HRM Brookline Trail
Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) released a survey in February, 2021 to ascertain usage patterns and needs for access for the future Blue Mountain – Birch Cove Lakes (BMBCL) Regional Wilderness Park. Although some preliminary planning for potential access sites was done in 2012 by HRM, little was done until Cobequid Consulting was hired to design a Hobson’s Lake trail to connect with the new Brookline Park Subdivision in Bedford West. This survey also gave contributors the opportunity to add general comments related to the future of the BMBCL park.
ACCESS PLAN NEEDED
Access to popular areas within the BMBCL has been a growing problem. By example, there have been increasing numbers using the Collins Road trailhead to the point where it is causing stress on the neighbourhood; this past Fall, blasting warning signs were erected on the lands to the rear of Kent Building Supplies (the unofficial main entrance) due to the excavation work underway on the adjoining BANC lands; and, several years ago, 'no parking' signs were erected for safety reasons along Hwy 102 which made getting a canoe into Susies Lake much more difficult.
Initiating the planning work underway (including the selection of access points and their design) for the Regional Wilderness Park has been a major focus of the Friends of Blue Mountain-Birch Cove Lakes Society. Planning is desperately needed to determine the ultimate park concept and, from that, the boundaries and access points, their size, location and amenities. The survey submissions were completed by March 5, 2021, and HRM staff are planning to release the results later this year.
Hobsons Lake is now totally surrounded by property owned by HRM, purchased in 2018. Photo: Mike Bayer
Hobsons Lake is but one of 22 within the wilderness park boundary envisioned by the Friends of BMBCL. Photo: Richard Vinson
The HRM page describes key points relative to the survey.
To date, all trail improvements such as this bridge over the Hobsons Lake outflow have been completed by volunteers.
Groups converge at the stream crossing, Hobsons Lake, December, 2020 Photo: Richard Vinson
Trail degredation can be found throughout the BMBCL but is especially noticeable on the existing trail to Hobsons Lake (from Collins Road cul-de-sac). Photo: Richard Vinson
Wildlife remain in the area and, as of fall, 2020 beaver were still active at Hobsons Lake.
The new trail from Brookline subdivision will parallel part of the Hobsons Lake outflow, seen here. Photo: Richard Vinson
The Hobsons Lake outflow is a popular side trip and is a welcome stop on a warm summer day.
The Collins Road cul-de-sac has seen very heavy use since the start of the pandemic.
Upwards of 60 cars are often seen parked along Collins Road on busy weekends.
Hobsons Lake is now a popular destination year round. Photo: Patricia Patterson