Last Saturday, Nick and I were looking for a little adventure – something new to see – to spice up our weekend. I’m really a fan of spontaneous day trips to anywhere accessible by foot or by transit, since we don’t have a car, and this was the perfect lil excursion. I was actually so surprised by where we ended up… keep reading to find out about our winter Saturday across the harbour!
We started our afternoon excursion by jumping on the Alderney ferry on Halifax side (apparently the Woodside ferry is closed on the weekends!). I freakin’ love the ferry, so of course we sat on the deck to get A+ views of Halifax, Dartmouth and everything in between. Riding the ferry is just like a cheap, unguided tour of the harbour… I love it. Oh, and did I mention that I love the ferry? Lol.
Once we arrived at Alderney Landing, we started down the Dartmouth Harbourfront Trail, which starts in the park to the right of the ferry terminal exit. This path is one of my favourite urban trails right now, with its stunning views of Halifax and the peaceful, treelined portions that feel removed from the city.
The Dartmouth Harbourfront Trail is part of the Trans Canada Trail; it sits between the Alderney Ferry and Woodside Ferry terminals. It’s around 3km, and the path is overall in good condition. We walked the trail on a snowy, slippery day and, for us, it wasn’t difficult terrain. Additionally, despite the weather, quite a few people passed us on the path but it did not feel crowded or difficult to distance.
I definitely recommend the Dartmouth Harbourfront Trail if you want a nice, scenic stroll. It’s such a different vibe from the Halifax Waterfront… more peaceful and surrounded by nature.
Once we arrived at the Woodside Ferry terminal, we got off the trail. I had all these great ambitions about walking (apparently like 1h45m one way) to MacCormacks Beach Provincial Park, so we started walking down Pleasant St… it wasn’t very pleasant. There’s a super industrial part of the street that isn’t so nice to walk through. Plus, we had been walking for probably 20-30 minutes when we clued in that it was going to take forever to walk to the park.
Luckily, there was a bus (the 60) just two minutes away that was headed to a stop really close to MacCormacks Beach Park. So we hopped on there, and rode for under ten minutes to Shore Rd in Eastern Passage.
Okay, first of all, I did not realize that Eastern Passage is so CLOSE to downtown Halifax. Secondly, I can’t BELIEVE how cute the walk was from the beginning of Shore Rd at our bus stop, to the park. I don’t know what I was expecting, but I was definitely not expecting this area to be so quaint and picturesque. I think I just pictured a nice little beach on the side of the road, but no.
As we walked to the park, the first thing that caught my eye was the collection of tiny, colourful buildings at Fisherman’s Cove. Of course we had to stop for photos and to explore the Cove a little bit. Apparently, Fisherman’s Cove is a restored 200 year old fishing village that is quite vibrant and a popular tourist destination, especially in the summer. In the winter, it’s like a cute Christmas card that pops from the grey, January surroundings. I really want to go back in the warmer months and try food on one of the patios.
After checking out Fisherman’s Cove, we did the short walk to MacCormacks Beach Park. Again, so much like a Christmas card on that snowy Saturday! The park has a boardwalk that loops around the park – approximately 1.2km – and it was covered in fluffy snow. Along the boardwalk, there are little sheltered picnic tables that would be fun to stop at in the summer for an outdoor meal.
We loved the wintery views of Lawlor Island, the island across the small stretch of water from the park, as well as the views of the community behind us. There is a church with a red roof across the street from the park that really popped in the distance on that January day.
Overall, walking the boardwalk didn’t take us long to walk, but it was pretty and there were so many good opportunities for photos! Once we finished at the park, we found a bus stop super close by to grab the 60 back to Alderney Landing. I think the bus ride took under 20 minutes, and on that Saturday, it wasn’t too busy at all.
All in all, we had a fantastic day trip exploring across the Halifax Harbour!
And if you take anything away from this story, it’s that the Dartmouth Harbourfront Trail is really nice, and Eastern Passage is actually not that far from Halifax. So, if you’re looking for a short day trip to see something new, walk the Harbourfront Trail, then head over to Fisherman’s Cove and MacCormacks Beach Park. Next time I’m there, I want to try out food at Boondock’s. Maybe this summer!
P.S. Where is your favourite transit-accessible adventure? Share in the comments below!