Leslie Johnston of Stellarton enjoyed a brisk morning of snowshoeing with her son, daughter and husband at Trenton Park on Dec. 28, 2013. She decided to snap a quick picture to capture the moment.
Reid Johnston, 3, follows behind dad Jason Johnston, 15-month old Neila and 8-year-old Nova Scotia duck tolling retriever Harley. Leslie Johnston, who took the photo, was pleasantly surprised when she won Hike Nova Scotia’s Hibernating Is for Bears Contest after posting the photo on Facebook. SUBMITTED
That photo is now the winner and face of Hike Nova Scotia’s Hibernating Is for Bears campaign, an effort to get people out and moving despite the winter weather.
“The week after I took this picture I saw a link on Facebook advertising this contest, so I just decided to enter,” said Johnston. “I didn't really think too much about it until I received an email saying that I won.”
Janet Barlow of Hike Nova Scotia noted that while the draw was random, Johnston’s photo accomplished the goal of the campaign.
“One of our board members took all the entries and did a random draw,” Barlow said.
“It was a family snowshoeing with an adult in the distance. This one really exemplified enjoying winter.”
Hibernating Is for Bears is urging Nova Scotians to get outside this winter on their own initiative or through 35 guided winter snowshoe hikes to get you started.
“Snowshoeing is seeing a real surge in popularity these last few years,” said Barlow. “And our snowier than normal winter – if it continues – is certainly going to spur more people to try snowshoeing.”
Part of the initiative involved a photo contest, in which people could email, tweet or post their hiking, walking or snowshoeing photos to win a prize package valued at $100.
The prize package contained a Hike Nova Scotia T-shirt, the book Hiking Trails of Mainland Nova Scotia and Hiking Trails of Cape Breton by Michael Haynes, a Hike Nova Scotia gift membership, a Thermos and a first aid kit.
“With well over 100 entries, we were all quite pleased with the response,” said Barlow. “It tells us that people are getting out there.”
Other photos submitted to Hike Nova Scotia’s contest can be found on their website.
Johnston noted that she and her husband and love to snowshoe and try their best to get out in the audience.
“We were very happy when our son received his first pair of snowshoes for Christmas,” she said. “We didn't waste any time getting out.”
While her son took to the snowshoes, her daughter loved being carried on her dad’s back.
“Maybe next year we will find a pair small enough for Neila to wear too,” What a great family activity to embrace winter!”
With two books about hiking in Nova Scotia coming her way, she hopes to try out a few trails in the future.
Hike Nova Scotia formed in 2007 and is governed by a board of directors with strong regional and special interest representation. They are affiliated with the Nova Scotia Trails Federation and Recreation Nova Scotia and receive regular funding from the Nova Scotia Department of Health and Wellness.
On Twitter: @NGNewsJohn