The District of the Municipality of West Hants covers 124,200 hectares of land. Within the Municipality, the Avon River empties into the Minas Basin where the world’s highest tides rise and fall along 160 kilometers of shoreline and the banks of tidal rivers. Thirty kilometers of dykes protect 2,436 hectares of land. A variety of lakes and rivers provide opportunities for swimming, canoeing, kayaking, fishing and boating. There are two Provincial Parks (Smileys and Falls Lake), two Park Reserves (Cheverie Salt Marsh and St. Croix), wilderness areas, 12% protected lands (as identified by Environment NS,) and Crown land within the Municipality.
Citizens of the Municipality use parks and open space for personal and organized recreation, to connect with people, and to enjoy nature. The Municipality currently owns and/or manages 73 parcels of parks and open space land, totaling 492.5 acres. Of those 73, 43 parcels are used by citizens for recreational purposes. Currently 21 sites are developed and maintained as recreation sites: Dr. Silas Rand Park, Shamrock Ball Field, Chittick Park, John Wiley Walkway, Fundy Centennial Park, Foundry Field, McDade Park, Hantsport Riverbank Cemetery, Prince Street Path, Eldridge Road Recreation Site, Falmouth Mini Park & Causeway Trail, Falmouth Boat Launch, Irishmans Road Recreation Site, St. Croix Recreation Site, Brooklyn Fire Hall Trail, Cheverie Salt Marsh Restoration Trail, Kempt Quarry Recreation Site, Hobarts Beach, Upper Burlington Planters Trail, Avondale Wharf & Waterfront, and Armstrong Lake. Many of these sites have trails, which have been listed below.
To learn more, check out the ten-year Parks and Open Space Plan which has been developed to direct the management (e.g. operations, maintenance, acquisition, divestment, funding, programming, education) of recreational spaces.
in Falmouth, this multi-use recreation facility has two newly resurfaced tennis courts, a basketball court, two soccer fields, a playground, picnic areas with ample space for games and activities, a tug-of-war sand pit, and trail loop. This recreation site is home of the Hants SnoDusters Snowmobile Club, who lease the clubhouse during the winter season and maintain trails in the West Hants region.
Falmouth Mini Park & Causeway Trail
Take a break from your errands and relax or take a walk around the Causeway Trail, located just across the bridge in Falmouth. Shade trees and a cool breeze off the lake provide a pleasant place to sit and relax while children play on the playground equipment at the Mini Park.
Irishmans Road Recreation Site
Irishmans Road Recreation Site is located at 151 Irishmans Road and is home to the Glooscap Heritage Archers Association (GHAA) and the Ryan Lahey Memorial (Soccer) Fields. The Irishmans Road Recreation Site has very distinctive landscape features with high gypsum content and, as such, it is dominated by Karst topography and easy to distinguish sinkholes. This site boasts a beautiful and extensive shared use trail network with a mix of single-track and double track. These trails are still being expanded upon and will eventually offer approximately 12-15 km of beginner to advanced trail loops.
Cheverie Salt Marsh Restoration Trail
The Cheverie Salt Marsh Trail was built by volunteers of the Cheverie Crossway Salt Marsh Society. The 1 km trail (2 km return) offers stunning views of the salt marsh as it winds through the adjacent woods. Interpretation signs provide information about the history of salt marshes and their importance.
Kempt Quarry Recreation Site
The Kempt Quarry offers some of the finest swimming in the Municipality! The water is clear and clean (and tested regularly by your Recreation Department) and swimming is fun with rocky ledges to leap off as well as a shallow pool for the little ones.
Take a picnic and enjoy your nutritious food at one of the picnic tables. Stretch out on the lawn, relax and enjoy the scenery. And most importantly, enjoy a briskswwim in the invigorating water.
The Kempt Quarry Recreation Site is marked with a sign on highway 215 in Kempt Shore. While you are down the Shore, be sure to visit the Cheverie Salt Marsh Trail as well.
Upper Burlington Planters Trail
Situated on land once inhabited by the Mi’kmaq, Acadian, Planter, and Loyalist communities, this 3 acre property is leased by the Upper Burlington Community Hall Association. The trail was constructed in 2008 as a health and heritage walking trail that meandered around the perimeter of the property. Construction of the trail was done by “pioneer methods”, volunteer hand labor by members of the community using shovels, rakes, and wheelbarrows with no powered machinery except the trucks that delivered the gravel and sand to the site. In addition to the 1760 meter long walking trail, several exercise stations are installed with signage instructing users on stretching and strength exercises that can be done to improve their flexibility and endurance.
Armstrong Lake Park
Situated in Chalet Hamlet in Vaughan, this beautiful little park offers a place to picnic, swim, launch your canoe/kayak, and take a stroll on a trail through beautiful coniferous forest along the lakeside.
Municipally Owned Water Access Points
Armstrong Lake Park: 640 Armstrong Lake East Road, Vaughan, NS (non-motorized boating, swimming)