The Bluff Wilderness Hiking Trail, Saint Margarets Bay Road, Timberlea, NS, Canada
Driving time from Halifax
Where to start
There’s only one starting point for all the loops, and you can get there by car or transit. Park your car in the lot near Bay Shelf Storage in Timberlea, then walk a half-kilometre along the well-marked Beechville-Lakeside-Timberlea (BLT) trail system. If you’re riding the bus, get off at Charles Road before Birchdale Avenue, then walk about 20 minutes (or start your warm up run) along Fraser Road and go past the Bluff Trail parking lot, following the same signs to the BLT Trail.
Choose your loop
There are many factors to think about when choosing your loop. How far do you want to run? What time of day is it? How much time do you have? The shortest loop is Pot Lake at 9km. Because it’s shorter and more accessible, it gets the most traffic so it’s less wild feeling than some of the other sections. It also has more exposed roots from being worn down and is the widest of the trails.
Longer loops are the Mi’kmaq Hill Loop at 17.4km, followed by the Bluff Loop at 23.4km and the Hay Marsh Loop at 29km. The Hay Marsh Loop is a two-day endeavor for hikers. To get on the loop you want to do, take a left onto it when you see the sign. Until you find your loop, stay right at every fork.
Under your feet
The loops have rolling terrain with a slight slow incline. The terrain is a mix of dirt, roots, stone and boardwalks. Comfortable trail running shoes with good tread and some cushion should keep you comfortable along the trail.
Wear comfortable running clothes and come prepared with something waterproof, since the weather notoriously changes at any time. Layers will also keep you comfortable if the weather takes a turn for the worse or better.
What you’ll see
With four lakes as part of the scenery, you’ll have plenty of reasons to slow down, stretch and take in the view. Especially in the fall months, the colours reflecting off the lakes are a reason to bring a camera tucked in your running pack.
Reaching the end
To finish, continue on your chosen trail until you hit the first loop, Pot Lake Loop, which will bring you back to the beginning. Although this trail system is well-marked and maintained, make sure you pay attention to where you’re going during your run.