Wooded areas across Nova Scotia now off limits due to forest fire risk

People could face fines if they hike, camp or fish in some forested areas across Nova Scotia, but Cape Breton Highlands National Park remains open.

Cape Breton Highlands National Park, municipal parks in Halifax area remain open

Public forests across Nova Scotia, including some trails within the Halifax area, are now off limits due to the dry weather and extreme risk of forest fires in some parts of the province.

The following trails in the Halifax area are closed: 

  • St. Margaret's Bay Rails to Trails
  • Beechville, Lakeside, Timberlea
  • Sackville Lakes Provincial Park
  • Shearwater Flyer Trail 
  • Cole Harbour Heritage Park
  • Salt Marsh Trail
  • Atlantic View Trail
  • Crowbar Lake Trail
  • Bluff Wilderness Trail
  • Musquodoboit Trailway​
  • North/South Granite Ridge Trails Gibraltar Rock, Admiral Lake Bayers Lake loop trails
  • Blueberry Run Trail

Municipal parks and beaches in the Halifax area will remain open, as will the Chain of Lakes Trail and the Mainland Linear Trail Parkway.

McNabs Island is also off limits unless a visitor is on a commercial guided tour. That tour must have a permit from the provincial Department of Natural Resources.

Cape Breton Highlands trails still open

Cape Breton Highlands National Park is still open. Parks Canada says while those trails are open, there are no fires permitted after 8 p.m. in the Ingonish area.

Back country camping is prohibited until further notice, with the exception of Fishing Cove.

Several trails in the Halifax area are closed to hiking due to the risk of forest fires in the province. (CBC)

In Sydney, the Coxhealth Hills Wilderness Trail is closed to the public.

Residents and visitors to the Cape Breton Regional Municipality are asked to stay off trails that go deep into wooded areas that emergency crews would have difficulty accessing, said Christina Lamey, a spokeswoman for the mayor's office.

Trails within Cape Breton Highlands National Park will remain open. (Elizabeth McMillan/CBC)

Violations could lead to fines

The provincial Department of Natural Resources says people could face fines if they hike, camp, fish or drive off-road vehicles in wooded areas on provincial land.

People will still be able to visit parts of provincial parks, beaches and campgrounds that are close to roads. Any areas that are only accessible through the woods are closed.

Parks Canada closed back country campsites and some trails within Kejimkujik National Park until further notice Monday night due to a growing forest fire in Annapolis County.

Most of the front country trails at the national park remain open.

With files from Susan Bradley, Elizabeth McMillan, Rachel Ward