The President’s 5th Annual Wilderness Hike

This year’s President’s Wilderness Hike will take place on Saturday, October 23 in Blue Mountain – Birch Cove Lakes Wilderness Area. This is a uniquely urban wilderness area which borders on the Bayer’s Lake Business Park and is largely surrounded by suburban development. On this year’s hike, the trail we will use will take us past both Charlie’s Lake and Fox Lake and give us a gorgeous vista of Halifax to enjoy from Fox Lake Lookout. The fall colours should be at their peak or at least in fine form.

The hike will be guided by Dr. Chris Miller and Caitlin Grady of the Nova Scotia branch of the Canadian Parks & Wilderness Society, a leading environmental organization in Nova Scotia. The hike will be the culminating event in a week of advocacy by CPAWSNS to have the wilderness area declared a national park due to its unique status as an urban wilderness area. Chris and Caitlin are both wilderness conservation experts and leaders and they will throughout the hike educate us about this particular wilderness area and its importance but also wilderness conservation more generally – a category of environmental stewardship in which Nova Scotia is a national leader.

We will depart from the trailhead at 10 a.m. and return to it at 2 p.m., or close to 2 p.m. The trail head for this hike is at Maskwa Aquatic Club which is located at 91 Saskatoon Drive, Halifax. On a Saturday morning, this is about a 10-15 minute drive from King’s. Hikers can either make their own way to the trail’s head or take a charter bus that will be departing from the Quad at 9:45 a.m.. Those taking the bus should be back at King’s by 2:15 p.m. or close to 2:15 p.m. Seating on the bus is limited to 56 people.

Please note that the charter company’s rules state that:

  • only fully vaccinated people are permitted on the bus, and
  • masks are mandatory while on the bus.

Hikers are encouraged to bring a lunch to enjoy at the mid-point of the hike, which will be at Fox Lake. Sturdy and ideally water proof shoes, as opposed to sandals or running shoes, are recommended – the trail is very walkable but it is a wilderness trail. If there is any prospect of rain, a good jacket for rain is also recommended.


Register online to participate in the hike.


Once registered, we will email a waiver to you (if you are 19 and older) or your parent/guardian (if you are 18 and younger) with instructions on how to complete the document electronically.

We must have receipt of a completed waiver by 4 p.m. on Friday, October 22, in order for you to participate in the hike. Waivers are required for all hike participants.

We hope you will consider joining President Lahey, and Chris and Caitlin for this hike in the most accessible and beautiful wilderness area you are likely to find within the urban core of any major city.