Difficulty: Easy – Moderate (distance).
Setting: Salt marsh, harbour, former railway trail.
Facilities: Parking, Toilets, Benches, Dog Bags, Garbage Cans.
Signage: Information kiosks at trailheads, interpretive panels, and other signage.
Very well marked, maintained and patrolled.
Great for bird watching.
Can be very cool and windy in sections.
Linear 9km section of former railway.
Cole Harbour’s Salt Marsh Trail is perhaps the most popular trail in the region. It is a very well maintained multi-use, former railway that has been transformed into a recreational asset.
The trail system is a 9km section of the Trans Canada Trail, which continues towards Lawrencetown in one direction, and Shearwater (named “The Shearwater Flyer”) in the other direction.
The main trail is linear (not a loop) and is well used for walking, biking, cross-country skiing, fishing, and kayaking. If walking the trail, the best route is to go across the water and turn back (4km each way) which takes approximately 2.5 hours.
The trail is part of a Provincial Park (The Cole Harbour– Lawrencetown Coastal Heritage Park system) and is extremely well marked and maintained. It is also monitored and secured by a very friendly and helpful volunteer trail patrol courtesy of the Cole Harbour Parks and Trails Association (Donate!). Note that pets must be on a leash.
The area is a great place to view a diverse array of waterfowl, mammals, plants and local shellfishing operations. 90 bird, 12 mammal, and 6 reptile species have been recorded here.
There are numerous benches along the way to sit and enjoy the view. Other assets include a covered picnic area, trail distance markers, signs regarding the nature and history of the area, well-constructed bridges and a basic bathroom facility.
All in all, this is a great spot for any activity. The fact that it’s safe, well maintained and well-travelled means it is a great spot for the entire family.
Similar Hikes: SMB Trail| BLT Trail | Musquodoboit Trailway
Local Nature: Great Blue Heron | Wild Rose | Salt Marsh