When I think of the word “hike,” mountains, hills and valleys obviously come to mind. Beaches are usually associated with lounging and water activities, but they can also provide breathtaking scenery for hikers (as well as a place to cool off). Islands are a great place to find beautiful beach hikes, and if you time the seasons right, the coasts of North America can be just as impressive as a tropical isle. Here are five strolls you should take this summer:
Sentier des Froussards, Anse Marcel, St. Martin
The trailhead begins near the Radisson Blu on the French Side of St. Martin in remote Anse Marcel, and the best thing about this hike is that no one discovers it by accident—and because the hike leads you up and over a hill to a deserted beach, that aspect becomes extremely important. I only saw two other people over the course of my three-hour adventure, and it was like being on a private island once I arrived at the horseshoe-shaped cove. You can stop for a while and hang out at the beach before and/or after walking along the rocky coastline, taking in the green hillsides and blue waters, and looking for unique coral that has washed up on shore. I battled some bee on this hike and took some nice photos.
Skyline Trail, Nova Scotia
While this 7.5-kilometre trail looks out over the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the Atlantic Ocean, it is the animals that have the potential to steal the show. You can spot whales in the water, as well as moose, bald eagles and bears on land, who all inhabit the area (give them plenty of space, all right?). Best in the summer once the land has thawed from winter. A man-made boardwalk makes much of the trail an easy walk.