Explore the most popular lake trails in Nova Scotia with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Great hike. Trail can be a little hard to follow at times. We used our phone’s gps to keep us going in the right direction. Lots roots and rocks to be mindful of. Some steep climbs.

hiking
1 day ago

Easy walk through woods. Portion of the trail is more of an ATV path.

hiking
2 days ago

A challenging trail with a very steady ascent to the top but the payoff is certainly worth it. This trail rivals Skyline for the view from the top. absolutely fantastic!!

Great views. Must do! Cycling only otherwise won’t see anything

Did the hike with our 9 month old in a back pack carrier and it was lovely!

I'm familiar with part of this system, from Otter Lake up to Crowbar Lake.

The entrance on River Drive leads to a parking lot by the old "Camp Victoria", and a place where an old metal bridge used to be at Otter Lake. The road used to be public, but apparently it says here its now private property. When I drove on that road last week, a local resident said I was OK to go....not sure what that means or how authoritative it is. As far as I'm concerned, its reasonable if there is no barricade or chain blocking the road. There may be provision in the "Trails Act" in NS for this road to be for considered for public purposes of accessing public waterways (ie, Otter Lake and the river). The private property sign along River Drive may be ambiguous, ie, does it just mean "beyond this point on this road" or the forests on either side of the road? If they intended to completely block access, then why not put up a chain?

Please search for "Salmon River Long Lake" on this site, as I've written a more detailed description of this, and little bit of history.

Another point is that there is or was a "Lookoff" trail, which leads to a high look-off location directly north of Barren Lake (East of Otter Lake) . I recall a very nice ripe harvest of high-bush blueberries in September, when I was in Scouts back in the 90s.

hiking
7 days ago

This trail system is called "Crowbar Lake", yet the map only shows the portion from Myra Road to Granite Lake. I'm not familiar with this portion, but rather the section from Otter Lake up to Crowbar Lake.

Please search for the other trail on this site: "Salmon River Long Lake", in which I provide great detail on a related trail system and some history. Half of that system is still available. The second half may no longer be accessible: from the Crowbar lake detour up to Salmon River Long Lake.

The trail head (River Drive @ the old Camp Victoria) may be private property, but it still appears essentially accessible and not blocked. One resident along that road said I was welcome to continue down to the end, for purposes of hiking/exploration. The drive down the road is very poor, and almost unsafe with a regular car.

The map indicates an older dotted line root from the parking lot by Camp Victoria, over where an old metal bridge used to be (1990s and before), and up Otter Lake and Salmon River on the west side. This path is falling into disrepair, and is difficult to follow. You can access that path by crossing on the rocks (may have to wade up to your knees) on the west side of the parking lot where the bridge used to be at Otter Lake.

The main path on the east side of Otter Lake and Salmon River is generally good, very rugged and thoroughly adventurous. As the path reaches a swampy stream region on the north-west side of Crowbar lake, it takes a detour up into the hills, and connects with the trail system leading to Myra Road (Porters Lake). The piece of trail (shown here in red) that continues on to Woody Lake and Porcupine Lake is of unknown status to me, and may be mostly overgrown. A volunteer crew should aim to re-establish this trail, as both Porcupine and Salmon River Long Lakes are almost inaccessible except via water craft.

Side Note: There used to be a mill up at Wisdom Mill Lake, and it was probably named after either John Wisdom (an original builder of Dartmouth and someone who operated mills) or some related Wisdom family descendent. There was a long road which led from Preston northward, passing Loon Lake on the west, to Wisdom Mill Lake. It was called "Wisdom Old Wood Road", and is only visible on older maps pre 1940s or so. It would be an extension of the dotted-line path indicated on this map, reaching northward from a residential Preston road.

The falls were really pretty, but rating lower because there is a section of the service road shortly after the bridge that is completely washed out, so we weren't able to get the distance we were hoping for. We would have selected a different hike for today as we were planning for more exercise, but still a pretty place to visit and will go back now that expectations have been managed.

Really enjoyed this trail. Lots of great views. Well marked and easy to follow. Kids loved that there were lots of boulders to climb. Will be coming back to hike some of the other Bluff Trail loops.

mountain biking
10 days ago

Definitely preferred biking over walking it!

hiking
10 days ago

Best of the bests..don't miss out the second view point just after the main view point . it is amazing

I run this trail 1-2 times a year. A great workout and pushes me to my limits. If you are trail-running, plan at least an hour+ for this run and bring lots of water. If you are hiking, plan at least 3+ hours. everywhere along the course you will find great views.

Being a runner, I do this the first loop 1-2 times a year. A challenging course which pushes the limits of my abilities. When you do get to one of the look-offs, the views are breath-taking. Plan at least 3-4 hours if you plan to walk the first loop.

Great hike. Really will do it again some day. I encourage everyone around to go and do it.

Best view!

15 days ago

Franey does not disappoint! The view from the top was amazing! It is pretty demanding but doable for sure. We came back the road and were glad we did because the ascent was tough. Has to be one of the best hikes in Cape Breton!

hiking
17 days ago

Easy hike. Trail may be muddy. The lake is beautiful. Did this trail at sunrise. It was beautiful. Lots of signs of moose, but no moose.

Only did first loop. with Megan, Holly and BobbySue

Went with a couple friends! It was a lot of fun! A little wet because it had rained the day before but defiantly worth it!

Nice quick spin. Took about 4h with a full pack (testing some new gear for Chignecto). Definitely a MTB trail - first few kms are fairly flat or gradual, but between the rocky road surface and roots one should opt for ankle support. After a day of rain there is a fair amount of standing water in spots (esp on secondary trails). but there are developed trails to bypass the worst spots. Great lakeside spot to hang a hammock at the very end.

mountain biking
22 days ago

Very nice trail. Bring bug spray tho.

Would recommend. :)

A beautiful picnic park with lakes and a walking trail. I often see people fishing there or swimming. It connects to the Rum Runners Trail as well.

In the past I’ve completed this trail but the other day two of us tried to do it and a fallen tree caused us to go around and we weren’t able to find the trail again and we’re forced to turn around. Would love it if someone could either add more trail markers or make the path more obvious so people don’t get lost. Also, there’s private property which is easy to accidentally venture into. Trail was hard to find

Slight elevations. Smoothe. Fairly busy - walking, running and biking. All very accommodating. I enjoyed biking on this trail! Lots of birds and squirrels.

Very nice relaxing trail.

Great trail, but a little rough on the edges. It was maintained by the Bowater Mersey pulp company but after a takeover by Resolute Pulp, the trail was abandoned and all the trailhead signage was removed. The trail interpretation signage and bridges remain however and are in pretty good shape. There are cool remains of an old logging camp in the middle. Avoid in early spring as the Hiking Trail Road can be rough on non-4WD vehicles until it dries out and the trail can be icy. The first stretch on the historica Old Annapolis Road is an ATV trail and thus is rocky and eroded but the trail soon soon branches off and becomes a nice forest and lakeside path.

Short but sweet

Beautiful hikes with lots of great surprises along the way!

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