Despite the beautiful, cloudless sky, I found it hard to get motivated to head out for a long hike yesterday. Deciding on a short snowshoe into Shoe Cove along the Stiles Cove Path out of Pouch Cove, I strapped the snowshoes to my pack and headed out. The first part of the trail, alongside the ocean, was free from snow. So far so good. I kept expecting to see snow as I rounded each corner, but the trail was basically clear! Instead of a short jaunt to Shoe Cove, I made far better time than I thought I would due to the lack of snow, and so I continued onto Blackhead Cove before doubling back and heading back to Pouch Cove for a nice little 10k hike. My snowshoes stayed strapped to the pack the whole way.
Once I was on the trail I was glad I had gotten out. Not a cloud in the sky and no snow on the trail, the scenery was simply spectacular. I was so surprised to find the trail free of snow after the difficult trekking of the last two weeks that I was almost running the trail. I made such good time that ended up covering twice as much ground as I figured I’d end up snowshoeing.
On the return trip, climbing the hill out of Shoe Cove, I could hear ATVs coming down the Shoe Cove Road path. So much for the peace and quiet of the trail, but I guess there’s not much to be done about it since the ECT heads close to many towns. They didn’t have to be quite as obnoxious as they were, though, spending the next 20 minutes or so driving through the gut of the Shoe Cove river over and over:
I heard them tearing around the community as I made the return trip, but for the most part they were far enough away that I was in relative peace and quiet for the majority of the return trip.
Spectacular hiking! I suspect that there’s still snow on some of the Southern Shore legs of the ECT, but if Stiles Cove is any indication, the hiking season has officially begun on the ECT! Check out some of the pics below!