People showed up at Fort Anne and walked, biked, or ran to the Habitation in Port Royal – and back again. There were 154 of them on Aug. 26. If you include the fact Tim Mullins of Granville Ferry both biked and walked the 25-kilometre return trip, 155 participants could be argued.
The Fort to Fort Experience was a cooperative project of Parks Canada, the Town of Annapolis Royal, and the County of Annapolis. The purpose was to showcase the region and its history including the two iconic forts, said Annapolis County recreation manager Debra Ryan, and to promote active healthy lifestyles on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of Confederation.
This year Fort Anne celebrates the 100th anniversary as the first national historic site in Canada. Last year the Habitation at Port-Royal celebrated the 75th anniversary of its reconstruction -- the official opening was July 4, 1941. The original Habitation was built in 1605 making the Granville Road the oldest settlement road in Canada.
"I never get tired of living in this county with so many beautiful landscapes and events,” said Annapolis County Councillor Marilyn Wilkins. “When the Fort to Fort Experience happened and it combined my love for walking and a chance to showcase our history I signed up right away.”
Annapolis Royal’s active living coordinator Noah Scanlan and Parks Canada’s Parka the Beaver got participants warmed up with pre-event exercises at Fort Anne. Also on hand was Annapolis Royal Mayor Bill MacDonald and Parks Canada’s site and visitor experience manager Lillian Stewart.
Besides being a county councilor, Wilkins is chair of Annapolis County Heritage Advisory Committee. She, along with MacDonald and Stewart, brought greetings to the 154 participants.
Along the event route from Fort Anne to Port-Royal were rest stops at Granville Ferry Community Hall, North Hills Museum, and Granville Beach United Baptist Church.
“The weather cooperated and we hosted a ‘Good Cheer’ after party at the Annapolis Royal amphitheatre with music, food, and commemorative photo shoot by Dan Froese photography,” said Ryan. “Participants walked away with instant pictures, t-shirt, certificate, stickers, and great memories.”