2015 – The Year in Review
There were many first for Hiking NB in 2015. We took our first overnight hike through Walton Glen Gorge and on the Fundy Footpath. This was our first hike on the Fundy Footpath. We had a chance to have our first hike on the newly upgraded Nepisiquit Mi’gmaq Trail. It was our first time recording a 15 week hiking series on CBC Radio’s Shift NB. We began the Trail Cleanup Challenge and we now have Hiking NB T Shirts available for purchase. We have also just recently reformatted the blog and started a blog series called People Behind the Trails. We hope this series will inspire you to give back to the trails we all love by telling the stories of the people behind the trails.
There were also many firsts as our website and social media sites continue to grow at an amazing rate:
- 303,127 page views (187,657 in 2014)
- 68,922 unique visitors (37,594 in 2014)
- 4,695 Facebook Likes (1,990 at beginning of 2014)
- 144 Twitter Followers (38 at the beginning of 2014)
- 127 Instagram Followers (0 at the beginning of 2014)
Thank you for everyone that follows what we do. It helps us provide others with trail information and inspiration.
It was great to see all of the activity on trail maintenance and development this year. The following is a list of some of those developments:
- Nepisiguit Mi’gmaq Trail – work is being done to restore the trail. The local trail group has succeeded in reclaiming 20 kilometers of the 140 kilometer Trail that follows the Nepisiguit River from Bathurst to Mount Carleton.
- Mount Carleton Park – Work was being done in the fall to restore the Caribou Brook, Dry Brook and Big Brook Trails. These trails had been closed for several years.
- New River Beach Park – Trail infrastructure was upgraded.
- Bathurst Waterfront – This trail was extended and a bridge was built over a wet area.
- Fundy Trail Parkway – The Fundy Trail Parkway is being extended to the Little Salmon River Road south of Sussex. This will make many parts of the Fundy Shoreline like Walton Glen Gorge more accessible.
- Mactaquac Park – Several bridges and boardwalks were replaced on the Alex Creek and Little Mactaquac Stream Trails.
- Portage Trails – There are six ancient portage trails being reclaimed throughout the province.
If you get a chance you should check out these trails and show support for future trail development. If you have the time please consider volunteering on the trails in 2016.
2016 – The Year Ahead
2016 is going to be a big year. Now with most of our backcountry camping equipment bought we are ready for the longer, more wild trails in the province. Our focus will be on the Fundy Footpath, Dobson Trail, Nepisiguit Mi’gmaq Trails and the Fundy Islands. There is also several trails throughout the province that we have yet to explore.
I am also over half done the writing of a guide book for the trails in the Lower St. John River Valley Region from Meductic toFredericton. It will include close to 90 trails and will showcase the many beautiful trails in this region.
When looking back over the year I noticed that I had not made many blog posts in the past year. The stories we tell in our blog posts are the basis of what we do. We want to share the stories and inspire you to get out there. In 2016 we plan to concentrate more on blog posts. As a result we will no longer be creating a quarterly newsletter. We will focus our time on writing blog posts and will be sending those posts out through our e-mail list. If you have not yet subscribed to our e-mail list go to the subscribe page on the website.
With our new focus on blog posts we have made a change to the format of the Hiking NB blog. It now has a much cleaner and nicer look, and places more of an emphasis on photos from our adventures. It is also mobile friendly and much easier to read on all devices. To test out the new format we have also launched the People Behind the Trails series. This series was developed to showcase the people who put so much into the beautiful trails in the province. Hopefully it will inspire you to volunteer for trail maintenance or simply take some ownership in the trails and clean them up however you can. If everyone left the trails better than they found them we would have a more amazing trail system.
Recently while watching my kids play on their ipads and ipods I noticed that they were all on Instagram. I told my daughter that I had setup an Instagram account for Hiking NB but had not done much on it. I was quite amazed to find out that I had over 80 followers even though I had only posted a couple of photos when I first started the account. I started to post photos on the account and have quickly grown it to 127 followers (It took me over a year to grow Twitter to 144). I liked the way Instagram was focused on photos and made it easy to post photos. I will definitely be using it more in the coming year to post photos of when we are out exploring. I will continue to use Twitter but for now Instagram just seems to make more sense for what we do.
My main focus on the trails has always been still photography. As we start to visit trails more than once I am much more focused on getting better pictures. I have endless ideas for photos I want to create and now know the best locations. I will continue to expand my skills at photography and I will continue to share the results.
Here’s to 2016. To stepping outside of your comfort zone and to trying something new. To finding adventure that will breath new life into your soul. If you choose to find your adventure on the trail we hope to see you there.
Go Explore, Go Hiking.