Walks & Talks

About Our Walks and Talks

Our walks are led by specialists or well schooled naturalists, and provide a good way to expand your knowledge of local natural history as well as to mingle with members of the natural history community.

Deep Cove Nature Reserve
Brad Armstrong and Doug van Hemessen led HFN participants into the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s Deep Cove Nature Reserve on Oct 24, 2015.

We usually have one or more walks a month throughout the year. All participants in HFN activities are responsible for their own safety. Always wear suitable clothing and footwear for the weather, the activity, and the terrain. If in doubt, call the contact person listed for each field trip.

Our talks are given by both experts and interested amateurs. They provide an opportunity to learn what local scientists, volunteers, and HFN members are up to. Regular meetings with talks are held on the third Tuesday of every month except July and August at 7:30 PM in the auditorium of the Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History, 1747 Summer Street, Halifax. Meetings are open to the public, however in the event of the room being filled up, members would be given priority.  Use the entrance next to the parking lot. There is a charge for parking at the Museum; usually, two hours will be adequate.

Upcoming Events

Note: As of September 2023 our regular meeting time has changed from the first Thursday of the month to the third Tuesday on the month.

[Click here to view the HFN 2024 Summer Programme]

Saturday, 13 July, 2024:July Canoe Trip
Once again, HFNer Gareth Harding will lead a canoe/kayak trip on the Stewiacke River.With the success of last year’s event, plus its positive reviews, it only made sense to do another.This time around we’re going to launch at Upper Stewiacke and haul out at Middle Stewiacke bridge that we started from last year.Starting further up the river we may find shallower water and wading/water shoes may come in handy.As before, we’ll leave of couple of cars at the haul out point in order to ferry drivers back up to the launch site. Hopefully, we’ll find as good a lunch spot and maybe swimming hole as the first time. NOTE:Life jackets are mandatory! Bring food. Also strongly suggested — water/wading shoes, water-proof stowage for cameras, keys, wallets, etc. and spare paddles if you have them. Registration is required for communication purposes. If anyone needs a canoe partner, or has an extra canoe/kayak, let Bernie know.
Rain Date: Sunday, 14 July
Contact/Register:Bernie McKenna, 902-434-3203 or mckennab197@gmail.com
Time/Place:10:30 a.m., Exit 11 of Hwy 102 at KFC parking lot, Mastodon Ridge
Difficulty/Duration: Easy; all down-river paddling; 5 to 6 hours on the water, maybe a little more (travel time not included)

Tuesday, 30 July 2024:H.R. Irving Botanical Gardens
This will be a follow-up to the fascinating tour we had of these gardens’ internal facilities last April 2nd. It’s a great opportunity to observe an Acadian Forest’s natural world under the guidance of gardens staff. Laid out in nine distinct environments, (such as Wetlands, Deciduous Woodlands, and Sand Barrens, etc), it will be informative and picturesque. Cameras will be well worth carrying! Registration required. Considering the distance, we will car-share wherever possible. There is a $69.00 group charge; each participant is required to reimburse HFN $5.00.
Rain Date Wednesday, July, 31st
Contact:Bernie McKenna, 902-434-3202, mckennab197@gmail.com                   Time/Place: 11:00 a.m., 32 University Avenue, Acadia University, Wolfville
Difficulty/Duration: Easy; 1.5 hours, travel not included.

Saturday, 3 August 2024: Mill Cove Trail Walk                                                                 Join long-time HFNer Patricia Leader and Scott Manor, volunteer from the Halifax North West Trails Association (HNWTA), for a summer walk around Paper Mill Lake. The historical perspective is compiled from HNWTA’s Bedford Archives. An easy and mostly level walk beginning at Moir’s Mill, the trail itself is paved and has very accessible exits if the walk was to run late. A short wooded-area walk can be included around Mill Cove area if so desired at the time. It’s August (hot) so dress accordingly and bring water. A waterfall there would suggest a camera; for coffee fans the parking area is just below Tim’s. Registration is required for communication purposes; no limit on number of participants is expected.
Rain Date: Sunday 4 Aug
Contact: Pat Leader, Patricia Leader@eastlink.ca
Time/Place: 2:00 p.m.; 920 Bedford Highway, Moir’s Parking Lot (below Tim Horton’s)
Difficulty/Duration: Easy; 2 hours

Saturday, 10 August 2024: Clam Harbour Provincial Park
Joshua Barss Donham of the Backlands Coalition, a self-described enthusiastic naturalist with a definite leaning towards birds, will lead us on this scenic and nature-oriented seashore walk.  A 5.5 km trail, it starts along a length of open sandy beach, which leads to low headlands bordered by wind-swept conifers and various low growing plants, as well as picturesque rocky reefs reaching into the sea.  For the latter alone, cameras would be well worth carrying.  There’s a 5.5 ft (1.6 m) high tide at 2:26 p.m., so hopefully shorebirds will be closer inshore for easier viewing.   Registration is required; water-proof hikers/wind breakers are suggested.  It is about a one hour drive so carpooling is strongly recommended.
Rain Date: Sunday 11 Aug
Contact: Bernie McKenna, 902-434-3202, mckennab197@gmail.com
Time/Place: 2:00 p.m.; Clam Harbour Beach Park, Beach Road, Lake Charlotte; we’ll meet in the central washroom/foot shower area.
Difficulty/Duration: Easy, except for some quite rocky spots in the headland areas / 2.5 hours (travel not included)

Tuesday, 17 September: MUSHROOMS!
Halifax Field Naturalists’ resident mushroom expert, John Crabtree, will once again share his in-depth knowledge of our always fascinating fungi, with identification tips, likely locations, possible hazards, etc. A founding member and current director of the Nova Scotia Mycological Society (NSMS), he is the regional director of HRM for the NSMS. His talks, with his extensive background and always interesting anecdotes, constantly place him in high demand. This is a perennially popular talk with wide appeal, so it’s best to come early to ensure seating, as fire regulations restrict attendance and are enforced. Note: HFN Members will be given first priority for seating. There’ll be a follow-up hike on Saturday, Sept. 21st led by Clarence Stevens.
Time:  7:30 p.m.
Location:  Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History, 1747 Summer St, Halifax (lower entrance)

HFN Membership:  Just a friendly reminder that HFN memberships expire at the end of the calendar year. If you have not already done so, please consider renewing your membership.
Details available here: http://halifaxfieldnaturalists.ca/hfnWP/?page_id=2893It should also be noted that Nature Nova Scotia memberships are no longer available via HFN. Should you wish to continue your membership with Nature NS, or join for the first time, please visit: https://naturens.ca/join/