Nova Scotia is full of iconic, Instagram-friendly photoshoot locations. In addition to the well-known Peggy’s Cove Lighthouse that every Haligonian is required photograph, I’ve found lots of other gems on my hiking journeys. These spots near Halifax are much lesser-known, but just as full of “♥” producing awesomeness.
You don’t need big bulky equipment to get high-quality photos these days. All you need is your phone and a selfie stick to star in some #epic posts (don’t forget to use #HalifaxTrails). For some preparation tips, check out my other blog post about nature & landscape photography lessons I’ve learned along my journeys. Click on the location titles for a detailed map and hiking guide.
10 Epic Landscape Photoshoot Locations Near Halifax:
10) York Redoubt
York redoubt has played many roles throughout its long history. From its first fortification in 1793 during the battle for the new world between Britain and France to its retrofitting for WWII in 1942. Its modern role? Upping your Instagram game! With huge cannons, crumbling fortifications, and amazing coastal vantage points there are many spots to choose from here. You won’t have to walk long distances to reach any of the good spots so this trip can be accomplished with minimal time and effort, and is less than a 30-minute drive from downtown Halifax. 360 View:
Possibly the best Halifax Instagram spot for a sunset. High Head Trail is a spectacular coastal hiking trail in camera-friendly Prospect Village. All the charms of Peggy’s Cove without being inundated by crowds of tourists, the entire area is a photographer’s dream. The rocky coastal barrens are a perfect foreground for the sun setting over the vast Atlantic Ocean in the background. Wide angled shots set up with a tripod are guaranteed to produce Instagram envy. 360 View:
A lighthouse, expansive rocky coastline and abandoned structures of yesteryear. Chebucto Head has all the ingredients for great photos. You need not walk far to start snapping great pics at one of the best photoshoot locations in Halifax. Though the access road to the parking lot adjacent to the lighthouse is closed due to disrepair (another quintessentially Nova Scotian scene in itself) the walk-in is enjoyably scenic. 360 View:
7) BLT Trail
Part of the extensive rails-to-trails system that runs throughout the province, the waterfall along the BLT Trail is a great photo-op. A very popular spot to stop, the waterfall is a great backdrop for evidence of your hardcore 10km jog or 30km bike ride (or just walk the 2.5km from the trailhead). You may have to wait your turn as you’re likely not going to have this one to yourself. Other great spots along the trail include the former rail bridge, and along the shore of Cranberry Lake. 6 Mile Falls 360° view:
6) Polly’s Cove
Next to Peggy’s Cove, (one of Canada’s most photographed locations) is a lesser-known adventure with equally frameable views. Its coastal barrens landscape was formed thousands of years ago as glaciers scoured the land, depositing large glacial erratic boulders upon their retreat. The area is full of rugged coastal views, granite cliffs, and unique perspectives on Peggy’s Cove. Sudden fog can change your plans in a hurry but also casts a mystique all its own. 360° View:
The top of Blue Mountain is the highest point of Halifax’s Chebucto Peninsula. While it’s not exactly like scaling the Rockies, it’s a great spot to feel on top of the world in these parts. With the city in the distance and expansive views, it’s a great place for some foreground/background pics. The ever-evolving pile of rocks at the top sometimes serves as the base for a flagpole or takes the form of an Inuksuk. 360° View:
The farthest away destination, but one of the best trail systems in the province. (Fairly) well marked and mapped, it’s one of my favourite places for hiking and biking alike. Its 15km former railway trail is a thoroughly enjoyable bike ride that takes you across a super-scenic railway bridge and plenty of other photo-friendly stops along the way.
Best suited for experienced hikers, its #backcountry hiking trails have some of the best views of any in the province. The Skull Rock, Rolling Stone & Gibraltar Rock look-offs have exhilarating views that are sure to grab some scroll-stopping attention on your Instagram feed. 360° View:
3) Fox Lake
The Fox Lake Trail is part of the Kearney Lake trail system (minutes from downtown Halifax). The 3-4km return hike isn’t too strenuous but does require careful navigation, preparation and hiking experience. A highly elevated granite outcrop overlooking Fox Lake makes for one of the best photoshoot locations in an area full of them. Its elevation above the tree canopy is a perfect view of the entire lake. Whether setting up a shot atop the lake or down on its shoreline, there’s plenty of opportunities. The zen-like atmosphere of this area really comes through in photos (yoga pose for extra likes). 360 View:
Towards the end of the Herring Cove Provincial Park Reserve coastal trail is the highest point in the area, and also happens to have a huge pile of rock (leftover from its history as a quarry?) to stand on for an even more elevated platform. Not far from downtown Halifax, it’s an epic photoshoot location with minimal travel & hiking time (2.5km return trip hike). Beginning from the parking lot look-off (a picturesque spot in itself) it’s a short, but rugged #coastal hike with plenty of angles to shoot along the way. Climbing atop the boulder pile at the end of the trail exudes that “I’m the king of the world!” feel. This shot has a profile pic written all over it. 360 View:
The #1 Best Landscape Photoshoot Location Near Halifax…
1) Susies Lake
One of the best Halifax photoshoot locations is a lesser-known hiking area behind a building supply store in Bayers Lake Business park. Yeah, I know, it sounds about as scenic as the Walmart parking lot, but this is part of what makes this area so amazing. A short walk into the woods brings you into an entirely different world.
This area, known as the Blue Mountain-Birch Cove Lakes Wilderness Area is as scenic as Kejimkujik National Park and is tucked in the middle of an urban landscape. My favourite spot of this unique area is the Susies Lake look-off. It looks as if you’ve been on a multi-day backcountry excursion to find this astounding view. In reality, it’s a short drive from downtown and a 40-minute return trip hike. Once you familiarize yourself with the route a few times, you can make it to the lookoff to catch a sunset and still have enough time to make it out before it’s too dark (always bring a flashlight and be properly prepared). Not bad for a shopping detour with a still-warm coffee in tow #BestOfBothWorlds. 360 View: