Hubley is a residential community of about 1,000 people (2006) in Halifax Region.
The area supports a variety of wildlife species including, moose, bear, deer, bobcat, fox, coyote, numerous trees, shrubs and herbs, lichens, songbirds, waterfowl and many more. Twenty lakes dot the landscape joined by forests, fens, raised bogs, and old fire barrens.
Chebucto Peninsula, south of Highway 103 at exit 4 (Hubley).
Halifax Transit provides service to Timberlea with the routes 21 and 23. Be sure to check the schedule as the 23 only operates at peak times. These routes stop at the intersection of Forestglen Drive and Fraser Road, approximately 2 km from the Bluffs Trail head using the Beechville-Lakeside-Timberlea (BLT) trail.
The Bluff Trail gives access to the Woodens River Watershed, a 22,000 acres (8,900 hectares) tract of provincial government land for hikers, paddlers, and winter sport enthusiasts.
- Parking: A parking lot for the Bluff Trail is available. To access the parking lot you go to exit 4 on Hwy 103, turn onto the Bay Road (Rt.3) heading back to Halifax, go 2 km to Bay Self-Storage on the right. The Bluff Trail parking lot is immediately afterward.
- By bus: You can also take Halifax Transit bus #21 or #23 (the 23 only runs on weekdays during peak hours). Both buses will leave you in Timberlea, at the end of the line on Forestglen Drive (with the intersection of Fraser Road). The BLT Trail crosses Forestglen right at the bus stop. You can then walk on the BLT Rails to Trails to The Bluff Wilderness Hiking Trail trailhead about 2 km.
The trail, entirely on Crown Land, begins inside the Woodens River watershed and climbs onto the high ground between the Woodens River watershed and the Nine Mile River watershed to the east. The trail is in the form of four stacked loops that each eventually go around Upper Five Bridge Lake and join with canoe access at Paradise Cove. There is a single trailhead, on the Beechville-Lakeside-Timberlea (BLT) trail at a point midway between the Hwy 103 overpass just south of Exit 4 and the northern tip of Cranberry Lake.
Three canoe-accessible trailheads will be constructed at the south ends of Cranberry Lake, Frederick Lake, and Hubley Big Lake.
The first two loops of the trail (the Pot Lake Loop and the Indian Hill Loop) were constructed in 2003 by 6 students employed for two months plus help from some 20 volunteers. Together, the first two loops are about 12 km and take a full seven hours to hike. The second two loops (called the Bluff Loop and the Hay Marsh Loop) were constructed in 2004. The four-loop system covers over 30 km. The signs at the trailhead emphasize that this trail is for experienced hikers; they warn hikers of some of the potential dangers of wilderness hiking. The trail runs through ecologically sensitive barrens. It is for hiking only. It is critical that hikers stay on the trail, given the sensitivity of the area. The trail has been carefully routed to avoid wet areas and especially vulnerable places. The trail is narrow without using human-made structures and not intended for all-terrain-vehicles or bikes.
Hikers are expected to pack out what they carry in and practice techniques of wilderness travel that leave no trace. For reasons of safety, hikers should carry a map and compass, first aid kit, adequate water and water purifiers, extra layers of warm, dry clothing, rain jacket and rain pants, a knife, emergency matches, and flashlight. Hikers should be alert since they will be traveling through bear and moose country. The trail is a wilderness trail, designed to challenge and delight the experienced hiker. Hikers should use caution at all times.
The trail passes through many different kinds of flora, including stretches of hardwoods, such as birch, oak, and beech, as well as large black spruce stands, mixed forests, fens, and many open granite barrens. The lichens covering the granite rocks are old and the uncommon Mountain Sandwort plant can be found here. The trail moves generally along high ground, affording frequent stunningly beautiful vistas of the surrounding wilderness and lakes. At one point it runs through a stand of large old growth red pine between Pot and Cranberry Lakes.
When completed, the trail will travel over the Bluff plateau, which is one of the highest points near Halifax, and wander through a large stand of jack pine, uncommon in these numbers in Nova Scotia. The purpose of the trail is to allow the Woodens River community and the public generally to become aware of these extraordinary natural assets, on the principle that awareness is the first step in protection.
Much of this land is barrens and unsuitable for harvesting wood and difficult to develop into residences. As a result, it has been left wild. It is wild not only in the sense of being undeveloped but in the sense of not being directly controlled by human needs and interests. Hunters visit the areas in hunting season, but for the most part these areas have remained undisturbed by frequent human travel. The bush in these areas is often extremely dense. Hiking in these areas is difficult without trails.
You'll find shops in Halifax and in Bedford.
Eat and drink
- Hubley Pizza, 3899 St Margarets Bay Rd, ☏ . M–Th 11AM–1PM, 4–9PM; F 11AM–1PM, 4–10PM; Sa 4–9PM; Su 4–7PM. Pizzas, subs, burgers, donairs, poutine, chicken, seafood, sandwiches, salads.
You'll find more restaurants and bars in Halifax and in Bedford.
- [dead link] Chez Kimmy's, 42 Big Hubley Lake Rd.
You'll find more accommodation in Halifax and in Bedford.
Camping is actively discouraged. The Bluff Trail is located within a Protected Wilderness Area and is governed by the Wilderness Protection Act. Except in certain circumstances the Act and prohibits the development of campsites, the cutting of trees, damaging or removing any plants, and the burning of campfires. Therefore, the only camping permitted on the Bluff Trail is Leave No Trace camping.
|Routes through Hubley|
|Yarmouth ← Chester ←||W E||→ Halifax → END|
|Yarmouth ← Chester ← Jct E ←||W E||→ Jct W → Halifax|