In the heart of our welcoming village lies a true gem
The village of Kingston is nestled in the heart of Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley. Near to 14 Wing Greenwood, one of Canada’s largest military bases, the tiny village is also an easy drive to the Bay of Fundy, home of the world’s highest tide, as well as wineries and orchards. A day of shopping in Halifax is a 90-minute drive away.
But it is a park located within the village itself that has my heart. Stronach Park and Family Fitness Trail is located on Bridge Street in Kingston and is named for a local family.
The area features a duck pond, picnic tables and a 1.5-kilometre fitness trail, where all ages can try their hand at various fitness challenges along the way (Can you walk the balance beam? How many chin-ups can you do?) or where energetic children can just run along the well-maintained paths and trails through the trees, listening to the birds chirping and the squirrels chattering. And best of all, it is free to use! The park is maintained by the village of Kingston itself...no charge to those who love this park as I do and who use it daily.
The park is cherished by locals and visitors alike, all year round. There is never a time when there isn’t at least one car in the parking lot and often, the lot is filled with cars as people unpack their coolers for a picnic or strollers to walk the trails with their little ones. Locals
spend their lunch hour or coffee break there, enjoying a moment of solitude before heading back to work.
In spring, the end of a long winter is celebrated by the arrival of migrating birds such as Canada geese, and double-crested cormorants stopping for a rest at the pond, and by the fragrant blooms of the magnolia trees in full blossom.
In summer, visitors spend their time feeding the wild ducks, having a family picnic at one of the tables provided, enjoying the sounds of the fountains as they spray a rainbow hue of mist across the pond, or taking in the scenery. Arbours and benches are sometimes used as a setting for an outdoor wedding.
The pond in autumn is breathtaking: I call it my “Golden Pond.” The rich colours of autumn in Nova Scotia are reflected in the stillness of the water. The photo I included of the pond (top) is one of my personal favourites, and I am so proud to tell you the village of Kingston has purchased two prints of it for gifts!
In winter, the village turns the frozen pond into a skating rink for families, where little ones can learn how to manoeuvre on those thin silver blades or budding hockey players can hone their skills on an outdoor rink, breathing in the crisp, cold air of a winter’s day.
We are so lucky to have such a gem in our village. It’s a place to enjoy nature and your family, and share in the beauty that is Nova Scotia…it truly is a park for all seasons. ■