Canadian Nature Visions | Duck Reef Loop at Duncan Reef, Nova Scotia

Duck Reef Loop at Duncan Reef, Nova Scotia

May 04, 2018

A favorite walk and hike of mine is the Duck Reef loop at Duncan's Cove/Duncan Reef. Park your car at the Duncan's Cove parking area and proceed past the steel gate on the road leading up to the white monolith aka mansion at the top of the hill. This mansion was the location and building of the communications centre of the harbour defenses for Halifax during WW ll. Below the mansion and by the trail is the Champagne Dam the source of war time water.

Location and Route of the Duck Reef Trail

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The road is public access and proceeds through several waterfront lots, mostly undeveloped. At the top of the hill hill turn right for the clockwise loop or proceed along the barrens for the counterclockwise loop. The route is wet at times so be prepared.

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This is the trail sign you will meet on the counterclockwise loop. The barrens here host Whimbrels, Ruffed Grouse, coyotes and white-tailed deer. The wet areas provide habitat for nesting Lincoln's Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Savannah Sparrow and Palm Warbler.

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This view is towards the coastal gun battery from WW ll, about the halfway point of the loop. At the gun battery proceed downhill towards the ocean, or soak up the spectacular view.

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Northern Redbelly Snake

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The colorful interior of the gun implacements, and great shelter from thunder storms.

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Duncan Reef, the site of many ship wrecks.

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Duck Reef to the left with no breaking water at high tide.

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This is Duncan Reef at high tide. I've seen thirty foot breakers here with southwestern gale winds.

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Champagne Dam

This was the water supply for the communications centre, now the white monolith above.

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The Duncan's Cove Nature Reserve sign as seen on the clockwise loop.

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Duncan's Cove

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This is the route to the trail. The concrete works to the right are the WW ll water supply pump house which pressurizes the water from Duncan's Pond. It now services the community of Duncan's Cove, originally an artist's colony.

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