Originally built in 1780 for Lieutenant Governor John Wentworth, Hemlock Ravine is now a great urban park. Located off of the Bedford Highway, this park is tucked in behind some housing and apartment complexes but you would never know you are in the city once you enter the trail system.
The trails are well marked and the paths are well maintained, very similar to Point Pleasant Park. Dogs are welcome and do not have to be on a leash in some parts of the park.
You can choose lots of different routes and lengths for your hike within the 200 acre boundaries of the park. The main trails are 3 interconnected loops of around 1 km each. The farthest point in the park is the ravine area and a high point which overlooks the Bedford Basin. There are lots of different access points, but the only parking lot is off of Kent Avenue.
The park is very scenic starting with the heart shaped pond at the entrance and ending with the large ravine at the other side of the park. The unique pond the park is known for, dates back to 1794 when it was built by Prince Edward and later re-shaped into a heart by his grandson to commemorate the 27 years Prince Edward spent here with Julie St. Laurent.
The park was untouched by forestry and development during Halifax’s history so it has acted as a small urban nature preserve. The park has many old-growth trees, most noticeably some very large hemlock.
I highly recommended you check out the ravine, as it is a very unique geographical feature for the area.
For a more in-depth history of the park, read my blog post: “Getting To Know Hemlock Ravine Park”
Recommended Reading: “Halifax: Discovering Its Heritage”.