This was a fantastic exploration last May (2012) that was a complete loop around the “Birch Cove Lakes Area” (Crown lands of the Blue Mountain-Birch Cove Lakes area of Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM).
A long circuit that began at Starbuck’s on Lacewood Drive and entered the area at the south west corner of the Lacewood Drive and intersection with the 102 highway – just after the underpass.( it’s flagged with pink tape at the corner)
Entering the woods at the intersection we followed the trail counter clockwise around the Birch Cove lakes that are also part of the canoe route that connects these lakes.
First we headed toward the junction of Suzie lake and Quarry lake, followed the trail around quarry lake until passing the Dam at the end of quarry lake and then entered the “Evil Birch Trail” This trail took us across the stream flowing out of Quarry lake into Washmill Lake and up onto the granite barrens behind.
At the end of “Evil Birch” we bushwacked over to an old log cabin on the back side of Charlie’s lake and circled around the lake to the front to join trails near Kearney Lake Canoe club. Next we hiked up to Dobsons lake and on to Ash Lake following the North Side of the lake ( there are trails on both side of Ash Lake but the north side is better marked and easier to follow.
At the end of Ash lake we followed a canoe portage down to Crane Lake and had lunch at the remains of an old campsite. After a lunch and a short rest we continued down along the stream that flows from crane lake to Suzie lake. This was a bit a bush wack area until we reached Suzie lake and got on the “green mile” trail that later connects to part of the “Whopper Trails” that follow the lake all the way back to where we entered the area and finally came back out on lace wood drive and back to Starbuck’s where we began.
About a nine hour / 27 km hike that really covers a great diversity of terrain from lake shore areas and streams to granite barrenss and some quite hilly areas behind charlies lake and finishing with the very scenic trail along Suzie lake on the last part of the loop.
An amazing and Epic hike that begins right within the city limits of the HRM! – Fantastic!