Off of the Cobequid road, in Lower Sackville, Sackville Lakes Provincial Park (formerly called Second Lake Provincial Park) consists of a 283 hectare greenway surrounding First Lake and Second Lake. With the help of the Friends of First Lake Society and Sackville Lakes Parks and Trails Association, the trails are well maintained. Wide, crusher dust trails are mapped at the parking lot and trail head off of First Lake Drive. A new, more extensive parking area is currently under construction on the Second Lake side of the road (to be completed Oct. 2015).
There are two main trails in the park. The “Glen Slaunewhite trail” which lines the shore of First Lake is a linear trail that goes for 2km (one way). The other main trail, the “Great Oak trail” is on the Second Lake side of the park and is a semi-looped 3km return trip. The Great Oak trail continues on along the lake where it turns into a linear trail extending to the end of the lake and beyond. The access points to First Lake allow easy access for canoeing/kayaking.
There are benches and lookoff points along the way and provide lots of great spots to stop to take a break and take in the scenery. Garbage cans and dog bags are supplied, and the area is a popular on-leash spot for dog walking.
The forest is a lush green, moist and shady home to over 200 species of wild flowers and plants. As with most healthy ecosystems, bugs can be bad in certain areas of the park when they are in season (late spring-late july) so come prepared.
The area is currently managed as a provincial park reserve, through a joint agreement with Department of Natural Resources. The Sackville Lakes Parks & Trails Association (a volunteer group) help design and maintain the area, and recent improvements are in various stages of completion.
The Sackville Lakes Park is another example of volunteer communities coming together with local government to develop and preserve a special area of our municipality for the enjoyment of all.
Recommended reading: “Formac Pocketguide to Nature: Animals, plants and birds in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island”.