Spider Lake trail is a series of interconnected trails mostly used by mountain bikes and ATV riders. That said, there are many “off shoots” and the main trail “Skull Trail” is a great single track ( no ATV’s) that goes all the way back to Lake Major around the back side of Spider Lake. This is a great trail area with very scenic trails but can be very confusing to get on the hiking portion of the trails and avoid getting confused on the other trails especially in the first part of the trail system.
The best place to park is at the usual trail head on Marjorie Anne Drive and take the Spider Lake Trail northwards. The first part of the trail is an old road and is wide so it’s often used by ATV’s – it can be very muddy depending on weather conditions 🙁
Keep an eye out for a single track trail on the right after a kilometer ( approximately) and take that trail onto the Skull Trail and follow it northeast toward Lake Major – Once you are on the Skull Trail – Enjoy! – easily one of the nicest hikes in the HRM!.
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.
The “Whopper Dropper” is an extensive system of trails behind the Burger King in the bayers lake shopping area. This system of trails was mostly developed and is extensively used by Mountain Bikers but are also used by Hikers. There are many loops and side trails that can sometimes be confusing if following the single track trails.
The trails can diverge in many directions and create many different loops especially on the granite plateau areas directly behind the Burger King. This granite plateau is great for biking and is relatively easy compared to the more “technical” and “difficult” single track trails that extend in many directions.
Terrain is varied from open granite areas with low shrubs and bushes, wooded areas with single track trails that wander through wooded areas that feature stands of pine trees near the lakes and stands of hardwood like Birch and Oak in other areas.
Used extensively by mountain bikers the trail features many technical challenges such as ramps, ladders and ramps built for mountain biking.
This is a nice 14 km hike that begins at the Future Inn or Starbucks on Lacewood Drive and enters the birchcove wilderness area opposite Costco on Lacewood drive at the corner of the 102 highway and Lacewood Drive.
The trail is not visible from the road but once you climb up the rock pile at the corner of the 102 and Lacewood you will quickly see the trail that leads down to Suzie lake and Quarry Lake.
The trail first heads toward the end of Suzie lake and follows the shoreline to an old access road back to the rock quarry and then along another old road to the beginning of Quarry Lake. Once you arrive at Quarry Lake there is another trail that follows the shoreline and continues along quarry lake to eventually end up at the Dam at the end of Quarry Lake ( an interesting area with a stand of pine trees and a nice view of the Dam).
If you follow the road back from the dam and take a left as you arrive at the rock quarry again you can access another trail that crosses the stream beneath the Dam.
This trail, “Evil Birch” trail is used by more by MTB bikers than hikers. It is a lesser know trail but is well cleared and easy to follow and quite scenic. The trail crosses a stream running out of Quarry Lake into Washmill lake. Once you have crossed the stream the path then continues toward Fox Lake where it wanders around the granite plateau between the 2 lakes and loops back to return on the same path you came in on.