Charlies Lake trail is a rugged, hilly, breathtakingly scenic 4km loop section of the larger Kearney Lake trail system. The trails are mostly un-marked, with occasional maps and signage courtesy of the Maskwa Aquatic Club.
Starting from the parking lot you will see a posted map of the trail system. Take note of the map and colour marking system as this is the only time you will see it during the Charlies Lake loop.
Following sparsely marked trees (spray paint) and a couple of signs for Charlies Lake, you'll make your way through the rugged paths, steadily up hill. The hike is occasionally aided by ropes, foot bridges and a staircase. The terrain can be very challenging, especially in slippery winter conditions. Appropriate footwear is a must.
Once you reach Charlies Lake, you have all kinds of amazing views, especially in Autumn. The rocky shoreline forms a natural amphitheater atmosphere, where you’re sure to spend time taking it all in (be sure to introduce yourself to Charlie).
The trail loops around the entire lake, but becomes more difficult to follow on the far side. The log crossing where the lake narrows can also be a bit of a challenge. I recommend using a GPS/phone with the map I've created as reference since it’s very easy to get off path, or onto the wrong one.
On the far side of the lake is an abandoned cabin (in disrepair/unsafe), streams and large granite embankments.
Charlies Lake Trail is ideal for a half day excursion and provides all kinds of opportunities for great photos and relaxation overlooking the lake. In winter it’s also a great place to skate.
Recommended Reading: “Trails of Halifax Regional Municipality”.