I’m really not much of a runner. But once in a while, the mood strikes me, and Dal and I lace up our sneakers and hit the road. Last week, that mood took us to the Chain of Lakes Trail and the Beechville-Lakeside-Timberlea Trail (or the “B.L.T. Trail”).
First, a bit about the Chain of Lakes Trail. This 7-kilometer greenway starts at Joseph Howe Drive, across from the Superstore. It continues south to Bayer’s Lake, and then onward to Beechville, where it becomes the B.L.T. Trail.
I parked the car on Horseshoe Lake Drive and headed westward, which allowed us to experience the last kilometer of the Chain of Lakes Trail. That portion is flat, paved, and not incredibly picturesque (except for the small stretch pictured below).
At Lakeside Park Drive, the Chain of Lakes Trail becomes the B.L.T. Trail. Again, we only got a taste of that trail, jogging the first 3 of its 13 total kilometers. That portion was crushed gravel instead of paved, but also nice and flat, much more shady, and much prettier. So yes, the B.L.T. Trail is as delicious as it sounds.
A few things about our experience. Both trails were busy. There was no chance of going off-leash. (Which reminded me that I’d really like to invest in a hands-free leash.) Other than that, these trails, and the B.L.T. Trail in particular, are perfect for going on a jog-venture. There are kilometer markers, and most importantly, there are several places along the way to stop for a water break. On a warm day, this is key.
Prefer biking to jogging? Even better. I already mentioned that the Chain of Lakes Trail turns into the B.L.T. Trail. But that’s not the end of the story. Not even close. At kilometer 13, the B.L.T. turns into the St. Margaret’s Bay Trail, which is a whopping 32 kilometers long. The St. Margaret’s Bay Trail takes you all the way to Hubbards, and from there, it becomes the Aspotogan Trail… And guess what? It keeps on going. Although it takes on different names as it progresses, it looks like you can follow this single route (which used to be the railway) all the way along the South Shore to Shelburne… then to Yarmouth… then on to Digby. From Digby, you can keep going to Bridgetown, Greenwood, then Kentville. From there, parts of the trail are still a work in progress. But for now, one trail will take you from Halifax to Yarmouth, and back to Kentville. Isn’t that incredible? I think so.
So whether you’re looking to hike, jog or bike a few kilometers or a few hundred kilometres, the Chain of Lakes Trail, the B.L.T. Trail and the Nova Scotia Rail Trails offer incredible dogventuring opportunities nearly everywhere south of Halifax. We can’t wait to explore more sections of this great trail.