Difficulty: Moderate (rugged coastal terrain).
Facilities: Parking, Bench, Garbage Cans.
Great photography excursion.
Top notch rugged coastal views.
An enjoyable short drive from downtown Halifax.
No signs, maps or info.
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Herring Cove Provincial Park reserve begins from an unassuming pull-off area on the side of John Brackett Drive ( which is an extension of Purcells Cove Road).
A summer drive down the Herring Cove road is an enjoyable experience in itself, and the parking area, directly off of John Brackett Drive is an ideal spot to pull over and take in the view. Many people don’t know that this area is actually designated a provincial park reserve, meaning it is protected, but not yet fully designated as a provincial park.
The hiking trail begins as a pathway through some trees and brush, but for the most part, follows along the rocky coastline. The area allows you to choose any path you like along the rocks. From the parking lot to the high point with the best view is a 1.5km return trip so it’s easily done in 45 minutes. The terrain is uneven and rugged. It can be soft and mushy in certain areas so waterproof hikers with good ankle support are the optimal footwear.
The coastal views here are as good as anywhere in the province. It is a typical coastal barrens landscape, similar to Peggy’s Cove or Duncan’s Cove. Sitting on the rocks, watching the crashing waves, while the shipping traffic from the mouth of Halifax harbour depart or arrive from their ocean journeys are great ways to spend the day.
There are no signs or markings, but the pathways are quite easy to follow, as it just hugs the coastline. As with any coastal hike, be prepared for higher winds and lower temperatures than they are elsewhere.
This is a great place to take in some fantastic coastal views with minimal travel and hiking time. It’s my go-to place for a quick coastal getaway from the city.
Recommended Reading: “The Atlantic Coast: A Natural History”.