If you’ve ever been to Peggy’s Cove, you know the type of coastal views that Nova Scotia has to offer. High Head Trail in Prospect is on par or perhaps exceeds Peggy’s Cove in this respect.
The 150 hectare Dr. Bill Freedman Nature Reserve contains the 4km trail. Just a 30 minute drive from downtown Halifax, it’s a must see area for anyone visitng Halifax. Keep in mind that this is a nature reserve, so keep disturbances to a minimum by staying on established paths, keeping dogs on a leash, or ideally not bringing them at all.
The trail itself isn’t marked but doesn’t need to be, as its coastal barrens setting allows easy visibility. The first few minutes of the trail from the road is a rough path through the woods and can be muddy. It quickly opens into a vast expanse of granite outcrops overlooking the ocean and the many islands in the area (Top-notch area for ocean kayaking).
You can hike the full 4km linear trail, or hike a few minutes in and spend all of your time climbing rocks or just sitting on them and taking in the view. Because it only takes a few minutes to reach a great viewing area, and the fact that the sun sets over the ocean; this is one of the best places to watch a sunset (bring a flashlight for the short walk back).
Ankle twists and mud soaking are possibilities along the path so wear appropriate footwear.
The entire area, including Prospect Village, is a spectacular display of Nova Scotia’s sea faring soul. A fascinating example of this history can be experienced by visiting the nearby SS Atlantic Heritage Park.
All in all this is one of my favorite hiking areas in the province, and is one of the least commonly known.
Recommended Reading: “Geology of Nova Scotia”.