Dollar Lake Provincial Park
When my son, a grade 4 student, received a certificate from the provincial government for two free nights of camping anywhere in a Nova Scotia Provincial Park, I looked for a new area to explore.
That’s when we picked Dollar Lake Provincial Park.
What the website says
Situated on a large lake not far from the Musquodoboit Valley, Dollar Lake Provincial Park is the perfect escape. The quiet woodland setting offers a wide range of outdoor opportunities, including camping, boating, canoeing, water-skiing, and fishing.
A beautiful sandy beach at the north end of the lake offers fresh water swimming.
Planning our Trip
Although you can reserve a site ahead of time online, we chose not to. We were going mid-week and when I looked at the map of availability, there were plenty of spaces open, so we took the risk and went.
When we checked in, the staff assigned us a fantastic site (#14 in Loop A) that was near the path to the beach, had a path to the washrooms, and was near an open field for playing.
Facilities and Services
The park has 119 woodland campsites, a picnic area, boat launch, and trailer dump station. The main beach is supervised during the peak season. The smaller “campers” beach is unsupervised.
The beach is open to day-users as well.
Although there are no electrical hookups, water and vault toilets are conveniently located throughout the campground. Accessible flush toilets and showers facilities are also available.
Always ones to check out the trails (much to the boys’ chagrin, often) we followed the park map we were given upon entrance to do the “Trail to Field” and the “Dollar Lake Brook” trail. In total, the loop was approximately 2.5km.
We had some trouble finding the entrance to the trail, and even asked some park staff who weren’t able to help us, either!
Eventually we found the head of the trail near the beach. The trail ran through the woods until one point there was a log barrier across the trail and we were diverted back on the camp road.
Eventually we found our way back to the field and to a lovely brook and bridge where we played Pooh sticks for awhile.
The final section of the trail was closed because of poison ivy, so we rerouted through part of the campground.
If you are going to do this trail, check with the main campground office before walking it to find trail conditions. Bring your campground map and a superb sense of direction with you as well.
Or, just spend your time at the beach. Which is what we think most people do at Dollar Lake, rather than the hiking!
We spent many hours at Dollar Lake beach. It is supervised for most of the day, and is a great place to sit and relax while the kids swim.
A canteen and washrooms are nearby, so there are a lot of day users.
A few snapping turtles make their home in the lake, and if you are lucky, you might just see one! But, please do not touch them! They are called snapping turtles for a reason!
Dollar Lake is located about 20 minutes from the Halifax airport. We took the highway to the airport, and just before, you will start seeing the blue provincial signs telling you to turn off. Head behind the airport, and towards the Eastern shore. It is very easy to find. The whole trip was about 1.5hours from the Valley.
Dollar Lake campground make a great launching point for discovering the Eastern Shore on Nova Scotia, which is another reason we picked this location.
We had a great time at Dollar Lake. The campsites are large, wooded and you don’t feel on-top of other campers.
Dollar Lake Provincial Park is definitely worth checking out, whether for an afternoon swim, or a family camping trip!
Why Try Small-Town Campgrounds
There are so many reasons to try a small-town campground for your next family adventure. Here are some great reasons: