Hitting the Trail: St. Margaret’s Bay Rails to Trails Trail (Nova Scotia, Canada)

Hitting the Trail is a weekly feature here at Mud Puddles to Meteors. In each post we will share trails, parks, and museums from around the country (and sometimes even beyond). If you would like to join in and share a special nature location please send us an email at kidsandnature@gmail.com with the details listed at the bottom of the post and links to the photos. We would love to share your nature adventure!


St. Margaret’s Bay Rails to Trails Trail (Nova Scotia, Canada)

When we lived in Nova Scotia, the Rails to Trails trail was right out our backdoor- literally. We spent many hours hiking the trail and the many smaller trails leading off the main route; peeking into nooks and crannies along the way to find fungi, water falls, and so much more. Of course fall in Nova Scotia is absolutely beautiful, but the trail is a wonderful trek any time of year!

Fall 13c-1-1

Fall 35a-1-1
Fall 40 Bridge-1-1
Fall 48a-1-1
Fall 52-1-1

Fall 24 Stick a-1-1

Bracket Fungi 2-1

Fall 1-1-1

Things to Know

Location: Approximately 30 min outside of Halifax, Nova Scotia

Habitat: The trail is mostly forest habitat, with glimpses of the sea shore through the trees.

Favorite Animal & Plant Life: A variety of both deciduous and conifer trees grow along the trail making it beautiful year-round. There are also many wild flowers, wild berries to pick, and alders, which have the most adorable little cones that are always a favorite to collect. Birds include robins, chickadees, juncos, blue jays, and the occasional bald eagle and osprey are seen overhead, just to name a few. There are also many signs of wildlife such as deer, which can occasionally be seen; squirrel chattering among the trees and leaving piles of spruce cone bits about; and scat of bear and other creatures.

Special Features: This trail follows the old railway, which was turned into a trail system after the trains stopped running in the area. The section of the trail we hiked on most, in St. Margaret’s Bay, was about 33 kilometers long, but the trail is actually connected to many others to create an extensive trail system.

Best Time of Year to Visit: This is great a trail to enjoy year-round. While fall was our favorite time of year to be on the trail, with a pair of snow shoes, cross country skis, or warm pair of snow boots, a winter trek always reviled wonderful ice walls and snow drifts to play in. In spring, before the leaves bud out there are many views of the bay to behold, and of course summer made for lots of warm days to explore the creeks and ponds along the trail.

7 comments… add one

  • Alex October 22, 2013, 6:59 am

    What a gorgeous trail!
    Your photos are beautiful.

  • Wendy N October 22, 2013, 8:08 am

    Beautiful, enjoyed the photos and the post! Always nice to see the different trails and adventures to be had out there in the world.

  • Mousy Brown October 22, 2013, 4:05 pm

    Those colours are amazing – I love the reflection photo most, so beautiful!

  • Sara October 24, 2013, 12:01 pm

    Having lived in Halifax for just a year and a half we still have so many wonderful things to discover. Thanks for the info. I’ll have to look into it more to figure out where to start!
    PS… I haven’t recieved more info about the nature exchange. Just want to make sure we didn’t miss our opportunity.

    • dawn October 24, 2013, 2:21 pm

      There are so many wonderful trails in the area. You can also access the main trail for the St. Margaret’s Bay rails to trails at the Bike and Bean coffee shop on St. Margaret’s Bay Rd. This little side trail is about a 20 min bike ride from there but there are so many great trails to take along there!
      We will be sending out email matches for the nature exchange over the next few days!

  • Tamara October 29, 2013, 7:49 pm

    Mushrooms! I love that little guy hanging out in the fungi on the forest floor. Beautiful pic. Do you know the name of the tree fungi? I can’t say I’ve ever seen that one.

    We really should make our way to this trail. If I tell the boys we may spot osprey or eagles they will endure the drive. Luckily, wherever we go, despite the time traveling, they are always happy to arrive to a new location amidst the trees and water. Love that!

    • dawn October 30, 2013, 12:59 pm

      We think it is a type of red banded polypore.
      I can tell you exactly how to get to this little section when we chat!

Leave a Comment