The trail is constructed across a rugged granite ridge landscape and, as such, offers a demanding challenge. The multiple loops of the trail allow for various routes of increasing challenge and can range from 1 hour to a full day to navigate.
Crowbar Lake Hiking Trails is accessed from a sole trailhead; the parking lot is located at 1800 Myra Road, Porter's Lake.
Porters Lake Loop:
From the trail head at Myra Road, the trail climbs gradually through mixed forest and skirts a beautiful small lake, with boardwalk and a bench at about 400m. From here, hikers can complete the 1.6km Porters Lake Loop, which begins and ends at the lake. Views from the top of this loop reveal Porters Lake and its eastern slopes. Part of the forest here and elsewhere along the trial system bear dramatic evidence of Hurricane Juan.
Spriggs Brook Trail:
From the crest of Porters Lake Loop, hikers may continue west, 1.5km, to the bridge at Spriggs Brook, and another 1km to Granite Lake. The route offers views of distant Granite Lake and Stillwater sections of Spriggs Brook, and passes through older, mixed pine forest showing scars of long-ago forest fires.
West Lake Loop:
For the more adventurous, the trail continues past Granite Lake to the West Lake Loop. The fist view of West Lake is about 450m west of Granite Lake, from the top of a large, barren hill-top. From this hill, hikers can travel about 4km around the West Lake Loop, either clockwise or counter-clockwise. This loop offers intimate views of the lake and more expansive views from high granite exposures.
Salmon River Loop:
The most ambitious route extends West Lake Loop, westward, to Salmon River and Crowbar Lake. Watch for trail junctions at the northwest and southwest ends of West Lake Loop. Traveling counter-clockwise, hikers will climb a large hill northwest of West Lake, onto a jack pine barren. The barren reveals an expansive landscape of wilderness forest and lakes, looking northwest, towards crowbar and Salmon River Long Lakes. The trail then descends to Crowbar Lake through older spruce-hemlock forest.
At Crowbar Lake, the trail follows the scenic salmon River, downstream, and then along Otter Lake. Once past Otter Lake, the trail swings back towards West Lake, with a choice of two routes. The longer route offers additional, high viewpoints. Once back at the junction with the West Lake Loop, don't miss the exquisite "Crows Nest" viewpoint off a granite knob right above that junction.
PLEASE NOTE: This is a wilderness trail and there are no amenities along the trail or at the trailhead. Cell phone coverage is spotty depending on the terrain and service provider. Leave only footprints, take only photos and memories.
Crowbar Lake Hiking Trails is not maintained during the winter months; expect icy conditions. Some hikers may be familiar with the long-established trail along Salmon River, now part of the Crowbar Lake trail system. This route has long been a favourite with anglers and hikers, with access off River Road, Lake Echo. The upper part of River Road is, however, not maintained, and the former access trail crossed a property with a camp operated by the Nova Scotia Hospital Foundation.
The Crowbar Lake trail system does not have a trail head here; please use the trail head at Myra Road.