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The COVE™ Guide to Forest Bathing

dark forest

What is forest bathing?

Forest bathing is a practice in Japan where it’s called shinrin-yoku. Shinrin meaning “forest”, and yoku translates to “bath.”

Forest bathing is not exercising, hiking, jogging or walking outdoors– it’s simply being with nature and focusing on connecting to the forest through your senses. Haida Bolton, who runs a nature camp in British Columbia’s Sunshine Coast, said “I’ve been doing forest therapy all my life, and I didn’t know there was a term for it”. As an avid forest bather herself, she describes is as slower than hiking, creating the perfect atmosphere for participants to “interact with the forest with all their senses.”


How forests heal

Spending time in nature has long been associated with mental and physical health and used as a method to prevent illness.

People who spend time in the forest experience decreased cortisol levels, the hormone associated with stress. A reduction in stress levels can assist in relieving high blood pressure, and heart and skin conditions.

High-stress levels may also weaken your immune system. Forest bathing reduces stress, thus enhancing the body’s natural defence system. Trees also release oils into the air, called phytoncides, inhaling these natural oils are known to help boost the immune system. Phytoncides are also linked with the creation of a type of white blood cell that supports immune system health and is linked to fighting infections and inflammation.

How to forest bathe

Picking up forest bathing is simple. Find a forest near you and spend some time there. It could be a forested area in your neighbourhood, a conservation area, or a nearby provincial or national park.

This interactive map can also help if you’re interested in finding fellow forest bathers.

At COVE™ our goal is to Make Each Experience a Discovery ™. For more information, check out covecannabis.ca or follow us on social @covecrafted.

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COVE™ City Guide: Halifax

nova scotia watch tower

A picture-perfect coastal destination, Halifax is an east coast capital that feels like a small town. Warm sea breezes, leafy parks, and gardens nestled between heritage buildings, are just a few reasons why you should visit. Here are some of our favourite things to do in Halifax.


Outdoors

Herring Cove Bluffs, Herring Cove Provincial Park Reserve

Just south of Halifax, The Herring Cove Bluffs is a scenic day trip. This coastal trail is 1.5km return, making it an easy hike to try when in the Halifax region. Nestled among coastal bushes and trees, these bluffs offer perfect sunset views.

Pennant Point Trail, Crystal Crescent Beach Provincial Park

This coastal provincial park features three white-sand crescent beaches along the mouth of the Halifax Harbour. Long boardwalks line the park but come prepared to do some mild bushwhacking if you want to explore the more unkempt parts of the trail. The beaches even look pretty during the off-season.

Martinique Beach Provincial Park, East Petpeswick

Martinique Beach Provincial Park is the longest sandy beach in Nova Scotia. The 5-km crescent white-sand beach has open and wooded picnic areas, sand dunes, and quiet swimming areas. The beach is close to the Halifax Surf School if you’re feeling adventurous.

The Bluff Wilderness Hiking Trail, Timberlea

This trail is located just north of Halifax and is lush with thick woodlands, with a variety of trees like red maple, spruce and oak. The wooded trail has several high peaks, allowing for stunning vistas and photos, of course.

Fun

Peggy’s Point Lighthouse, Peggy’s Cove

No trip to Halifax would be complete without an excursion to Peggy’s Cove. Quintessential and picturesque, Peggy’s Cove is a major tourist attraction, but local inhabitants still fish for lobster and the tiny community has a rustic look and feel. Get lost in downtown Peggy’s Cove and chat with friendly locals, make sure to grab ice cream at Dee Dee’s before you head back to the city.

Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Downtown Halifax

Get your pop culture fix at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia. The expansive art collection is home to over 17,000 classic and modern works from native artists and showcases pieces by Maud Lewis, Nova Scotia’s beloved folk artist. It’s easy to spend a rainy afternoon here.

Food

Two if by Sea

A scenic ferry trip across the harbour sits Two if by Sea. This downtown Dartmouth café serves up massive croissants, which are well-known among Haligonians. Cozy up to locals at the communal table, and drink espresso-based beverages made with direct-trade beans roasted at neighbouring Anchored Coffee.

The Coastal Café

Buzzy brunch café, The Coastal Café, dishes out creative menu items, from bacon cheeseburger eggs Benny to the signature “Elvis”: slices of Montreal bacon, banana, and peanut butter between two buttermilk waffles. Sunday morning wait times are to be expected, as this tiny restaurant only has 20 seats – we promise the pancakes will be worth it.

Highwayman

Spanish-inspired restaurant Highwayman features an impressive menu of tapas with a focus on local seafood. Named after the Highwayman poem by Alfred Noyes, the space’s is washed in weathered, blue-grey tones. There are no reservations, so arrive early to grab a table.

Musts

  • Hike up Citadel Hill, an iconic Halifax landmark, where a cannon goes off every day at noon. This hilltop location has an incredible view of the Halifax Harbour and was chosen in 1749 as a fort location to protect the city.
  • Explore the abandoned ruin that was once the Royal Canadian Air Force’s Beaver Bank Station an hour outside of Halifax.
  • Wander in the Hydrostone Set along quaint cobblestone streets, this area is home to markets and local stores.

 

This list is just the start, we hope you explore all Halifax has to offer and discover more. At COVE™ our goal is to Make Each Experience a Discovery ™.

For more information, check out covecannabis.ca or follow us on social @covecrafted.

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