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Difficulty: Moderate-Difficult (Terrain/Navigation).
Setting: Dense urban forest, steep cliff look-offs.
Signage: Minimal at trailheads.
29ha urban wilderness park.
2km, 1hr return trip along unmarked trails.
Great views of the Bedford Basin.
A Hidden Urban Wilderness Gem
One of Halifax’s least-known parks is a wilderness gem hidden in plain sight. With expansive views of the Bedford Basin atop steep cliffs, marked with huge “monolithic” boulders, this park has some of the most amazing #look-offs in the city.
As with many of Halifax’s best nature destinations, parking & access is very poor, the only signage is at the trailheads and the trails are not marked other than periodic orange flagging. The main loop is a short 2km hike, but involves lots of rugged terrain, ascending and descending hills, occasional deadfall, and spots where extreme caution is required due to big drop-offs.
Bedford Basin Views
The loop has 2 main look-off spots. The “Eagle’s Nest” near the entrance on Snowy Owl Drive is an amazing view perched atop a rocky cliff. A large boulder with decades worth of graffiti marks the look-off where you see the Bedford Basin Yacht Club directly across.
Continuing on you will reach another equally astounding look-off marked with another even larger boulder. This look-off has an expansive view of the entire basin with Halifax/Dartmouth and the harbour bridges in the distance These cliffs have rock climbing anchors used by rock climbing enthusiasts and for search and rescue training. This section of the trail requires extreme caution as it narrows and follows along the steep cliff.
Rugged & Wild
The trail then winds back around through high brush and thick forest. Throughout the trails you may encounter downed trees and other obstacles. There are other paths and deer trails throughout the park, so it’s entirely possible to get off track. There are trails that lead down to the shoreline that I will explore and add more info as I do them. From my first visit, I was immediately taken by the diverse array of landscapes packed into this urban wilderness park and look forward to exploring more.
Come with basic preparedness and a healthy dose of caution if you are an inexperienced hiker. You should also note that the park has been found in the past to have Lyme Disease-carrying deer ticks, so use appropriate measures. I recommend having a tick remover handy on all of your hikes regardless of where in Nova Scotia.
Admiral Cove Park Habitat: