Embrace Nature this Valentine’s Day
It can be a tough time of year to get outside, unless it is to shovel again, between snow storms, blizzards, and coats of freezing rain, but with only four more weeks of winter (according to Shubenacadie Sam), February might be the last month to really enjoy the crisp quiet of a winter morning or the fresh air of new snowfall. Winter is a really dreamy season, which is perfect for the festivities of February 14! Whether you’re celebrating with a partner, enjoying Galentine’s Day with a best girlfriend, or practicing self-love today, embrace nature this Valentine’s Day on one of these perfect outdoor dates.
1.Try star gazing
On a cool and clear night, star gazing is a date activity not to be missed. If you can, head out of the city to escape the bright lights. As a Dark Sky Preserve, Mount Carleton Provincial Park may be the perfect place for this date night during a winter camping adventure! Bring a blanket and a thermos full of your favourite hot drink to really cozy up while you take in the sights and sounds of a winter’s night. Before you head out, read up on what stars and planets you can see this month to impress your date (or yourself).
2. Go for a bike ride
Yes, you read that correctly. With ample snow, New Brunswick is the perfect province to have a go at winter fat biking. You can rent a fat bike at three provincial parks and two national parks in New Brunswick, making it an easy and adventurous date activity. Don’t forget to look for signs of wildlife while you ride, and take breaks to really appreciate the nature around you!
3. Enjoy a winter hike
Saving your Valentine’s Day celebrations for this weekend? If the weather cooperates, take your loved one(s) out for a winter adventure! Strap on your snowshoes, rent a pair, or opt for your boots to hike one of these top New Brunswick trails. Don’t forget to bring water and some snacks. Maybe even pack a zero-waste winter picnic; keeping food chilled won’t be a problem this time of year!
4. Go sledding
Sledding blends the nostalgia of childhood with simplicity— maybe you want to save learning to ski or snowboard for a second date. After this week’s fresh snowfall, bundle up, grab an old toboggan, and head out to your favourite sledding hill. Combine this date with #2 at Mactaquac Provincial Park, which is open until 9 p.m. Wednesday to Sunday and features a lit sledding hill!
5. Hit the beach
This idea might sound crazy, but beaches in the winter can be so special. You’ll want to dress warm and for all weather before you head out for a peaceful stroll. Enjoy the whisper of the breaking waves and breathe in the crisp salty air. New Brunswick’s coasts are beautiful all year round! Remember that seas are rougher in the winter, and you’ll want to carefully respect the tide and keep your distance.
As the days slowly grow longer and the frigid wind starts to ease, embrace the natural winter wonders of New Brunswick; before we know it, summer will be here again! Remember that winter comes with its own set of hazards, so take the appropriate precautions to stay warm and safe outside in this slippery season. This Valentine’s Day give Mother Nature a big hug and get outside with your partner, Galentine, friends, or family to show all the love you have for New Brunswick’s wilderness!
For more ideas of things to do outside this winter, catch up on this CPAWS-NB blog post.
CPAWS-NB wishes you a loving, happy, and nature-filled Valentine’s Day!
Julie Reimer is a PhD student at the Memorial University of Newfoundland and a Board Member of CPAWS-NB. Having worked in the whale watching industry in New Brunswick and conducted her Master’s research on conservation planning for the North Atlantic right whale, Julie is an advocate for MPAs in New Brunswick. Julie’s current research attempts to see the “bigger picture” of conservation, reaching beyond protected areas to understand the synergies between conservation actions and ocean industries. To connect with Julie, visit http://juliereimer.wixsite.com/hello.