HALIFAX: Who would have thought that a walk in the woods could help increase social connection and overall health?

According to experts, loneliness is a growing epidemic. One remedy is getting outside with others for some physical activity.

And that’s where Hike Nova Scotia’s Winter Guided Hike & Walk Series comes in, according to Janet Barlow, Hike NS Executive Director.

“More and more, research is pointing to the need for more social connection in our communities. People are feeling isolated and lonely,” said Barlow. “Winter tends to make the situation worse since they don’t tend to go out as much.”


There’s also the physical inactivity epidemic explains Barlow.

“As a society we don’t get enough physical activity. In order to be healthy, we need to move more. And if you do that with others, even better,” she said.

“Our guided events are a good start.”

Hike NS and 25 host organizations have partnered to offer the Winter Guided Hike & Walk Series from January to March. There are 55 hike, walk or snowshoe events scheduled province-wide.

Events are led by local folks and participants qualify to win trail prizes. They are free or low-cost events and some require pre-registration.


The full schedule with registration details and directions is found at www.hikenovascotia.ca. Events are listed by date and region and include route lengths and difficulty levels.

For some of the events snowshoes are provided. If there’s no snow, most snowshoe events will go ahead as a hike or walk.

Hike NS thanks its local partners on the ground for organizing the events as well as Goose Lane Editions, Mountain Equipment Company and the NS Department of Communities, Culture, Tourism and Heritage for their support.


The series is linked to the Take the Roof Off Winter initiative.

If you need snowshoes, you can easily find some to borrow, rent or buy using Hike NS’s online directory, with 99 listings. There are 68 venues where you can borrow them for free.

Learn more at www.hikenovascotia.ca.