Since I started skating, some of the most fun I’ve had has been rolling out on trails around the city and enjoying nature with friends on eight wheels. I love exploring new trails and sharing the best spots with other skaters. At the same time, even though I’ve been skating for almost two years now, I’m still a bit of a nervous skater, especially outside, so it’s nice to know what to expect when I go to a trail, or to be able to choose a trail that’s the right level of challenge for how I’m feeling on any particular day.
Over the next few months, I’ll be sharing some of my favourite trails with you. I’ll tell you the best places to start and what to expect in terms of difficulty and obstacles, and I’ll share some photos and videos that I’ve taken on the trails.
Chain of Lakes Trail
If you’re driving, the best place to park is on Glen Eagle Way. This short road leads in toward Ashburn Golf Course, and you can park on either side of the road. If you’re coming by Halifax Transit, the nearest stops are 6612, Joseph Howe Dr. Before Mumford Rd, which is on the same side as the trail, and 6610, Joseph Howe Dr. After Mumford Rd, on the opposite side. These stops are served by routes 2, 3, 29, and 91.
Where I Skate
I like to skate from Glen Eagle Way out to Chain Lake Drive. This stretch is just a hair over 4km each way, so about 8.1 or 8.2km altogether. Yes, the trail is a little bit longer than this at each end, but I find that this the best part of the trail because the start of the trail runs along Joe Howe drive, which means that you’re skating beside a busy four-lane road, and who likes traffic and smog when you’re trying to relax? At Glen Eagle, the trail breaks away from Joe Howe and begins going through the quiet, treed greenbelt, so it’s the best place to start. And usually, by the time I get from there to Bayers Lake, I’ve tired myself out enough that I don’t feel the need to go right to the end of the pavement at that end of the trail!
Super smooth pavement, very easy skating, beautiful trees, regular benches if you need a break, and a gorgeous lake view. What’s not to love?
This trail is made for cruising so a big soft set of wheels is the perfect ride. I ride on the Moxi Classic wheels (78a, 62mm) for this. A big wheel makes it easier to go longer distances and helps when encountering sticks or little pebbles.
This whole trail is one very gradual incline. If you park at the Joe Howe end, your entire trip out toward Bayers Lake will be up a very slight hill. I don’t notice it when I look at the trail, but every time I skate the trail, I feel like my skates are heavier than I remember. On the bright side, this means that you tire yourself out on the first half of the trip, and the second half is a BREEZE because it’s just enough of an incline that you can roll without pushing, but it’s still easy to control your speed or stop.
There are two in the section I skate, at approximately 0.5km and 1.5km from my suggested starting point. Both are low-traffic roads through residential areas, so there’s normally no intimidating traffic, though, in the first one, there isn’t great visibility.
None worth noting! This is a lovely smooth straight trail. Most paved trails have spots where they intersect with gravel trails, and there’s always a little crusher dust (tiny gravel) in those areas, but as long as you keep skating, you’ll go right over it. The pavement is in great condition, and there’s rarely even cracks in it.
Because this trail is so great, it also tends to be busy, so if you want to maintain space, I recommend going early morning or evening. Have you skated Chain of Lakes before? Let me know what you think in the comments, or recommend a trail that you want to see my review of. Happy skating!