While Nova Scotia is full of some incredible hiking trails, sometimes it’s impossible to get out of the city for a weekend trek. We put together a list of some amazing urban trails that you need to explore this fall. Hiking through these scenic parks will make you feel like you’ve left the city all together.
Many of the trails listed below are perfect for hiking and walking, as well as biking and snowshoeing! Be sure to check trail conditions and look up directions before heading out on a hike through these spots.
1. Point Pleasant Park
Hiking this massive urban park will make you feel like you’re leaving the city completely, even though it’s only a short walk from downtown Halifax! Hike along the Northwest Arm and watch as ships come into the harbour, or explore abandoned forts and towers that are strewn throughout this gorgeous park.
2. Herring Cove Provincial Park
This tiny park perched underneath Ferguson’s Cove is only a half-hour drive from Halifax, and sits right on the coast providing visitors with some stunning views of McNabs Island and the ocean.
3. McIntosh Run Community Trail
Venture out past Frog Pond park along this urban community trail, perfect for jogging and biking. Take in the beautiful fall scenery, and hike alongside the rivers and ponds winding throughout this region.
4. Hemlock Ravine Park
This Bedford trail system was originally a park built in the 1780’s and has since expanded into one of the HRM’s best urban hikes. Within the 200 acre park there are three main trails, each 1km long – choose whichever route suits your ability for that day!
5. Sir Sanford Fleming Park
Located off Purcell’s Cove Road, this trail sits right across from Point Pleasant Park, on the opposite side of the Northwest Arm. Jog, walk or bike along the well marked paths within this 95 acre park, and stop to check out the views from Dingle Tower - open May to November.
6. Birch Cove Lakes Wilderness Area
This expansive wilderness reserve spans 1,767 hectares as of 2015 – which is larger than the Halifax Peninsula itself! Also known as Blue Mountain, this region includes sprawling urban ponds, lakes, and well preserved trail systems that wind through the mountain ranges.
7. Frog Pond Park
If you continue hiking through Sir Sanford Fleming Park you’ll eventually connect with Frog Pond Trail – a 1.3km trail that loops around it’s beautiful namesake pond. This is a great spot for leaf watching and dog walking, just outside the city!
8. Salt Marsh Trail
This popular Cole Harbour trail takes you all the way past Rainbow Have Beach Provincial park and through to Lawrencetown – a stunning walk, through some of the most beautiful parks in the HRM. Bike, walk or jog this trail and take in some unprecedented views of the ocean.
9. Long Lake Provincial Park
Head up to North West Arm Drive and spend the day hiking through Long Lake Provincial. Take in all the incredible fall scenery that surrounds this Halifax lake! This is also a great spot to swim and explore in the summer months.
10. Belchers Marsh Park
Past Clayton Park near Sherwood Heights lies Belchers Marsh Park, a well kept urban trail that winds through a quiet residential trail and around this beautiful body of water. The area has been enjoyed by visitors for over 200 years, and is host to some awesome bird watching opportunities.
11. Shubie Park
This 40-acre urban park just outside Dartmouth is one of the area’s most popular hiking and dog walking destinations - visitors can even book a campsite and stay at the park overnight if they wish. This is the only full service campsite within Halifax’s urban limits, and in the summer months they offer tennis courts, canoe and kayak rentals, showers and wifi!
12. Sackville Lakes Provincial Park
Just outside Lower Sackville, this 283 hectare urban park offers an attractive forest setting near a residential environment, perfect for walking, hiking, and walk-in lake access for canoeing or kayaking.