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Top 5 HIKES in the Halifax Region

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Halifax isn’t just about its downtown core, its amazing events, unique shopping, or its world-class culinary scene (although let’s be honest, those are pretty fantastic too). The Halifax region is home to some incredible hiking trails, and get this – they can be accessed within a 30-minute drive from downtown Halifax!

The variety of landscapes, scenery and terrain includes lakeside trails, ocean-side cliffs, serene woodland and secluded coves. And to top it all off, there’s no shortage of breathtaking views and vistas.

No matter what kind of hiking you want to do, throw on some layers to keep you warm, grab some snacks and enjoy the scenic trails of Halifax!

Here are my top 5 hikes within 30 minutes of downtown Halifax:


1 – Musquodoboit Trailway
~1 hour drive from downtown Halifax

This trail begins near the Musquodoboit Railway Museum, and is well-groomed and suitable for bikes and strollers. From this trail, you can choose your own adventure, venturing off into several looped trails that climb up and provide stunning views of the Musquodoboit River and surrounding areas.

The main loop is the Admiral Lake Loop, which starts 1.7km into the main trail and loops around for 5km before returning to the main trail again. The terrain can be slightly tricky, but nothing too difficult. When you get to the “look off” (you will know!) pause and take in the awesome 180 degree views of the White Lake Wilderness Area.

For more info, visit the Musquodoboit Trailways Association.

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2 – Kearney Lake Trails
~20 mins drive from downtown Halifax

Located right at the entrance to the Maskwa Aquatic Club, the Kearney Lake Trail system offers up plenty of diverse terrain and options for any type of adventurer.

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3 – Polly’s Cove
~50 mins drive from downtown Halifax

You’ve probably been to Peggy’s Cove before, and if you haven’t been, you should absolutely go – it’s stunning and SO iconic. From Polly’s Cove you can enjoy a similar view without as many crowds.

This trail is only a few kilometers long, but the scenery is well worth it. The first kilometer is on a well-defined path as you make your way towards the ocean. There you are treated to a great view of the coastline and Peggy’s Cove to your right (so long as it isn’t foggy).

Getting there: While there are no signs to mark the trail head, there is a small parking lot big enough for 3-4 cars.

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4 – Bluff Wilderness Trail
~25 mins drive from downtown Halifax

Many people from Halifax have never even heard of the Bluff Wilderness Trail, so it’s perfect for travelers looking for hidden gems!

This trail is one of the most diverse inland trails in the province. There are four loops within the trail system, totaling over 30 km. The trails run through ecologically sensitive barrens and woodlands with a variety of trees such as red maple, spruce and oak. The trails go mostly through wooded areas, with many high peaks, allowing for amazing vistas of the surrounding lakes.

For more info, visit the Woodens River Watershed Environmental Organization.

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5 – Duncan’s Cove*
~30 mins drive from downtown Halifax

This is one of my favourite hikes in all of Nova Scotia! It blends all the elements that make living and visiting the East Coast so amazing. The trail hugs the coastline, giving hikers many opportunities to sit and enjoy the view of crashing waves and the ocean.

One last tip, since this trail is located on the coast, dress in layers because even on the nicest of days it can get chilly!

*Important to Note: Duncan’s Cove is a nature reserve and the trail is often accessed via private property. Please be aware of where you are hiking and considerate to residents.

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Happy hiking!


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