Nova Scotia winters . . . they can be messy, they can be cold, they can be unpredictable . . . and winters on the east coast . . . they can be awesome! Who doesn’t love a winter walk with snow-covered trees, a picnic lunch with a belly-warming hot chocolate and, of course, a new adventure. Cross country skiing and snowshoeing combine all this and more! So whether you are a pro, or a new to the snow, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are great ways to enjoy some outdoor family time, get some exercise and tire those kids out! Enjoy the best that Halifax winters have to offer and check out some of these great cross country ski and snowshoe trails!
If you are trying snowshoeing for the first time or you are introducing the sport to your littlest of outdoor enthusiasts, the Emera Oval is a great place to start. The Emera Oval has snowshoes that you are able to borrow for FREE for use on the Halifax Common. How cool is that?
Another little gem of a spot is the Adventure Earth Centre in Fleming Park. They have FREE snowshoe loans for all ages for use in the park and have staff onsite to help set you up. Perfect! If you see snow on the ground, drop by on Sundays and Wednesdays from 2:00pm – 5:00pm in the month of February to try it out! (valid government issued ID required)
Many of the recreation centres in HRM have snowshoes available for loan. Check out the list of recreation centres to find one in your area.
Hike Nova Scotia has information on many of the hiking/snowshoeing trails throughout Nova Scotia, including Halifax, Dartmouth and beyond. They lead guided winter snowshoeing trips through some of the best trails in the province.
If skiing is more your style, there are TONS of trails within HRM that are great for the cross country ski enthusiasts. It’s a bit more difficult to find skiis to borrow or rent but sometimes you can find good deals at ski swaps and on kijiji.
Here is a listing of trails groomed by the Halifax Nordic Ski Club:
Here are a few more of the favourite trails for cross country skiing and snowshoeing in the Halifax Region:
- Bedford/Sackville Connector Greenway
- BLT Trail/Rails to Trails
- Chain of Lakes Trail
- Cole Harbour Heritage Park
- Fleming Park
- Mainland North Linear Parkway
- McIntosh Run Community Trail
- Musquodoboit Trailway
- Point Pleasant Park Trails
- Sackville Lakes Trails
- Shubie Park
- St. Margaret’s Bay Trail
For a bit of a ‘city getaway’, yet still not too far from the city, Ski Martock is a great place for families to enjoy cross country skiing. It’s also a great place to try the sport for the first time, as it is one of the few places that offer cross country ski rentals. Martock offers 5 km of groomed trails through a mixed coniferous and hardwood forest.
But the most important thing to remember when snowshoeing and cross country skiing is to be sure to have fun! Remember, there is no such thing as ‘bad winter weather’ when you have a pair of skis or snowshoes. That snowfall magically becomes known as ‘great weather’. Embrace it – and bring on the snow!