The ocean is calling, and it's bargaining with sounds of whistling winds and crashing waves to accompany your hike. It's nearly impossible to find a hike around Halifax that doesn't have a coastal view, and we wouldn't have it any other way. With a mix of urban and rural settings, hikers of all levels can find something to enjoy within the peninsula. But make sure to pack your sturdiest boots and your swim trunks – hiking around Halifax means both rock climbing and beach bumming afterwards.


1. Duncan’s Cove Coastal Trail

Duncan's Cove Nature Reserve

photoAlley Biniarz

Distance: 8 km round-trip
Time: 3 - 4 hours

With breathtaking ocean views, this classic Halifax hike is a favourite for locals and visitors alike. Bring a pair of binoculars for the chance to spot seals and coastal birds, and watch for old concrete lookouts and lighthouses. Like any thing of beauty, as a sensitive nature reserve it must remain protected, so tread lightly and stick to the rugged paths.

How do I get to the trailhead? Take the 4th exit at the Armdale Rotary and follow to NS-349 S. Turn Left onto Chebucto Head Rd to Duncan’s Cove.

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Distance from Halifax:  17 km


2. Pennant Point Trail

Crystal Crescent Beach Provincial Park

Distance: 10.5 km loop
Elevation Gain: 127 m
Time: 2 - 4 hours

This trail follows the coast across boardwalks and bridges, leading to scenic rock climbing spots. Come prepared for bushwhacking, as portions of the trail are often overgrown or difficult to distinguish. 

How do I get to the trailhead?: Take Old Sambro Road to Hwy 349. Follow signs for Crystal Crescent Beach.

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Distance from Halifax: 28 km


3. Herring Cove Bluffs

Herring Cove Provincial Park Reserve

 photoDennis Jarvis Flickr cc by sa 2.0

Distance: 2 km loop
Time: 1 hour
Elevation: Minimal

This quick city getaway is the perfect photography excursion. Perch yourself on a rock to snap a shot of the crashing waves, while surrounded by coastal bushes and trees.

How do I get to the trailhead?: Take the 4th exit onto Herring Cover/NS-349 S. Turn onto Purcells Cove Road. Look for signs for Herring Cove.

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Distance from Halifax: 15 km


4. Lakeview Trail

Long Lake Provincial Park Reserve

photoDennis Jarvis Flickr cc by sa 2.0

Distance: 5 km loop
Time: 1 - 2 hours
Elevation: 57 m

This urban gem is home to unique geology and refreshing water for an afternoon dip. The path is perfect for a jog, or if you’re an adventuresome hiker, travel off the beaten path with unmarked opportunities on the 2,000 hectares of land.

How do I get to the trailhead?: Follow St. Margaret’s Bay Road from the Armdale Rotary. There’s a small parking lot on your left just before the road leading to Exhibition Park.

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Distance from Halifax: 7 km


5. Purcell Cove Backlands

photoLinda Jones Flickr cc by nd 2.0

Distance: Varies
Time: 2 hours
Elevation: 100 m

This unmarked landscape requires some navigation as you weave across the 1,350 hectares to William’s Lake. Step with caution around the glacially sculpted granite and enjoy the ecologically unique land.

How do I get to the trailhead?: From Purcells Cove Rd, turn right onto Oceanview Dr.

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Distance from Halifax: 6 km


6. Point Pleasant Trail

Point Pleasant Park

photoAlley Biniarz

Distance: 3.5 km loop

Time: 1 hour

Elevation: 61 m

What began as a fortress to defend the city is now Halifax’s favourite urban park. Take your pup for a stroll or catch a glimpse of the harbour from the hill. You’ll forget that you haven’t left town.

How do I get to the trailhead?: Located in the South End of Halifax.

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Distance from Halifax: 0 km


7. Liberty Lake Trail

Kejimkujik National Park and National Historic Site

Distance: 60.5 km one-way

Time: 4 - 5 days

Elevation: 418 m

When the going gets tough, these backcountry trails get tougher. On this multi-day trek, you’ll find yourself trudging through streams and large lush forest. This hike is not for the faint of heart.

How do I get to the trailhead?: Follow Highway 8 to Kejimkujik National Park. Starting point is at the Big Dam Lake Parking Lot.

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Distance from Halifax 167 km


8. Cape Split Trail

photoPaul Flickr cc by 2.0

Distance: 16 km loop
Time: 4 - 5 hours
Elevation: 489 m

Watch the Bay of Fundy show you some of the world’s highest tides. The uphill climb to the point of Cape Split is known as the best view in the province, where you’ll catch a different sight whether the tide is high or low. Bring a snack; you’ll want to stay awhile.

How do I get to the trailhead?: Follow Highway 101. Take Exit 11 and drive to Scott’s Bay. Follow the Cape Split signs to the parking lot.

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Distance from Halifax: 127 km


9. Jodrey Trail

Blomidon Provincial Park

photoGreen Optics Flickr cc by 2.0

Distance: 5.6 km
Time: 2 - 3 hours
Elevation: 190 m

Just around the corner from Cape Split, hikers can enjoy the same fluid tidal views. Expect some steep climbs up sea cliffs through forested areas.

How do I get to the trailhead? All trails are accessible from the provincial park.

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Distance from Halifax: 122 km


10. Gaff Point Trail

photoBrad Penney

Distance: 7 km loop
Time: 2 hours
Elevation: 117 m

Do you like taking long walks along sandy beaches? This trail leaves you almost completely surrounded by ocean in a mix of beach and forest, with rugged cliffs for dramatic views.

How do I get to the trailhead?: Begins at Hirtles Beach just outside of Lunenburg.

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Distance from Halifax: 116 km




Want more hiking trails in the Halifax area?

Check out our list of the best hiking trails in Nova Scotia here!


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