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Park Map | Photos | 360° Video
Difficulty: Easy – Difficult (distance/terrain/navigation).
Setting: Lake, forest, streams, and rivers.
Facilities: Parking, Toilets, Bike Racks, (non-motorized) Boat Launch & Rental Service.
Signage: Minimal. Mostly along “Lakeview Trail”.
New 5km “Lakeview Trail” loop.
The beauty of Long Lake Provincial Park lies not only in the nature and sense of being in the wilderness but also in its location that is a 15-minute drive from downtown.
Nestled in the heart of mainland Halifax, there are multiple access points, ranging from St. Margarets Bay Road, Northwest Arm Drive, Old Sambro Road, and Prospect Road. The main access points with parking areas are off of St. Margarets Bay Road and the new one off of Northwest Arm Drive.
Previously, trails were unmarked and unmapped. As of April 2016, a new large wide gravel and packed sand trail was constructed. Named the “Lakeview Trail”, it consists of a 5km loop around Witherod Lake. Similar to what you would see in Point Pleasant Park, this large main trail system is very well constructed with plenty of room for walkers, bikers and joggers alike.
The rest of the park is largely unmarked, which is a good thing for adventuresome hikers, as there are plenty of “off-path” opportunities, but be sure to keep track of where you are going, especially in wooded areas not near the shoreline. The lake has become one of the best places for #paddling (non-motorized boats only) thanks to the new boat launch area off of Old Sambro Road. A new paddleboard and kayak rental business has recently opened to service the park.
The trails off of the parking lot on St. Margarets Bay road are popular with people and their dogs as it used to be an off-leash area. You can now technically be fined if your dog isn’t leashed, but it remains a #dog-friendly area. Once you stray from the main paths you are rewarded with all kinds of great finds. One of the best places for #swimming in Halifax, you can stroll along the shoreline to find your own ideal swimming spot.
The park is full of interesting geology, lakeside views, streams, rivers, vegetation, beaver dams and wildlife you don’t normally see in the middle of an urban area (See my recommended nature books).
Long Lake contains an old farm settlement as well as the remains of a road known as the “Old Coach Road”, dating back to the 1800s. The lake’s use as a water supply for the city of Halifax until 1980 is evident by the dams and waterworks still visible today. If you explore far enough, you’re sure to find a hint of the park’s past, scattered within its vast borders.
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