Hiking around Halifax

So, I haven’t been to good to update this blog – so here comes a loooong post on the hiking we have been doing in the weekends…

First weekend we spend organizing, unpacking and getting to know the area of North Halifax – and eating delicious mussels and lobster rolls 😉

Second weekend we drove south. First stop Peggy’s cove and THE lighthouse. I read somewhere that it is the most photographed light house in Nova Scotia. Located out on naked cliffs, close to the Atlantic ocean, it sure is a nice place. Jumping and crawling around on the cliffs it reminds me very much of West Sweden – BohuslĂ€n, where I lived on and off for two years, with the rough rocks and the ocean. Tip: get there early, even this late in season tourist busses arrive at around 10-11 and then it get crowded… We were so lucky with the weather, sun and no wind – but I definitely want to go back when its windy and the waves will spray over the cliffs.
We continued along the coast to Chester, a cosy small village, before we headed for Lunenburg – an UNESCO world heritage site, that is considered to be the best surviving planned British colonial town in North America. It is definitely worth a visit, with colourful wooden houses, loads of restaurants serving fresh caught lobster, mussels and fish. You can choose to take a guided tour around town or go out on a boat whale watching or deep sea fishing – there is enough to do!
We chose to drive a bit further to Kingsburg and Hirtles beach, where we parked and hiked the Gaff Point Coastal trail. It’s a nice trail, app. 6,5 km, starting on the beach, through forest, along the water on rocks of shale, looping around the end of the peninsula with a great view of the Atlantic. The trail is well marked and maintained so we met quite a lot of people, but def worth the hike!
On the way back home two bald eagles flew very close over the car 😀

Third weekend I wanted to go to Bay of Fundy to look at the tides! I come from the Wadden Sea and am used to 1,7 m difference in the tide wave so a must see is tides in Minas basin with up to 17 m difference!!! We drove to the south coast of Minas Basin and followed the coast while the water was coming in to the basin. We had a few stops to see the water rise and walk on the mudflats and if you find yourself in the small village Walton – go visit the light house! Its small and you can get up in the tower and have a look over the basin – it’s run by volunteers, so they close down for winter season (we were there the last day), but you get a really good story from enthusiastic people.
We stopped in Wolfville for lunch – that was chaotic! The town was filled with drunk alumni from the university – but looks like a nice town 🙂
From there we drove to The Lookoff and had a beautiful view over Minas Basin just after high tide, so everything was covered by water, we crossed bridges over roaring rivers and saw dikes protecting the lower land from the tides (just like back home 🙂 ).
From Scott’s Bay we hiked the Cape Split Trail. It’s a total of 16 km, linear, so you take the same trail back and forth. Normally I like looped trails more – but if you have the time you should definitely do this one!!! It goes up and down through forest filled with chipmunks, sometimes very close to high cliffs, so be sure to stay on the path, and when you get to the end of the trail you end up at an open grass field high above the water with an amazing view over Bay of Fundy and Minas Basin. Standing here, seeing and hearing the water rush out of the bay, a peregrine falcon taking a tour over my head and the sun shining down on me – I understood why this is one of the most popular trails in Nova Scotia!
On our way back to Halifax we stopped at The Lookoffs again and could see the amazing difference in water height that had happened in the four hours since we topped there last time – the mudflats showing, cliffs standing on mud instead of in water, rivers totally empty of water and no use for those dikes anymore (or at least not for the next 6 hours-ish 😉 )

Fourth weekend (and I promise the last in this crazy long blog post!!!) we hiked the Salt Marsh Trail. It’s an easy 13 km, linear trail following an old rail road over salt marsh land. It’s amazing walking with water on both sides, crossing bridges and being close to the water. Here are also tides and the salt marsh get flooded at high tide, so you almost feel like walking on water. It was very windy the day we hiked, but I guess that with less wind there would be loads of birds in this area!!

Hiking close to Halifax is easy – just in the south part of the city there is Point Pleasant Park, and driving 20-30 min gets you close to plenty of cool trails – especially in this fantastic fall weather with sun and amazing colours on the trees – but more about that another day…




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