Visit a park in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and explore an island in the harbor mouth, see a tower built by the inventor of standard time, or catch a concert in the center of the city. From dog parks to family parks, the outdoor spaces in Halifax provide opportunities for sightseeing, day trips, and history lessons.
Best Halifax Parks – Point Pleasant, Public Gardens, Citadel Hill
Close to the downtown core, find excellent parks with lush flower gardens, walking trails, historical structures, and monuments. Halifax’s must-visit parks are all well-known:
Point Pleasant Park: This 185-acre Halifax park tops the list as the city’s best public green space. Its location on the Atlantic Ocean delivers excellent views, while visitors can revisit the city’s military history by touring the memorials and World War II forts in the park. Be sure to seek out the round Martello Tower.
Halifax Public Gardens: Partly because of its easy accessibility and partly because the gardens and displays in the park revive the city from its winter slumber, the Halifax Public Gardens remains an eternal favorites with locals. A steady roster of volunteers and city employees champion Halifax’s most lush park.
Halifax Commons: Perhaps not the most intriguing park on first-look, but The Commons are an adaptable park. Whether its hosting a concert, a baseball game, or a rugby match, this Halifax Park can provide a weekend of entertainment.
Citadel Hill: On a sunny summer’s day, office workers will be escaping to the slopes around Citadel Hill to catch some sunshine during a lunch break. Keep walking up the slope to reach the Parks Canada living museum and former city fortification, Citadel Hill.
Sir Sandford Fleming Park: Most known for the Dingle Tower that is focal point of the park, Sir Sandford Fleming Park offers trails, family play areas, a beach, and boat access.
Halifax Dog Parks
A few Halifax parks provide excellent dog-walking areas. For a quick escape, take well-socialized dogs to Seaview Park, located under the MacKay Bridge at the north-end of Barrington Street. The park sits on the harbor and dogs can enjoy grassy areas and a beach.
Ever-popular with dog-walkers, the trails of Point Pleasant Park invite long explorations. Visit for the trails, dog-friendly areas, and easy parking in Halifax’s largest park.
Lastly, the canal-side trails of Shubie Park in Dartmouth remain a favorite with dogs and their walkers. Forest scenes and working canal locks make the dog park a favorite local destination.
More Great Halifax Parks
Take a day trip to a Halifax park and watch the animals at Shubenacadie Wildlife Park, explore the trails of McNabs Island Provincial Park, or swim at the beach in Lawrencetown on the eastern shore.
If a road trip is in-order, head to Nova Scotia’s south shore along the Lighthouse Route, stopping in first at William E. Degarthe Provincial Park. Upon the rolling granite hills the infamous Peggy’s Cove lighthouse sits.
Regardless of the activity ¬– be it walking, cycling, dog walking, swimming, surfing, bird watching, or taking in the history – visit a Halifax park for outdoor vacation activities.
Best Halifax Parks for Summer Day Trips
Within a short-drive from Halifax lie some of the regions’ best parks. Visit Halifax-area parks and escape to a historic island, Nova Scotia’s best-known lighthouse, or a wildlife park where black bears and cougars live.
Best Parks for Day Trips Near Halifax, NS
McNabs Island Provincial Park is a true escape. The island, along with neighboring Lawlor Island, sit in the mouth of Halifax Harbor. Tour the island’s historic buildings of Fort McNab and Fort Ives, marvel at the old cabins and once-grand summer homes, read headstones in the island cemetery, venture out to Hangmans Beach, and then visit Maugers Beach lighthouse. Friends of McNabs Island Society provides information on reaching the island with commercial charters. For those with access to a boat, the trip takes about half an hour from Halifax with anchorage available at various points around the island.
Staying on dry land but still marveling at the ocean, drive along the shore of St. Margarets Bay to Peggy’s Cove. Meadow-like slabs of granite surround the iconic Nova Scotia lighthouse. Lunch at the Sou’Wester Restaurant, watch the surf (from a safe distance), visit the Swiss Air Flight 111 memorial, and view the sculptures at William E. Degarthe Provincial Park.
Best Halifax Parks for Family Day Trips
For a Halifax-area day trip, many beautiful spaces lie close to the city. For wildlife watching visit Shubenacadie Provincial Wildlife Park. The animals are native to the Maritime provinces, but many (such as cougars, timber wolves, Sable Island horses, and black bears) are rarely seen. Trails lead to enclosures, ponds, and forest.
Beach Day Trips – Beaches at Halifax Parks
Savor a slice of pristine sand along Nova Scotia’s 6,000 km of coastline. Halifax beach day trips rank as eternal summer favorites. Head to the eastern shore for surfing, hiking, and relaxing at Lawrencetown Beach or the preciously beautiful Martinique Beach.
Head south from Halifax to marvel at the pure sands of Crystal Crescent Beach Provincial Park. Boardwalk trails and a hike to Pennant Point reward day trippers. A clothing-optional cove also features as one of Nova Scotia’s only nude beaches.
Planning a Visit to a Nova Scotia Park
Closer to the heart of the city, Halifax parks such as the Halifax Public Gardens and Point Pleasant Park feature as quick escapes to local green spaces. To extend a day trip into a weekend away, look for parks with camping facilities or consider a visit to the centrally located Kejimkujik National Park, run by Parks Canada.
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