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


Protected Areas


Waverley - Salmon River Long Lake Wilderness Area

painting by Alice ReedThis is a rugged wilderness of conifer woodlands, granite ridges and hills, and numerous lakes, in the backyard of Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM).

Well drained slopes and ridges support red spruce, white pine, balsam fir and hemlock, including stands of old-growth hemlock, pine and spruce. Evidence of past fires can be found on the trunks of some old trees. Jack pine grows on many of the exposed granite hilltops and ridges. Shrub thickets with abundant huckleberry are common under open tree canopies or on exposed ridges. In places, lichen-covered granite cliffs drop off steeply to narrow gullies, hosting wet, hummocky black spruce-balsam fir forests.

Towards the north, the underlying bedrock changes to quartzite and slate, which forms a gentler landscape with hummocky coniferous forest, bogs, and fens along slow-flowing watercourses.

This wilderness area contributes to representation of two of Nova Scotia’s natural landscapes within the province’s protected areas network: the Eastern Shore Granite Ridge as well as the Quartzite Hills and Plains natural landscapes.

The western part of the wilderness area encompasses about one-third of HRM’s Lake Major Watershed Protected Water Area, as well as part of the Waverley Game Sanctuary. The Province recognizes Halifax Water’s pre-existing interest as a waterworks operator and has issued a license that enables Halifax Water to undertake waterworks-related activities within the wilderness area. The Protected Water Area designation regulates activities such as swimming, fishing, vehicle use, fires, forestry, and other land uses. For more information on the Lake Major Watershed Protected Water Area please contact Halifax Water.

A network of lake-to-lake canoe routes, with portages, provides scenic access throughout for canoe tripping, angling and camping in a wilderness setting. These routes are not managed.

The 15+ km Crowbar Lake Trail system is a managed foot path with a trail head at Myra Road, near Porters Lake. Highlights include scenic lakes, Salmon River and high granite ridges with panoramic views. The trail offers excellent opportunities for hiking, trail running and other activities, year-round. It is maintained by the Crowbar Lake Wilderness Association under an agreement with the Department of Environment and Climate Change. Visitors should be aware that cell coverage is limited.

Other Information

Canoe route mapPDF Download Link (PDF:13mb) of Waverley-Salmon River Long Lake Wilderness Area, created by a local paddler, Tristan Glen