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!.
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.
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.