Difficulty: Moderate-Difficult (distance).
Setting: Converted railway trail, coastal views.
Facilities: Access to parking, parks and beaches.
Signage: Map and info at trailheads, minimal signage.
32km stretch of Trans Canada Trail.
Follows near the scenic coastline.
Access to parks and beaches along the way.
The Saint Margaret’s Bay Trail is a 32km stretch of former railway trail which is part of the Trans Canada Trail system that extends throughout much of the province. This section connects the area of Hubley to Hubbards. This multi-use trail is frequented by bicyclists (a bike bell is a must!), walkers, joggers, ATV’s and even people on horseback. The crusher dust surface can be a bit rough in sections with dips and bumps along the way, but nothing that most bikes, strollers or wheelchairs can’t handle.
There is a small parking area on the side of St. Margaret’s Bay Road marking where the BLT Trail ends and the SMB Trail begins. Other parking areas are at various points along the trail (check map). Along with good access points, the trail also has lots of spots to stop to check out scenery or just have a quick break. The Bike & Bean is a popular stopping spot to grab food and drinks, as well as checking out their bike shop. The next good stop is at the Bay Lookout Park which offers a great view of the bay and has various picnic areas. Further along you’ll reach 2 beaches, the first is Cleveland Beach Provincial Park which is a small but great sand beach which is often packed on a nice summer day. 3km further is Queensland Beach which is one of Halifax’s most popular beaches. The large sand beach is a go-to spot for many people to spend the day. The last stopping place along the SMB Trail is beautiful Hubbards. This small coastal community has great places to eat, drink and entertain. It’s a perfect place to find somewhere to stay overnight.
The trail has a few hilly sections but nothing daunting. It winds its way adjacent to St. Margaret’s Bay Road throughout offering some great views from elevated positions above the road. Many rivers and streams run from the hilly slopes into the bay and you can explore them at various points off of the trail. Some great views can be had when crossing the few old elevated railway bridges along the trail.
This is a great section of the rail trails that run throughout the province with its invigorating coastal climate and views. It can be cool and windy compared to the inland sections of the trail so be prepared for quick changes in weather.