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Difficulty: Moderate-Difficult (terrain/navigation).
Setting: Active logging area, streams, forest, granite outcrops.
Panoramic view from the highest point on Halifax’s Chebucto Peninsula.
Part of the proposed #Blue Mountain-Birch Cove Lakes Wilderness Area.
Rugged, narrow and overgrown in many parts.
Less than 2-hour return trip.
Blue Mountain-Birch Cove Wilderness Area Is a large wilderness area with plans to create a full trail system extending from Blue Mountain to Susies Lake. Once/If completed this area will be the largest urban park in North America. Right now it can be difficult to find your way around. Blue Mountain is one access point (albeit un-marked). It can be a little intimidating because it isn’t marked and there aren’t official trails yet, and it ventures into remote, #backcountry terrain. Keeping track of your navigating is a must, but you don’t need to be a seasoned pro to find your way to the top.
I had been trying to find more info on the path to get to the top of Blue Mountain for a while, and it was not easy to come by. The fact that there isn’t much out there on the path to Blue Mountain, tells you what a hidden gem this place is. It is within a 15-minute drive from the city, in Hammonds Plains. The trail takes about 40 minutes to reach the top, and once there you are rewarded with a view of the Halifax Regional Municipality that you likely didn’t know existed. I’m a fan of a good #lookoff and the Blue Mountain 360° vista is one of my favourites. I wouldn’t exactly call it a mountain by the true definition, but it certainly is by mainland Nova Scotia standards. The peak of the mountain is the highest point of Halifax’s Chebucto Peninsula.
The walk is not extremely difficult and is almost always easily visible and occasionally marked with trail flagging so you shouldn’t get lost if you’re paying attention. The land is on Barrett Lumber property so it’s somewhat in flux with forestry operations. It’s currently with their permission that it is possible to access this area despite being recommended as being a key part to the #Blue Mountain-Birch Cove Lakes Wilderness Park. There have been mentions of running a new multi-million dollar freeway (highway 113) right through the heart of this trail. For reasons even beyond ruining this gem, and reneging on the commitment to the wilderness park, it SHOULD never happen (stay tuned).
This is a great outing without having to set aside much travel time. I can imagine that sunsets and sunrises from the top of Blue Mountain would be some of best in the HRM, but I’ve yet to confirm that. It is a fantastic Autumn hike.
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