Kentville – Loop Town

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It’s the circle of life, and it moves us all through despair and hope, through faith and love.  Till we find our place on the path unwinding.
– The Lion King

It was another fine day in Kentville.  More than seven months since the sun warmed my skin and things were soft, green and alive.  The last time I was there I discovered a lovely park a short walk from the downtown with ducks in an over sized pond and a nice circular path through tall grasses.

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Nearby I discovered the main free parking area  was hosting a farmers’ market midweek with produce, French pastries and even Korean food in a small town in the valley.  I discovered the market only because I heard a band playing while walking with the dogs and ducks.  In travel one should follow their ears or nose as much as possible so as to be led into serendipitous situations.

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I had just come from a temporary exhibit at the museum which featured many Japanese items brought back by a woman who had been living there for over a decade.  She had collected kimonos, dolls and various other curios and I wondered how she would adapt to life back in a small town in the midst of farming country.  She had enough items to fill the museum space so she had obviously spent lots of time there and had gathered many cherished mementos.

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Although this was only a temporary exhibit  there were also displays of olden times in Nova Scotia.

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Go forward seven months and my attempt to get information at the tourist bureau led only to futile attempts at pulling on a locked door while looking in at a girl unloading this year’s brochures.  It was a lovely day and past Victoria Day which is thought to be the start of the tourist season for some.  The weather can behave or not at this time.  It’s chancey for the next few weeks but can be rewarding if you hit the right days.

I was lucky on this occasion.  I had lost last year’s collected brochures and since the tourist information place was closed I had to go on hazy memory mixed with shaky intuition.  I love how great things can often come from this combination.  Sometimes you just cruise along or float down a path to something nice with only a vague inclination that you would even find it.  The fortuitous find is far more exciting than the planned one.

On this occasion after giving up on getting the information I needed I hit the road in the general direction of somewhere until I felt the need to turn left perhaps slightly remembering the map I studied last year.   I passed some apartments and then arrived at the entrance to a park.  This was it.  Something I was looking for though I didn’t know even what I would find there.

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I got out and after a brief peruse of the map I headed up the slightly inclining loop with the sun massaging my shoulders, getting warmer with each step, ears primed for sounds of innocent or dangerous intruders into my quiet, isolated space.  It was created for mountain bikers and would have been a challenge as walking up was a bit of work not to mention cycling.  Then it was downhill and I had to brace my thighs for the descent.  I tripped over a random root poking up from nowhere.

Then I spied some side paths bathed in sporadic light beckoning me off the beaten path.  I quickly obeyed the call of the wild.  The place was so empty that any encounter with a bike would have been almost hazardous on the narrow side routes and most certainly unpleasant to a relaxing stroll in an isolated area.

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I happily enjoyed the sun dappled roller coaster dirt paths heading down into the mystery of the darkened gorge while carefully stepping over tree roots on paths that were almost precipitous ledges leading me across bridges through what looked like perfectly planted forests with random rebellious curvy or leaning trees trying hard to alter the grid plan.  At times it was very tricky to stay upright on these thin up and down bumpy trails.  I can’t imagine biking on them but they would be a nice challenge for those with a certain skill level.  Otherwise stick to the main loop.  See below for a sign warning of a drop off for cross country skiers.  This is not something I have seen before.  Enjoy but beware of dangers.  The best kind of fun.

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Upon my return I heard there was a lone biker who had arrived but luckily our paths didn’t cross and I was able to meander alone in this pristine space.  There is always a slight sense of danger in these  situations of female alone in an isolated location but it tends to be muted by the joy of the sheer power of nature surrounding one.  The sense of making your way on a path alone feeling far from anyone or anything you know.  The lure of the trail to something you have never seen before.

Then it was time for food and drink.  I had a nice coffee at T.A.N. Coffee.  Then I had lunch at the Kings Arms Pub.  The staff was friendly and the food was tasty and quick to arrive with a reasonable price tag.   What more can you ask for?  I split the wrap(not as pictured as this one has been cut and bitten into) and salad or soup combo and was filled, happy and not feeling ripped off for once.  Splitting this combo or even having it to yourself is a decent price which doesn’t always happen.

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Notice the trough sink in the bathroom.  Sometimes  bathrooms are showpieces.  I often visit them just to see if they are interesting in some way.  Outdoor seating looks nice too.  It was warm this day while in the park but a coolness set in later.IMGP4478

I looked in the Designer Cafe across the street which had a nice decor and was very busy but a bit pricey.  It seemed very pannini and salady.  It looked like a fun place to eat and I may try it one day.  I only got pictures of the outside.  Clicking on and enlarging this photo shows an interesting reflection and more details.

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It was easy to find free parking here. The only tricky thing is the one way street system leading you in a counter clockwise loop that seems a bit much for such a small place.  From parks to driving around downtown you will constantly find your self going in circles in this town.  Perhaps they don’t want you to leave.

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2 thoughts on “Kentville – Loop Town

  1. Jane, I’ve been to Kentville several times and agree with your assesment — it’s a cozy and convenient place for many reasons. I’ve not been on the Gorge hiking trail you mention so will have to explore that next time I’m around there.

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