Archive for the ‘Canadian Nordic Walking Association’ Category

A great month of April has brought spring hiking to the Cape Breton Highlands earlier than expected.  Spring hiking has its adventures – flowing streams, bridges out, windfalls, moose, wet trails and snow but  who cares when it is 15 degrees out and sunny.   

One of the most important pieces of equipment for spring hiking is trekking or nordic walking poles.  You need poles to help with your balance crossing streams & bridges, going over windfalls, navigating wet trails as well  going thru snow….There was still quite a bit of snow on Skyline – April 24 about halfway out it was clear.

Below are a few pictures of spring hiking in the highlands at Red Island, Plaster, Skyline and a few travelling to the trails & back… Enjoy the pics.


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Nordic Walking Workshop - Hiking with Poles

Nordic Walking Workshop - Hiking with Poles

Day four of  Hike the Highlands Festival was an important day for hikers – it showed us the importance of hiking with poles and the proper techniques.  It also emphasize dressing in layers and use of rain gear as the day involved showers.

Our instructor, Linda Murray started off the nordic walking workshop at North Highland Nordic Ski Trails, Cape North, by saying hiking with  poles is not just for older hikers but for younger people as well. Both her 29 year old daughter and husband hikes with poles all the time.

The benefits of nordic walking are incredible for your body  –  easier on your knees and hips, better balance, increased aerobic workout (20-40% more with poles), and a full body workout.  Our instructor, Linda Murray demonstrated the proper way of going up the hills as well down and stayed with us for the next hike at Sugar Loaf Mountain – an up and down hike.   

The day ended with a great evening presentation by John Francis Lane, park interpreter on Species at Risk, Cape Breton Highlands National Park.  We were amazed at how big the female American Eel was and the silver colour.

Day 5 hikes include Lone Shieling, MacIntosh Brook and Roberts Mountain.  All three hikes today are on new trails.

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What is the difference between nordic walking poles and trekking poles ?  I thought I would do some research and find out some answers for you. I have used both types while hiking but more with nordic walking poles as I own a pair of those – a one piece design.  However I did use the trekking poles for going up and down hills while hiking last year.  Both are good for hiking. There are a number of excellent resources out there with American Nordic Walking Association, Lexi, Exerstrider, Backpackinglight.com forum, Canadian Nordic Walking Association,  Nordic Walking UK , plus many more.

My research indicates two main differences – the pole and the stride.  The nordic walking pole is lighter especially the one piece design, grips are different on both set of poles especially nordic poles where you put thumb thru while trekking poles seem to be worn loose. The tip on Nordic Walking poles  is on a 45 degree angle while trekking poles tend to be flat. The trekking poles are  three piece, telescoping and adjustable. For the stride – Nordic walking poles- the follow through is important, the tips are meant to be engaged in the sides and behind the body while walking. Nordic walking poles meant for fitness walking whike trekking poles more for balance & stability and helping take pressure off your knees downhill. Trekking poles are planted in front while walking. My conclusion both poles will help you hiking.  Below are two videos showing you walking by trekking poles and nordic walking poles.

 Below is a video on Trekking Poles by Jayah Faye Paley

Below is video  of Nordic Walking by Linda Lemke

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