Learning how to ride a bike as a child is a rite of passage. Although, it seems that many people leave the bike behind as they get older for other forms of transportation or for fear of riding in the road.
Fear not, I’ve highlighted five easy to medium bike routes across the Halifax region that have minimal interaction with road traffic. Before jumping on your bike, be sure to review Nova Scotia’s road rules for cyclists!
A good route for beginners, cyclists can travel from Casino Nova Scotia to Point Pleasant Park. Part of this route is on the waterfront boardwalk and another portion is on a low traffic road through the Halifax Port Authority.
Be sure to look at rules for biking in Point Pleasant Park! While in the park you can chose an easy route around the perimeter or up the skill level by choosing a steep interior route. Trails maps are posted inside the park. If you’re looking to rent a bike, you can visit I Heart Bikes on the Halifax Waterfront.
4. Salt Marsh and Shearwater Flyer Trails This rail-to-trail starts on the Department of National Defence lands in Shearwater and connects to the Salt Marsh Trail at the Cole Harbour Heritage Park on Bissett Road. The trails are 7 km and 6.5 km, respectively, and follow fairly easy crushed gravel paths. For a slightly longer journey, you can connect to these trails from the Dartmouth and Woodside ferry terminals. You can find great nature and wildlife watching on this route!
#novascotia your pretty awesome too! #cityoflakes #cyclingclub #saltmarshtrail #dartmouth #chasinglight cred. @superstreetgang A post shared by James Gillett (@gillett_james) on
3. Dartmouth Multi-Use Trail
Part of the Trans Canada Trail, the Dartmouth Multi-Use Trail is a 7km ride that starts at Sullivan’s Pond and travels along the Shubenacadie Canal, Lake Banook and Lake Micmac.
This is a popular route for runners, walkers, ducks, and geese, so keep an eye out! This is a beautiful route for cycling with both paved and easy to ride crushed gravel paths. If the weather is warm, there are plenty of places to go swimming along the trail. This route can be extended by biking from the Alderney Ferry Terminal or by biking around Shubie Park at the end of the route.
2. Dartmouth Waterfront This 3km trail is a fun urban waterfront experience that is punctuated with some great urban art, an urban forest and waterfront industry. From the Alderney ferry terminal, cyclists can bike around Dartmouth Cove without having to interact with car traffic. This route travels by King’s Wharf, through the industrial lands, along the rail line, past the Nova Scotia Community College, and ends at the Woodside Ferry Terminal. If you’re feeling like an adventure, combine this route with Shearwater Flyer or Saltmarsh Trails.
This crack is about 30ft long, and deep enough that I can perch my bike in it. It also happens to be at the bottom of a hill, and in the middle of a blind corner. Hopefully the HRM can show it some love before someone gets hurt, because the Dartmouth Waterfront multi-use trail is a gem. It’ll be even better when the last small section is finished, linking the waterfront from the Woodside Ferry Terminal down to Alderney Landing. #crackcheck #saynotocrack #excusemeyourcrackisshowing #dartmouthwaterfront A post shared by Justin McC (@bikesandbulldoug) on
1. BLT Rail to Trail
My Favourite bike trail within the Halifax region is the Beechville Lakeside Timberlea (BLT) Rail to Trail. The BLT begins in the Lakeside Industrial Park and spans 13km (pack a lunch!). You can access the BLT trail from the The Chain of Lakes Trail off of Joseph Howe Road in Halifax. Nature lovers will not be disappointed with the tree-lined paths, small waterfalls, lakes, rivers and wildlife along this route.
If you require an incentive to finish your ride, plan to stop at the Tantallon-based Train Station Bike and Bean for lunch and a coffee!