Government of Nova Scotia Government of Nova Scotia Nova Scotia, Canada


Protected Areas


Johnson Lake Nature Reserve

Johnson Lake Nature Reserve Johnson Lake Nature Reserve protects a remnant of mature, natural forest near North Sydney, and helps protect North Sydney’s Pottle Lake drinking water supply.

The reserve includes stands of mature yellow birch, eastern hemlock, sugar maple, red maple and beech, and has historically supported nesting bald eagles. It is within the Sydney Plain natural landscape, a region with few other protected areas and considerable development and use.

Most of the reserve is within the Pottle Lake Watershed Protected Water Area (Pottle Lake itself lies adjacent to the north end of the nature reserve). The protected water area designation, under the Environment Act, restricts various activities within the watershed to protect water quality, including fishing, boating, hunting, and the use of biocides. Where nature reserve and protected water area lands overlap, both designations are in effect.

The nature reserve helps sustain a population of prototype quillwort found at Pottle Lake, just outside the reserve. Known from only 13 locations around the world, this vulnerable and rare aquatic plant is sensitive to changes in water quality. The nature reserve is located just upstream of the lake and will help prevent fluctuations in water quality that could put the population at risk.

An abandoned rail corridor (now a recreational trail) and a power line corridor pass through the area. Use of these corridors is not affected, as they are not within the nature reserve boundaries. The width of the power line corridor can accommodate upgrading of the line for the Maritime Link project.