Hub Cycle’s Daisy Roberts – Reminds us to Stay Active in Victoria Park’s 3,000 Acres!
When COVID first hit, it was not long before winter lent itself to spring’s sunshine and warm weather. But now, people are starting to stay inside to avoid crowded places and the frigid winter air, as the number of cases rise. And, that can lead to COVID stress.
In Truro, there are all kinds of winter recreational opportunities – skiing, snowshoeing, fatbiking, skating – and over 30-km. of groomed trails to explore in the 1,214 hectares (3,000) acres of Victoria Park.
Co-owner Daisy Roberts said staff encourages people to enjoy Victoria Park in whatever way they can. “Victoria Park is a gem and we can do so many things in the park,” she said. “We’re outdoor people, and we really want people to get the enjoyment of outdoor living like we do.”
Bicycle sales and rentals don’t stop in the winter time. “Fat bikes”, boasting gigantic tires are gaining traction, with rides normally offered throughout the week, including “Sunday Fundays”. And, on Monday evenings from Truro Junior High School, hikers trust head lamps and a leader to guide them through the park’s darkness. Hikers look out for one an other with yells of “puddle,” “rock,” “root” and “mud” echoing down the line. These popular hikes be come “spike hikes” followed by snowshoeing when ice and snow arrive.
Before the hikers headed out on Nov. 16, organizer Mike Knowlton communicated to the group his awareness of the importance of the hikes should they be paused. “I think it’s good for all of our mental health to be outside and I think it’s also important that we have some people look forward to it,” he said. “There’s a lot of negativity in the world these days.”
Last March, it was hard when parks and recreational facilities closed. “We really be gan to realize how important these facilities are for mental health,” said Jarvis. “A lot of people were struggling when they didn’t have access to be able to go out and just re lax and kind of reset.”
Now, with COVID cases spiking in the province, the pandemic is threatening an other lockdown. But this time, for as long as it’s safely possible under COVID restrictions, the town hopes to keep recreational spaces open for people to get active.
“(In March) it was really eye-opening, across the province or across the world on how important recreation is to just being able to function normally,” said Jarvis. “You don’t notice it until it’s taken away. We don’t want to take away outlets if we can afford it.”
It’s unclear if the town will provide specialized winter programming this season. COVID permitting, it hopes to continue Truro’s annual Winter Long John Festival in February. Even without equipment, some thing as simple as going for a walk or shovelling snow makes a difference. There is more to Truro’s out doors than Victoria Park, and Jarvis says they are work ing on making neighbourhoods and parks more exciting for everyone.
“We’re really conscious of having recreation where people are, and not having them have to come to us to do that,” she said. “We’re seeing a lot of our neighborhood playgrounds and parks having more people there, which is fantastic.”
And even if COVID keeps gatherings like Hub Cycle’s from happening, outdoor activities are still low risk for COVID transmission. “Definitely go outside, go in your own bubbles, stay with your groups,” said Roberts. “It is important to get outside and get those endorphins from the fresh air and the outdoors, so we really need to stay happy in really hard times”.
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Fast Facts + Links, Victoria Park
· Snow phone (conditions), 902-895-7078
· 30km groomed trails
· 3,000 acre park
Groomed Trails in Nova Scotia
Groomed cross-country ski trails in Nova Scotia. Note that club trails are labelled in red. Click image to view interactive Google Map.
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