The Municipal Recreation and Activity Complex (MARC) Trails can be found just outside the town of Bridgewater NS. The Recreation Centre at the trial head is open in peak season where there is a canteen and washrooms. Other community activity space is offered here too, such as softball fields, a playground, and picnic tables. Come Winter, there is ice skating, snowshoeing and tobogganing. A large map of the trail system can be found outside the main building and there are usually copies of the map available as well to carry with you.
There are a series of looped and linear trails (all have names) which are maintained and can be accessed year round. Each trail is marked and they vary in difficulty and scenery. Last spring I hiked all of the loops and most of the branch off trails. Going counter-clockwise you start by passing a pond then hike up a hill through a field which skirts the edge of the woods. At the top of the hill you get a really nice view of the LaHave River. You then weave through a mixed forest of pine, hemlock and spruce trees.
It’s impossible to get lost here because the trail system (in the confines of a 100 acre chunk of land) is surrounded by roads and private properties. You can stretch the hike out to the full 10km and go straight to the top and take the several branch-off trails or just pick one or two of the lower loops to do. I think these loops would also be a nice ride for all you mountain-bikers as mountain-biking is allowed here.
My favourite part was coming back down the left side where you hike along Rhodenizer Brook – a brisk and fresh running flow of water. Also keep your eyes open for deer – I came upon one in one of the more remote areas of the trial – but alas, it was gone before I got my camera ready.
All in all, this is a nice series of trails close to town which you can hike, bike, snowshoe or cross-country ski on!
The MARC Hiking trails can be found four kilometres East of Bridgewater. From Hwy. 103 take Hwy. 3 at Exit 12. Follow Hwy. 3 to Dayspring. Take a left up Leary Fraser Road (opposite from Snyders Boat Building). The entrance to the MARC Centre is on the left. There is a parking lot and you can enter the trail from here.
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