Hiking Along Mount Uniacke’s Lost Highway

After exploring the Port-Royal habitation last summer, I wanted to learn more about the travel routes that our European settlers built.

Background

I was surprised to learn that most of major roads in the province today follow very closely the originals routes once blazed by the British military, letter carriers & stage coaches. The road from Halifax to Windsor was the first major highway back in the early 1800’s, developed mainly as a military & postal route. It would slowly get upgraded and widened over time.

Today, you can still explore a section of this lost highway at the Mount Uniacke Estate Museum. The estate was originally built along the route as a summer home for Richard John Uniacke, an Attorney-General based in Halifax. Today, the grounds of the estate are open year-round and you can walk the 7 trails.

 

On-Site

Along the trails, you would come across the old stone fences, hot house & non-native tree species brought up from the United States in the 1800’s. But the trail that interested me the most was the Post Road trail. This was a section of the old highway to Windsor.

Somewhere along this trail was one of the last remaining pieces of history during the time of stage coaches.  You see, the road from Halifax to Windsor had mile markers along the way. Most were made out of wood, but some were carved into stone. Somewhere along the Post Road trail was mile marker 27. I walked along the trail, interpreting the clues I’ve discovered along my research and eventually found it. I walked the trail and thought how rugged and dreary it would have been to travel along this road until you approached Bedford or Windsor.

 

Second Visit To The Wilderness

Flash ahead a year and we are back at the estates to hike the backcountry or wilderness trails. We start out on the Post Road trail to the end, then took the far end of the Wetlands trail. It was surprising how much snow was still on the ground for early April. The trail is mostly a footpath with trail markers. A few stops by smaller lakes made a nice pause. After 3/4 of the way, we jumped onto the Barrens Trail as it’s a straight line to the Red Spruce Loop trail.

The Barrens trail was not traveled much, some sections had a little overgrowth, but still had some nice forest. As we got closer to the Red Spruce trail, we noticed previous tracks and assumed that the majority of users would do 4-5km hike via the Red Pruce Loop trail. Early spring & fall would be the best times to visit these wilderness trails. Some boggy areas are along the way but otherwise a great hike.

More Info About This Hike

By Jim Cyr

Exploring Nova Scotia with a constellation of satellites to guide me along the way. Producing hiking, outdoors, local drink & food videos, you can find Jim's contributions on novascotiablogs.com and a few other places. Jim carries a ZOLEO Satellite Communicator for all of his outdoor adventures.

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