Hi, my name is Bethany, and I love exploring new trails! I’ve been skating for almost three years now, but I like to know what to expect when I go to a trail, so I thought others might as well! On #TrailSkateTuesday, I’m here to tell you the best trails to start with, and what to expect when you get there. Last summer I posted about the Chain of Lakes Trail and Portland Lakes Greenway, and this summer, I want to tell you about a few more local trails. First up is Lake Banook – but there are, essentially, two different trails the run alongside Banook, so I’m going to discuss them separately. So this week, I’ll tell you about the “Graham’s Grove End” of Banook, and next time, I’ll tell you about the “Paddler’s End” of Banook.
If you’re driving, there’s a parking lot at the Graham’s Grove trailhead, at 45 Prince Albert Road (right across the street from Braemar Superstore, which you can also park at, you’ll just have to cross the street to get to the trail). If you’re coming by Halifax Transit, the nearest stops are 8069, Prince Albert Rd before Celtic Dr, and 8068, Prince Albert Road after Celtic Drive (on the opposite side of the street). These stops are served by route 62.
If you are newer to trail skating, you will want the biggest, squishiest wheels possible, so that you don’t have to worry about cracks or a stray rock or twig. For me, that’s usually Moxi Gummy wheels, though I’ve also skated this trail on the harder, smaller Moxi Fundae wheels, and had no problems with it. As always, know the risk of rollerskating and wear as much safety gear as helps you feel comfortable.
Where I Skate
From the Graham’s Grove parking lot, I skate down the slight hill (in the direction of the highway and the close end of Banook). Alongside where the highway is, there is a large suspension bridge, and right after that the trail bends to the left and follows the far shoreline of the lake. After a ways, there’s a very small second bridge, after which the trail goes steeply uphill to join onto Brookdale Crescent, so I generally turn around and come back before connecting with the residential street.
Why I Recommend It
Nice smooth pavement, beautiful lake view, very few obstacles. It’s lovely to stop on the bridge and watch the paddlers. It’s not that long a trail (almost exactly a kilometre each way), so I often go back and forth a couple times, depending how I’m feeling. There’s also a few benches after the suspension bridge, if you want to take a break and enjoy the view. This is also one of my favourite trails to skate in the winter! It usually melts off before many other trails, and it’s cool to skate along beside the frozen lake.
This trail starts with a small downhill slope at the very beginning, but it’s very mild with a long straight stretch at the bottom. You can comfortably use plow stops to check your speed, or you can bomb straight down and coast for a ways afterward. The large bridge is also an up-then-down-hill (more on that below).
None (unless you park at Superstore).
You should know that the parking lot is gravel, and there is no way around it – you have to step or toestop from where you park to the trailhead. The trail goes over a large suspension bridge at the end of Banook, beside the highway, and in addition to being an uphill followed by a downhill, the pavement condition on the bridge is terrible. I usually toestop across because I find it unpleasant to skate over, but it’s a very small section of an overall lovely trail!
Have you skated the Graham’s Grove end of the Banook Trail before? Let me know what you think in the comments, or recommend a trail that you want to see me review. Happy skating!