The Spout is probably the best known attraction of the East Coast Trail. You can hike out to this geological oddity over Spout Path in spring, summer and fall, keeping in mind it’s a 23.5 km trail. The middle of winter however, offers a cool alternative to this long coastal hike: an overland snowshoe route.
In warmer seasons this 7 kilometre ‘shortcut’ to the Spout is not a practical option because of obstacles like streams and soggy marshes, and of course the many blackflies that are out for your blood.
Today it was suitably cold though, a perfect day for the overland route with everything nice and frozen. It was still dark when just before 7AM I tied on my snowshoes, turned on my GPS and headed east from the starting point on the Southern Shore Highway.
Here are some images taken along the way:
Most streams and ponds are frozen solid, but still it’s wise to be careful and go around:
I had a few unbalanced moments, nearly tripping over unseen rocks buried in the snow:
As you may have noticed by now, these shots were on the way back, with light coming from the afternoon sun:
These pink markers are very helpful, and easy to spot from a distance:
Just before you hit the coast, there are several areas where fallen trees obscure the trail:
After about 3 hours of careful snowshoeing, I arrived at the winter Spout:
Spray from the Spout had completely frozen the surrounding landscape, the snow was glazed with a thick layer of ice which made the going kind of slippery.
It felt good to take off my snowshoes for a minute:
After lunch with a view, it was time for the 7k return trip to the main road…