Cape North Skier Set Goal to Ski 1,000km

‘I Just Love it’

by Erin Pottie, Cape Breton Post, March 19, 2019



We particularly enjoy skier stories. As we approach 2021, we recall a story of determination by a Cape North skier, Freda McEvoy, who challenged herself to ski 1,000km during the 2018-2019 season. McEvoy advises that skiing alleviates her symptoms of arthritis and she just “loves it”. Kudos, you are an inspiration to us all! Freda is a member of North Highlands Nordic. Read more about Freda in the article below, as printed in the Cape Breton Post (March 19, 2020).


A Victoria County woman will attempt to cross-country ski a thousand kilometres in a single winter before the snow disappears.

Freda McEvoy grew up in the Cape Breton Highlands where she fell in love the sport.

A resident of Sunrise Valley in Cape North, McEvoy has already traversed over 700 kilometres of trails since December.

“It gets you out of the house and into the fresh air,” she said. “I do it a lot for exercise and I just love it.”

Areas of northern Cape Breton typically receive significant snowfall far earlier in the season than their southern counterparts.

McEvoy said she started skiing around her house prior to the January opening of trails at North Highlands Nordic in Cape North along the Cabot Trail.

She has been following her progress using a GPS tracker on her cellphone.

McEvoy said she skis in almost all weather. At times, she’s been only person out on the trails.

After returning from a skiing session, McEvoy keeps a written tally of her progress and typically aims to cover about 10 kilometres per day.

“Last year, I ended up with 850 km, but last year I skied down into April,” she said. “So far this year, I’m ahead in kilometres compared to what I had this time last year.”

McEvoy is also among the one in six Canadians who suffer from arthritis.

She said daily activity helps to alleviate symptoms of the disorder, including joint pain and stiffness. In the summer, she keeps up her fitness by bicycling.

“It pretty much uses every muscle in your body, your arms, your legs,” said McEvoy of skiing. “I’m going to try to see if I can do 1,000 kilometres as my goal, whether I make it or not, I don’t know before the snow ends.”

McEvoy was even hitting the snow when the Cape Breton Post contacted her last week.

North Highlands Nordic shared McEvoy’s progress earlier this week on their social media page.

Marion Boddy, manager of the ski room, praised McEvoy on her accomplishments.

“Freda is an incredible member to North Highlands Nordic and comes out every day to get her kilometers in and even on the truly windy day it never deters her,” Boddy said. “Congratulations is definitely needed.”

McEvoy in turn praised the work of volunteer groomers Maurice Curtis and Michael Fitzgerald for keeping such pristine paths at the facility.

The Cape North ski club was founded in 1977 by a small group of enthusiastic skiers who shared a love of winter and the area’s splendid scenery.

It operates out of a room in the Northern Victoria Community Centre and features 12 km of trails.

— End —

By Erin Pottie, Cape Breton Post, March 19, 2020. View original article.


>North Highlands Nordic – Trail Addition + Construction, Ready for January 2021

>NS Trails and Conditions

> More News

Paragon Golf and Country Club – Grooming Trails

Encouraging Winter Fitness

by Cross Country Nova Scotia Staff, December 22, 2020


Paragon Golf and Country Club, located in Kingston, within the Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia, will be grooming approximately 5 km of trails across its entire 18 hole property for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and walking.  There will be a classic double-track set, a surface for skate skiing, and a separately groomed trail alongside the ski trails for walkers – that is dog-friendly.  Families are welcome and encouraged to enjoy the grounds. Everyone is invited to use the trails – you do not have to be a member of the Paragon Golf and Country Club. Skiers are encouraged to support grooming efforts by purchasing a ski club membership (more details to follow).

Specialized grooming equipment, along with expertise for setting the trail systems, technical aspects of grooming, and securing funds to launch the project, have been sourced through a partnership with Halifax Nordic Ski Club (HNSC).  Volunteers within the Kingston community will be maintaining the trails.  HNSC is an established volunteer-based cross-country ski club which grooms and maintains approximately 40km of trails across six locations in the Halifax Regional Municipality and surrounding areas.  

Sara Wilson, general manager, realized the potential to bring even more people together throughout the year, with the addition of grooming for cross-country skiing at Paragon Golf and Country Club.  The club has maintained walking trails in previous winters.  

The Kingston community has been waiting for this opportunity.   It’s important to recognize the value of staying active, especially during these times.  Considering the COVID-19 pandemic, people are staying closer to home, the additional grooming will provide another physical outlet for people in the offseason.  We have received a lot of positive feedback from our community.  Our board executives have been extremely supportive since the beginning of the project.  


Fitness enthusiasts of all abilities will appreciate Paragon’s gently rolling terrain, mature forests, and apple trees.  “It’s the most beautiful golf course in the Valley”, Wilson stated.  “It’s very green down through the oldest part of the course.  In the front we have apple trees, and in the back are towering pines and maples.  The original course was cut through a mature forest, with another portion of land being a former apple orchard.”  Trail users have another means to enjoy the club’s landscape year-round and get out to enjoy nature.

A Part of the Community

Local skier, Dylan Taylor, practiced skiing with his coach, Jim Spurrell, at the Paragon Golf and Country Club last winter.  Additional skiers also participated.  Taylor competed at the Special Olympics Canada Winter Games in February, 2020.  The club is hoping the addition of cross-country ski grooming, will prove beneficial to young athletes.  Learn more about Dylan, view Kings County Advertiser Register, February 15, 2020.

Dylan Taylor competes in the five-kilometre cross-country skiing race on February 26, 2020 at the Special Olympics Canada Winter Games in Thunder Bay, Ontario  (Leith Dunick,  Dylan received a gold medal in this race.

Photographed at Paragon Golf and Country Club (2020) – Heather MacLeod (Special Olympics coach), James Dowling, Jim Spurrell (Special Olympics coach), Tim Prosser, Leo Glavine (MLA for Kings West / Minister of Health and Wellness / Minister of Seniors), and Sandy Banks (local running club coach).

Jim Spurrell coached Dylan, along with other skiers at the club last season. Before each session, he would post “come ski with me @ 3” to encourage anyone else to come and join them. The news of additional grooming was welcomed by Spurrell.

It is indeed exciting to hear the news about Paragon Golf and Country Club in Kingston getting ready to groom cross country skiing trails this year. As an avid cross country skier enthusiast and coach for Special Olympics, I have been skiing at Paragon for many years now. We have trained athletes for skiing and preparation to compete both at provincial and national levels. Although the task of cutting our own trails can be daunting by times, especially after every new snowfall, we really appreciate it all when we get to compete on well groomed trails. It makes us feel like we are flying and we all love that so much. As difficult as it is in Nova Scotia and many other places, to have and maintain good skiing conditions, it makes it all the more appreciated that Paragon is willing to make the investment in time and energy and money to have grooming done this year. We will look forward to testing it out and encouraging others to strap on the skis and go out and play this winter.


Along with providing new opportunities for experienced skiers to enjoy the club’s winter landscape, there will be potential for “learn-to-ski” sessions.  As the first season of ski grooming takes shape, there is anticipation of growth across all of the winter activities at Paragon Golf and Country Club. 

The clubhouse is currently undergoing renovations, with an estimated completion date around the end of January, 2021.  Updates regarding access to the facility during set hours, will be posted, once construction is finalized.  

Learn more about the Paragon Golf and Country Club by visiting their website or Facebook account.

Cross-Country Ski Rentals

Recreation departments in Middleton ( and Berwick ( rent cross-country skis. View locations that rent or loan skis across the province by viewing the “Directory of Equipment, Trails & Weather“.

Paragon General Manager 

General Manager + Director of Golf – Sarah Wilson, 

Sara Wilson is one of five PGA golf professionals.  Read full article, Paragon has big plans for 2021, Annapolis Valley Register, (Dec 10, 2020).  Sarah also owns and operates Metro Ladies Golf Inc.

Paragon Board of Directors

President / Jr. Programs – Ed Wadman

Vice President / Handicap – Dave Potter

Treasurer – Elizabeth (Libby) Blatch

Tournaments – Wayne Lincoln

Buildings – Kevin Ring

House – Curtis MacIntyre

Greens – Paul Moase

Memberships – Dave Reid


Paragon Golf and Country Club

· Website

· Facebook

· Tourism Kingston, Nova Scotia

· Google Maps

> More News

Help Wanted – Canadian Ski Hall of Fame & Museum

We Can Use Your Help

by Canadian Ski Hall of Fame and Museum, December 10, 2020


We have all felt it or said something like it over years; “skiing is not just a sport, it is a way of life”.  Whether your preference is a snowboard, cross country skis or alpine, the fact is we cherish sliding on snow.  The Canadian Ski Hall of Fame and Museum (CSHFM) is about preserving and sharing this enthusiasm and bond with winter.  We can use your help. 

This note is about reaching out on behalf of the Board of the CSHFM to share that we are looking to broaden and deepen our team.  If you are interested, we are seeking people who have interested in supporting committee work or ultimately looking to Board membership.

Across our committee structures we need help with:

  • Media and Communications;
  • Web and Social media;
  • Marketing and Sales;
  • Finance;
  • Events;
  • Fundraising; and
  • Curation and Collections

Where you live does not matter.  We are a national organization working virtually, even before the pandemic forced this reality on us.  If you are interested to pitch in or know more please send us a reply to

“A bad day on the slopes, is better than a good day in the office”.  Unless the mountain is your office.

Look forward to hearing from you,

Stephen Finestone

Chair, CSHFM

— End —

E-mail distributed by CSHFM (December 10, 2020)

Nova Scotia Builder, Cross-Country Skiing – Recognized by CSHFM

An important builder in our sport, Freda Wales, has previously been inducted by the Canadian Ski Hall of Fame; to honour a lifetime of dedicated service to humankind along with an incredible commitment to advancing sport and outdoor pursuits.

Freda was renowned for her unobtrusive manner, passion for the outdoors, and persuasive ability to bring people together. “She was in charge of Outdoor Education for the Halifax District School Board for several years and thus was able to influence many young people as to the benefits of sports and being outside,” advised Dianne Powell, who describes Freda as a “wonderful, solid friend”.

Freda not only inspired and educated young people on the benefit of sports and outdoor activities – she initiated the governance of sport by helping to found five sports organizations in Nova Scotia, including the “Atlantic Division – Canadian Amateur Ski Association”, from which the current governing body for cross-country skiing in Nova Scotia evolved.

Freda Wales Award

Cross Country Nova Scotia initiated the “Freda Wales Award” in 1993. The award is presented to women who have made outstanding contributions to cross-country skiing in Nova Scotia. We acknowledge an incredible historic builder, while paying tribute to our current day volunteers who work tirelessly to make a difference in the lives of others through cross-country skiing.


· Maria Ramsey, 1995

· Sue Hill, 1996

· Linda Murray, North Highlands Nordic, 1997

· Linda Murray, North Highlands Nordic, 1999

· Linda Murray, North Highlands Nordic, 2001

· Norma Marchand, 2002

· Gaye Lillington, North Highlands Nordic, 2003

· Eileen Woodford, 2004

· Joanne Fitzgerald, North Highlands Nordic, 2014

· Dianne Powell, 2015

· Nancy Munro, 2016

· Linda Murray, North Highlands Nordic, 2018

· Rosemary Algar, North Highlands Nordic, 2019

· Deirdre Evans, Halifax Nordic Ski Club, 2020


Read more about Deirdre Evans’ contributions to cross-country skiing, read full article (click).

Freda developed a love for skiing in her home province of Quebec. When she moved to Nova Scotia in 1947, the sport had few followers and virtually no facilities to support it. In her unobtrusive way, Freda set out to introduce the sport to the province. (Source: Canadian Ski Hall of Fame, Photo: Saltwire Network)

Freda was born in Montreal. She attended McGill University and received a degree in physical education. Amongst Freda’s professional endeavours, she was the head of outdoor education (HRSB), and taught at Mount Saint Vincent University where she was one of the first in our province to incorporate orienteering into her program.

Further Reading

Canadian Ski Hall of Fame and Museum | Freda Wales Profile

Canadian Ski Hall of Fame and Museum | Freda Wales Biography

>2020 Freda Wales Award Recipient – Deirdre Evans

>Awards – Cross Country Nova Scotia

> More News

1998 Canadian Birkie Gold for NS Skier

1998 Birkie Gold for Daniel Murray, 55km with 12- Pound Pack

by Cross Country Nova Scotia Staff, December 8, 2020 (updated Dec 12, 2020)


As registrations for the 2021 Canadian Birkie Ski Festival continue, we remember a historic victory for our province, by a twenty-two-year-old Nova Scotia skier.  Daniel Murray recorded the fastest male time in the “1998 Birkie Full”, which is a 55 km cross-country ski race where participants carry a 12-pound backpack.  

Murray competed in the 13th edition of the Canadian Birkie, while attending Augustana University College, in nearby Camrose, Alberta, as a 3rd year Bachelor of Science student.  Daniel’s hometown club is North Highlands Nordic, located in Cape North, Nova Scotia.  He is entering this 13th consecutive season as head coach for the Nova Scotia cross-country ski team.

I will always remember the Birke for it’s community atmosphere, the feed station competitions between various community businesses (a Mexican themed one comes to mind), and gently rolling terrain with twists and turns.  In particular to 1998, most of my memories of my race that year have now gone, but I still remember spending the first 1/4 the race holding onto the overall leaders (who did not have a pack) and who were very strong national caliber racers.  When the eventual race winner finally noticed that I had a backpack on, he fired a few sparring (yet good natured) comments in my direction, then went to the front of the pack and hit the gas.  And, of course, it was nice to have my folks and youngest brother there, to sit together with my university team after the race and share stories of the day.


Daniel’s parents, Linda and Ken Murray, introduced cross-country skiing to their four children at early ages – they all developed a love for the sport and competing.  The Murrays became key contributors within their local club and the whole family enjoyed the lifestyle of travelling to loppets, races, and the sense of community within all of these events. Linda recounts her family’s adventures at the 1998 Birkie, below.

It’s nice to recall the Birkie day again. It was Valentine’s Day. Stephen age 14, Ken and myself, were entered in the 32 km event.  Our start was a half an hour after Daniel’s so we watched that group leave.  To our horror we saw Stephen accidentally head out with this group.  Ken ran along the frozen lake and caught up with him just before the racers entered the woods.  The night before at a team party I asked Daniel’s teammates how I should handle the event.  There would be thousands of participants.  They all said to go like hell for the first 2 km because the numerous tracks on the lake will be narrowed down to two tracks through the woods for the last 30 km.   I did what I could do.  When I finished I saw the media interviewing Daniel. We were so glad to be able to share this special time with him.  I found out later to my surprise that I had placed second in my age category!   Becky Scott’s mom came first.


The 1998 Birkie is noted by the Canadian Birkebeiner Society to have been a “slush fest” as temperatures soared in the afternoon, turning tracks into mush; unseasonable weather for this edition of the race which landed on Valentine’s Day.  The Birkie traditionally attracts talented and up-and-coming racers from across Canada.  Familiar Canadian national team skiers and soon-to-be national team participants competed in races during the 1998 edition.  View Full Article (Edmonton Sun, 15/02/1998), Results List (Edmonton Journal, 26/02/1998).

1998 Birkebeiner results.  View full list, click here, as published in Edmonton Journal (February 26, 1998).

The Canadian Birkie Ski Festival is one of three Birkebeiner events held worldwide – with others held in Wisconsin and Norway.  The Birkebeiner originated in Norway, based on the legend of two warriors who rescued their nation’s prince as a civil war raged in the year 1206, skiing across two mountain ranges with the child, to the town of Lillehammer.  The 12-pound pack some skiers carry in the 55-km event represents the infant prince.  

The 2021 Birkie will be held at Cooking Lake, Blackfoot Provincial Recreation Area (approximately 60 km east of Edmonton), providing recreational and competitive cross-country ski events.  Families are encouraged to participate in the ⅓ km Barnebirkie classic ski events, where kids and parents ski together.  Additionally, an inaugural Virtual race is being offered, allowing competitors to race from across the globe, for the 36th edition of the Birkie.  

CTV News Edmonton

The annual event will look different this year because of the pandemic. Registration is capped at 640 skiers over four days, almost half of last year’s numbers, and participants will be spaced out on two sites with staggered starts. “We knew it would be very busy,” Canadian Birkebeiner Society president Dave Cooper said. “We were more than a month late to start and with the caps, people were waiting.” Read full article, CTV News Edmonton (December 11, 2020).


Click to view YouTube videos.

Photo Links

Click on the photos to view the Birkie website.

Further Reading

> Canadian Birkebeiner Registration

> Daniel Murray – 2020 Bryan Scallion Award

> Nova Scotia Cross-Country Ski Team

> Nova Scotia Loppets

> More News