Difficulty: Moderate-Difficult (Length/Terrain).
Setting: Coastal Barrens, Beaches, partial boardwalk.
Facilities: Parking, outhouses.
One of the region’s best beaches.
Follows the coastline of a large peninsula.
The full 11km loop is not for the inexperienced.
Crystal Crescent beach is one of the best-known beaches in the Halifax region. What is less known is the coastal trail that originates from the beach called the Pennant Point trail. The first kilometer or two is a well-traveled well-maintained trail which consists of boardwalks, stairs, and bridges. The trail stops being maintained when you reach a small beach. From that point onward the trail is still fairly easy to follow and traveled enough that it is usually easy to identify (also look for some blue spray paint markings). The terrain alternates from easy to moderately difficult in spots.
The trail is a breathtaking coastal trek. The longest route is an 11-kilometer loop that hugs the coastline for most of it. The trail is a lot of fun for rock climbing and scampering. The landscape is something fans of Peggy’s Cove will really appreciate. The full loop should require setting aside a full day, as it is quite long, and ideal for some picnics, swimming, sun tanning, nature watching, or just relaxing by the coast. It can be challenging in parts as some rock climbing and navigating is required, but it’s one of the best workouts you can get.
Good preparation is required in this remote area. Proper hiking shoes, water, navigation aid, first aid, etc. are all a must if setting out to do the full loop. Keep in mind that weather and temperature can change drastically at any moment.
You can choose from a few different hiking options. The longest route is the full 11km loop, and is significantly more difficult due to the length and navigating. It’s easy to follow most of the trail as it hugs the coastline, but as you head inland navigation becomes more important/difficult as the trail contains some elements of bushwhacking. This route includes a couple of kilometers through the woods and often encounters soggy areas. Another option is to hike up to a point between Blackberry Cove and Pennant Point Cove and take the trail that heads inland and eventually joins back to the first part of the trail. The easiest option is to hike up as far as you want and just double back.
This trail is amongst the best summertime hiking that Nova Scotia has to offer. Include some beach time and you’ve got a recipe for a fantastic day.
-Purchase GPS (.gpx & .kml) map files here.
Recommended For Crystal Crescent:
Similar Hikes: Chebucto Head | Taylor Head | High Head Trail
Local Nature: Coastal Barrens | Grey Seal | Piping Plover