount of coffee is consumed while working on HalifaxTrails.ca. Add some fuel if you'd like to keep me going!