5 Great hiking trails in Nova Scotia
Canada has 10 provinces and three territories, all with unique people, abundant wildlife, beautiful lakes and land that spans endlessly—Nova Scotia is no exception.
When it comes to Nova Scotia, a lot of things might come to mind: lobster fishing, fresh seafood and above all else, it’s home to hockey loving, sea shanty dwelling canucks. But it is so much more than that.
For those bursting with excitement who can’t wait to leave the house after a national lockdown due to COVID-19, here’s some good news. There are plenty of trails for walking, hiking and snowshoeing all over Nova Scotia, and all were officially opened to the public as of May 1st, 2020.
However, there are restrictions in place. People must keep two metres apart and not gather in groups of more than five but as long as everyone plays by the rules, people are free to see and explore what Nova Scotia has to offer.
Here are five amazing walking trails to check out in Nova Scotia.
Cape Split Trail
Pictured above; photo by Emily Noddin on AllTrails.com
Distance: 12.9 km
Elevation: 519 m
Cape Split trail is located within the 447-hectare Cape Split Provincial Park, in Scots Bay, Kings County. There are tons of picnicking spots and chances to view wildlife. You can also see the impressive Bay of Fundy tide in action. Travel time is approximately five hours and visitors are advised to stay on the trail, wear layered clothing and durable footwear, and be sure to have plenty of drinking water. Although this trail is considered an easy to moderate hike, beware of the eroding cliff line and stay away from the cliff’s edge.
St. Margaret’s Bay Rails Trails
Distance: 32.2 km
Elevation: 396 m
Part of the Trans Canada Trail, this former railroad was turned into a walking trail consisting of somewhat flat ground and has been described as easily travelled. Along the way you can see wildflowers, lakes, wildlife and tons of forestry. Additionally, not far from the trail is Tantallon Bean Café, where bikes can be rented for those who prefer cycling.
Beechville Lakeside Timberlea Trail
Distance: 18.5 km
Elevation: 148 m
This trail, nicknamed BLT trail, is located in Lakeview, near Halifax, Nova Scotia. The trail is an old railway trail, and part of the Trans Canada trail. The trail ends where the St. Margaret’s Bay Rails begins. Beechville Lakeside Timberlea offers a long distance hike that runs along numerous lakes, offering memorable views of waterfall sites. It’s been known to be especially beautiful in the fall.
Bayers Lake Mystery Walls
Distance: 1.0 km
Elevation: 15 m
This lightly trafficked trail is located in Chain Lake, near Halifax, Nova Scotia. This trail is not for beginners despite its inner-city location. It leads alongside the historic mystery walls, the origins remain unknown to this day. The area itself is protected by the Provincial Government, and is monitored by numerous trail cameras. Walking on the rocks is strictly prohibited. The trail is unmarked and overgrown so people should use extreme caution when hiking here. There are large scattered boulders, so it is highly recommended hikers wear layered clothing, especially long sleeves, to avoid cuts and scrapes.
Pot Lake and Mi’kmaq Hill Loop
Distance: 26.9 km
Elevation: 509 m
This trail is a part of the Bluff Wilderness Trail in Timberlea, Nova Scotia. This is for the hardcore hiking enthusiast, warranting at least three to four hours of planned hiking. Those who choose to embark on this trail should be sure to pack emergency gear and water. It is also advised to pay very close attention to trail markers so as to not wander off the trail. However, despite the difficulty, Pot Lake and Mi’kmaq Hill Loop offers a scenic escape from any form of civilization and has tons of rock formations, boulders and great views.
So whether you’re a beginner hiker or a hiking enthusiast there’s a walking trail in Nova Scotia for you — what are you waiting for? Get out there.