Whopper Trail – at Bayers Lake “Burger King”, Halifax – Nova Scotia

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.
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Quarry Lake – Evil Birch Trail

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.
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GPSies – Web site for sharing GPS tracks

Here is some info on a great GPS track sharing and conversion web site that is free to use.

“GPSies.com is a free outdoor track community with worldwide about 1.000.000 trekking, running, walking, cycling, mountainbiking, skating, sailing (and more activities) tracks.”

“GPSies allows you to upload, convert, view and download tracks which have been recorded by a GPS device. Tracks are visible on a map(as in Google earth) and similar options are also available on the site (zoom, satellite or map mode etc.). The tracks are classified based on the mode of transport (by foot, bike, motor and others). Uploaded tracks can be changed by entering the original user id used to create it.”

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Birch Cove Lakes Wilderness Area

One of my favourite areas for hiking and mountain biking in the Halifax area is the Birch Cove Lakes area that can be entered near the Bayers Lake Shopping Centre and also accessible from boat club parking area behind Kearney Lake.  (MASKWA AQUATIC CLUB).

This is especially convenient for people who live in West Halifax, Clayton Park and Bedford areas since it is so close and offers so many different points of access and a variety of terrain and activities from hiking, biking, canoeing and winter activities like skating and snow shoeing.

“Blue Mountain-Birch Cove Lakes is an wilderness area of Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) that have been designated under the Wilderness Areas Protection Act. The total area of this near-urban wilderness area is 1,312 hectares (3,242 acres), or almost 3/4 the size of Halifax Peninsula.”

“The wilderness area includes forests, lakes, granite plateaus and barrens, and wetlands along the many lakes and small streams encompassed by the area. It protects some wildlife habitat and offers a range of wilderness recreation opportunities, all within minutes of Halifax / Bedford. The area has long been a favorite of Mountain Bikers, Hikers and Canoe Enthusiasts that have developed trails and portages from repeated use over the years.”

A large percantage of the trails in the area have been developed by mountain bike enthusiasts an is well known as the “Whopper Dropper” trail. There are many other trails along Suzie Lake, Quarry Lake, behind Kearny Lake and Charlie’s Lake that form a large system of trails that follow along Hobsons Lake, Ash Lake and Crane lake that eventually return to the “Whopper” trails behind Suzie lake.
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Susie Lake – Hiking and trail info

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Susie Lake / Quarry Lake is part of the Blue Mountain-Birch Cove Lakes area in Halifax Regional Municipality it is easily accessible from the Bayer’s lake shopping area.

There are several paths / trail into Susie’s lake that can be a 2-3 km hike lasting one hour or can cover a larger area ( 7 – 8 km) that also joins the nearby Whooper trail system.

The easiest path to the lake runs behind the Bulk Food store (beside Kent Building Supplies) in Bayer’s Lake and the bus (#52) stops close to Kent. There is also access behind the Burger King to the WHopper bike path / trail that is very popular for mountain bike enthusiasts. If you access the trail behind the burger king you have to stay on the right and follow along behind the retail stores until you again pass behind the Kent homes Store and then continue strait untill you get to the lake. There are many side trails that lead to different parts of the lake along the way.

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Susie’s Lake is rimmed with large granite boulders, cliffs and coves that make it very scenic and interesting to hike and canoe around. The lake connects to other lakes in the area making it an interesting place to canoe to multiple lakes and perhaps overnight in one of the many inlets, coves and beaches.

Shubie Park – Dartmouth Nova Scotia

Shubie Park – This is a great trail for hiking, walking, running and biking. The trail can be used for a short 15 minute walk or a 2 hour bike ride and covers a lot of different terrain and passes by several lakes and connects to other trails. With plenty of parking at the Fairbanks Centre parking lot it is a great meeting / starting point for groups and individuals to coordinate from. See below for more info, maps and pictures.

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The Joggins Fossil Cliffs

One place I would like to get to soon and combine a shoreline hike with a tour of the Fossil Center and exibits . . .

Description

Located at the head of the Bay of Fundy, the 75-foot high cliffs at Joggins are exposed to constant tidal action and as Fundy’s 50-foot tides erode the cliffs, new fossils are revealed including a rich variety of flora, diverse amphibian fauna, important trackways and some of the world’s first reptiles.

See the Joggins Fossil Centre’s Web Site

Cliff at Loggin's Beach

Cliff at Loggin’s Beach

A Unesco world heritage site, the Joggins Fossil Cliffs became famous in 1851 with the discovery of fossilized tree trunks found in their original positions.  When these trunks were closer examined, tiny bones were noticed which turned out to be one of the most important fossil discoveries in Nova Scotia.  These remains were from one of the world’s first reptiles and evidence that land animals had lived during the “Coal Age”.  Today the Joggins Fossil Cliffs are recognized in a world-class palaeontological site.

“…the action of the tides of the Bay of Fundy being so destructive as continually to undermine and sweep away the whole face of the cliffs, so that a new crop of fossils is laid open to view every three or four years.”

—Sir Charles Lyell, Travels in America (1845)

Location

Drive down Loggin’s N.S. “Main Street”.

Joggins Fossil Centre
100 Main Street
Joggins NS B0L 1A0
Canada

Toll-free — 1.888.932.9766

Polly’s Cove

Polly’s Cove is located adjacent to Peggy’s cove south of Halifax Nova Scotia.

Featuring rugged sea side beauty – this less known alternative to Peggy’s cove can only viewed by walking / hiking into the many locations, points and vistas along this nearby coastal area.

Polly's Cove View

Polly's Cove View

polly's Cove

Description

The first part of the walk is an old road comfortable for almost anybody. Once you reach the oceanside and leave the road, the footing becomes more challenging and the grades are much steeper.

Good footwear is important if you intend to be scrambling over some of the rougher portions of the walk, venture out on the rocky coastline, or choose to climb some of the steeper areas.

Wind conditions will almost certainly be brisk, especially in the fall. Even on sunny days, prepare for wet weather and fog.

The rugged beauty, scenic vistas and intriguing landscape make the effort of hiking well worth the effort and offers a more intimate view of the Nova Scotia coastline.

After a long walk – “a lunch with a view!”

Lunch on the Sea Side

Lunch on the Sea Side