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Archive for the ‘geotourism’ Category

Martha Stewart Living magazine just recommended Nova Scotia’s remote Trout Point Lodge among the influential publication’s favorite wellness retreats for its Forest Bathing experiences. That accolade follows a flood of attention from the likes of the Associated Press,  the Globe & Mail, Fodor’s guides, American Way magazine, and Bloomberg during 2016 alone (see www.troutpoint.com/forest-bathing.html). Indeed industry publication SpaFinder held out Trout Point as an example of the coming worldwide Forest Bathing trend in a 2015 analaysis, and CNN picked this tiny wilderness reatreat as offering the “wildest new trends in the wellness world” the same year.

Long known for its culinary classes, which the Lodge started offering in 2000 (long before cooking vacations were a norm in the travel industry), Trout Point also led North America towards astro-tourism, still a hot item among the array of outdoor experiences available at this outpost next to the Tobeatic Wilderness Area. The Lodge was named the world’s first certified Starlight Hotel in 2014. It started explaining Forest Bathing to guests in 2010, long before ti became popular in the travel trade.

As Travel Editor Beth Harpaz of the Associated Press explained in her article on Forest Bathing: “These programs take participants into the woods for a slow, mindful walk to contemplate nature with all the senses. It’s not a hike, because you don’t go far or fast. And while the term forest bathing may lend itself to jokes about nude hot springs, rest assured: You don’t take off your clothes.” Beth Harpaz, Forest bathing: A mindful walk in the woods, no getting wet, Associated Press 2016.

Following the tremendous interest in Forest Bathing, this season the Lodge will amplify its experiences involving the pristine Acadian Forest ecosystem around it, and has tasked nature guide Katey Gray and massage therapist Nancy Gagnon with helping guests understand the rationale and research underlying the therapy, as well as to cater wonderful experiences for them. According to SpaFinder, research database PubMed returns 100+ studies on the health impact of forest bathing, including studies indicating that it significantly lowers blood pressure (-1.4 percent), heart rate (-5.8 percent), cortisol levels (-12.4 percent) and sympathetic nerve activity (-7 percent) compared with city walks, while also alleviating stress and depression. The most provocative of these studies conclude that exposure to phytoncides, the airborne, aromatic chemicals/oils emitted by many trees, have a long-lasting impact on people’s immune system markers, boosting natural killer (NK) cells and anticancer proteins by 40 percent.” 2015 Trends Report: Forest Bathing, SpaFinder 2015

 

 

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A certified Starlight Hotel since 2014, Trout Point Lodge is responding to tremendous demand for guided star gazing activities by hiring two staff astronomer for its 2017 season. For the past 5-6 years, the Lodge has offered interpretive astro-tourism experiences from its position within the Acadian Skies & Mi’kmaq Lands Starlight Reserve, which sits at the heart of the eponymous Starlight Tourist Destination. The clear and dark skies, with essentially no light pollution, combined with the Lodge’s position near the end of the peninsula that makes up Nova Scotia, have made Trout Point a draw for many visitors who cannot appreciate the stars at home. Trout Point normally only has one staff astronomer each season, but the Lodge’s owners believe there is enough interest among guests to have two experts this year.

The first of the two staff astronomers is Alex Nadeau who studied astrophysics at the University of New Brunswick and was President of the university’s Astronomy Club. Alex was also an astrophysics intern in Germany. The other astro-guide is Daniel Shaffery, who is currently studying at the University College, Dublin (Ireland) where he is pursuing a BSc in Theoretical Physics.

Alex and Daniel will use the lodge’s stargazing platform along with a Meade 10″ telescope, astronomical binoculars, a portable Celestron SkyProdigy 130 mm scope, and Coronado 60 mm solar telescope.

“I estimate we saw double the interest is star gazing last year over 2015,” said Lodge proprietor Vaughan Perret. “It’s not just a sideline activity, but actually forms the purpose of many of our guests’ visit to Nova Scotia.”

Star gazing outings are offered every night after dinner given sufficicent weather conditions. Such conditions can be monitored from the Lodge’s Clear Sky Chart at http://www.troutpoint.com/astro-conditions.html.

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Trout Point Lodge proprietors Vaughan Perret and Charles Leary announce the end of their tenure as President/Chairman and Treasurer, respectively, of la Société Touristique Bon Temps d’Argyle with a significant grant of funds to the Municipality of Argyle to continue the Starlight astro-tourism project in the local region. The Municipality has agreed to continue to administer the Acadian Skies & Mi’kmaq Lands region as a certified Starlight Tourism Destination with a certified Starlight Reserve at its core. The certifications come from the Starlight Foundation, a UNESCO-backed initiative headquartered at the Canaries Astrophysics Institute in Spain.

Argyle just received a cheque for over $24,000 from Bon Temps to continue marketing the area as a Starlight Destination, and to pay certification fees as a result of Perret and Leary’s proposal to the Board. Under their leadership, Bon Temps launched the succesful $200,000.00 project in 2013, including receiving funding from the province, local municipalities, and ACOA.

The Tourism Destination includes Acadia First Nation, Municipality of the District of Yarmouth, Municipality of the District of Argyle, and Clare Municipality. The Starlight Reserve encompasses the Tobeatic Wilderness Area and Indian Fields Provincial Park.

Perret and Leary spearheaded Bon Temps effort to have the certifications done, including supporting the collection of scientific astrophysics data and sponsoring the visits of two Spanish experts to the region.

Perret and Leary remain on the Board of Directors of Bon Temps. Trout Point Lodge was declared the world’s first Starlight Hotel by the Starlight Foundation in 2014.

For additional information on the Starlight certifications, visit https://propuesta10112014.wordpress.com/certificaciones-starlight/

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Trout Point Lodge is proud to announce that it is the first accommodation in Nova Scotia to receive a GreenLeader Platinum award from TripAdvisor, the world’s largest travel information web site.

Earlier this year, TripAdvisor announced that it was extending its GreenLeaders™ program into Canada and Europe for the first time, following rapid growth in the U.S. Developed in consultation with the United Nations Environment Programme, the U.S. Green Building Council, ENERGY STAR®, and the International Center for Responsible Tourism Canada, the TripAdvisor GreenLeaders program aims to help travelers around the world plan greener trips by highlighting hotels and B&Bs engaging in environmentally friendly practices.

The Platinum level is the highest possible in the GreenLeaders system.

To view the multimedia assets associated with this release, please click: http://www.multivu.com/mnr/63179-tripadvisor-greenleaders-launches-in-canada-europe-eco-friendly-hotels

“With so many travelers placing an importance on the eco-friendly practices of the places they visit, hotel and B&B owners stand to gain a real competitive edge by promoting their environmentally friendly practices,” said Jenny Rushmore, director of responsible travel at TripAdvisor. “Our TripAdvisor GreenLeaders program will enable businesses managing their environmental footprint to highlight their commitment to millions of travelers around the world, at no expense to their business.”

“Travelers want to be ‘green’ and contribute to the conservation and preservation of the environment,” said Denise Naguib, vice president, sustainability and supplier diversity for Marriott International. “Nearly half of our global hotel portfolio currently has GreenLeaders status through the TripAdvisor GreenLeaders program and more will have this status when the program expands to consumers in Canada and Europe later this year. This tool will help them easily plan and book their next eco-friendly trip.”

To qualify as a GreenLeader, businesses must also achieve a minimum score on an extensive application survey. GreenLeader properties are eligible for one of the four badge levels: bronze, silver, gold and platinum. Badge levels are determined by a property’s overall level of participation in environmentally friendly activities.

TripAdvisor GreenLeaders first launched in the U.S. in April 2013, and has since awarded over 3,700 U.S. hotels and B&Bs the TripAdvisor GreenLeaders status. Hotels currently participating in the U.S. program range from small, independent establishments to multinational brands including Marriott International, Hilton Worldwide, Select Registry and Coast Hotels, and these brands are now represented since the program has launched to consumers in Canada and Europe.

Since the program first launched, TripAdvisor has been collecting travelers’ eco-friendly comments, and the company is now making these available on the U.S. site to help travelers choose the perfect green hotel or B&B for their trip. The comments will be available on the “tips” section on the property pages of hotels and B&Bs that have TripAdvisor GreenLeaders status.

Trout Point Lodge has also won 5 Green Keys, and was the recipient of the inaugural Parks Canada Sustainable Tourism Award in 2007. The Lodge is rated 5 stars by Canada Select. 

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Kayaking the Tusket and Napier Rivers, relaxing in the outdoor cedar sauna, and tasting acclaimed cuisine have satisfied guests of Trout Point Lodge since in opened in 2000. This year, however, a bevy of new experiences and activities await those who travel to stay at this haute rustic log building on the edge of Atlantic Canada’s largest pristine wilderness area, the Tobeatic at some 103,780 hectares.

In addition to guided fishing, kayaking, and hiking, Trout Point will have two staff astronomers for star gazing tours. The Tobeatic’s near total lack of light pollution means some of the best night skies for astronomical observation in the world. The Milky Way and meteor showers become simply captivating in such environs. Special astronomical binoculars, laser pointers, and a powerful Meade 10″ telescope will help bring into focus wonders from out of this world. A star-gazing tower that will bring you above the treeline for unobstructed views of the full night sky is also in the works.

There will be new geo-excursions to explain and interpret the unique geological and glacial features of the surrounding landscape, which was sculpted by the last Ice Age. Another topic will be the unique history of the area explaining why gold, tin, rare metal, and quartz mines dot the nearby landscape. A solar telescope will provide for daytime observation of the sun and sun spots.

Registered Massage Therapist Brendon Smith will provide in-room massage and advice on wellness when not offering guided walks on edible wild plants and mushrooms. This compliments the already rejuvenating aspects of staying at Trout Point, including spring-fed mineral water from the main lodge taps, soaking in the tannin-rich antioxidant waters of the Tusket River (that’s where the river’s distinct whisky colour comes from), enjoying a wood-fired hot tub, and the natural benefits of Shinrin-yoku or “forest bathing.” Biologists have exclaimed at the Lodge’s air quality, testified to by the rate lichens that drape the trees & landscape. Lichens are some of the most sensitive beings to air pollution. The point is that just being at Trout Point, deep in the pristine Acadian Forest (part of the northern boreal forest) has real benefits, besides just getting away from the “madding crowds” of daily life. Acclaimed research from Japan has zeroed in on the numerous benefits of forest bathing. These include enhanced fitness, accelerated healing, increased mental focus, and improved biological responses to reducing stress, and fighting disease. Nearly every guided excursion or self-motivated activity at Trout Point will involve forest bathing and more.

2014 will also see the Lodge’s alpacas put in charge of carrying lunch, snacks, and water for guests on hikes in the wilderness area. Trout Point acquired three breeding age animals in 2013, and welcomed two babies last fall. The alpaca manure is combined with kitchen waste and composted to fertilize the extensive on-site gardens, while that blanket or throw in your guest room may just come from Trout Point’s own fleece. The gardens expand every year, producing an astounding variety of vegetables, herbs, and flowers that see their way onto the daily menus. Those participating in a cooking experience may find themselves picking ingredients for the class as well.

The tradition of nightly live music before and after dinner will continue, with at least three lodge staff members contributing their talents at different times. Local Acadian French musician Gerard LeBlanc will play each Thursday during the summer as part of the regional Musique de la baie series. Thematic cooking classes five days a week will round out the offerings.

About Trout Point Lodge

Atlantic Canada’s sole member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World, Trout Point offers 5-star accommodations, dining, and outdoor experiences for up to about 34 guests. Located at the confluence of the Tusket and Napier Rivers, the Lodge touches the southwestern border of the vast Tobeatic Wilderness Area, about 3 hours from Halifax and 45 minutes from Yarmouth, NS. In 2014, Yarmouth is home to the Nova Star, a daily cruise ferry operating between Maine and Nova Scotia.

Trout Point consists of the handcrafted, log & stone main lodge with eight guest units, Beaver Hall with four guest rooms in a shingle-clad chalet, and 2 lakeside cottages. The main lodge boasts a Great Room, 8 stone fireplaces, library, and various dining venues.

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Trout Point started planting seeds for this season’s garden more than a month ago and the results have been fantastic! The Lodge now has three major garden areas: at the main lodge, at Beaver Hall, and the largest garden off the East Branch Road. The 5 Lodge alpacas plus organic waste from the kitchen provide for world-class fertilizer.

Here’s a partial list of what has been planted so far:

Sea Kale
Asparagus
Sweetie Cherry Tomatoes
Heirloom Black Cherry tomatoes
Heirloom Giant Valentine
Heirloom Italian Bruschetta tomato
Heirloom Violetta di Firenze eggplant
Heirloom Vittoria long eggplant
Cape goose berries
Cardoon
Artichoke Imperial Star
Artichoke Green Globe
Kale Russian White
Atlantis Borkali
Sage
Rosemary
Basil, Lime
Basil, Opal
Basil, Thai
Basil, Sweet Aroma
Basil, Nufar
Basil, Lettuce Leaf
Italian Parsley
Dill
Fennel
Lovage
French Thyme
Leek, Large Musselburg
Leek, American Flag
Leek, Varna
Leek, Swiss Zermatt
Leek, Lyon Prize
Celery
Sweet Pepper gypsy
Sweet Pepper Red Bull Horns
Hot Pepper Thai red
Hot Pepper Jalapeño
Hot Pepper Early Jalapeño
Hot Pepper M Jalapeño
Marjoram

Heirloom Red Oblong Onion

Mmmmmmmmmm.

All this bounty will be appearing in the Lodge’s dining rooms soon enough! No wonder Trout Point has a 3 Star rating from the Sustainable Restaurant Association.

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Trout Point Lodge is pleased to announce that it has placed number 5 on a list of the world’s top 10 hotel culinary schools just published by Fox News in the United States and curated by Gayot.com.

“Both globetrotting gourmets and rookie cooks should check out the world’s top 10 hotel culinary schools where everyone can take lessons while on holiday,” stated the article.

This Yarmouth County, Nova Scotia, wilderness lodge was singled out as embodying cutting edge offerings for tourists: “Rugged wilderness, sustainable food practices and cozy quarters that include freestanding cottages make this Atlantic Canada lodge one of our favorites.” The commentary authored by the food-oriented guide Gayot also praised Trout Point’s “innovative French Acadian cuisine.” The Lodge was the only hotel on the list representing Canada.

The online version of the article can be found at http://www.foxnews.com/travel/2013/11/08/top-10-hotel-culinary-schools/.
Other hotels among the top 10 include Villa Giona of Verona, Italy, and the Sazon Cooking School at Casa de Sierra Nevada, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.

Trout Point Lodge has earned 5 stars in the Inn category from Canada Select and is a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World. Gayot was founded by André & Alain Gayot. André Gayot, who with his friends

Henri Gault and Christian Millau coined and promoted the term “Nouvelle Cuisine” in the early 1970s, has been directing sophisticated travelers to the world’s best restaurants, hotels, shops, sightseeing and cultural attractions for more than 45 years. His expertise provided a foundation for Gayot guides in the United States, beginning in 1981.

Alain Gayot, André’s son, participated in the launch of the American guide book series and began researching ways to distribute the content electronically, initially with Minitel technology in the early ’90s, later with partners of the Prodigy network, and finally on the web with AOL and other media companies.

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