Irishman’s Road Recreation Centre
Tucked in West Hants, towards the Rawdon Hills near Windsor, is a hidden gem of a recreation site full of hiking trails to explore!
I first learned about the Irishman’s Road Recreation site through Facebook posts and new I had to check it out with the family!
How to Get There
Irishman’s Road is equidistant between Halifax and Kentville. It takes about 35 minutes, coming from either direction.
Driving Highway 101, take Exit 5, turn left at the bottom of the off ramp, (towards the Rawdon Hills). Drive about 2.5 km and turn right onto Irishman’s road-drive.
Drive that road about 1.5 km and Irishmen’s road recreation site is on the left.
Drive through the gate and park in the parking lot.
Now, you are ready to begin your adventure to this hidden gem!
There are approximately 7 kms of trails in the recreation site. There are also a few soccer fields and an archery club!
Before you start walking, we highly recommend that you print out the map, or take a picture of it on your phone. The trails are incredibly well marked, but there is not really an overall map telling you how they all fit together.
This is our favourite map we found. Because it is open sourced, there are a few discrepancies with the trails and the map, but it still makes the trails far easier to follow!
The distances are not yet marked except on the main two loops.
The Glooscap Heritage Loop is 1.6 km and the Interpretive Trail is around 1.4 km.
To get around the fence, head to the right, towards the archery club, and walk around that way, and join up with the main road again.
From here, the Glooscap Heritage Loop is well marked and is on your right.
We wanted to start with the Interpretive Trail, and it took us awhile to figure out where to go. Here’s how to access it:
When you are in the parking lot, in front of you on the left is a hill with a soccer field. Walk up that hill and to the far corner of the soccer field.
The trail head is at the back left corner. Once you are there, everything is extremely well signposted, and easy to follow, especially if you take the above map with you.
We basically did a “choose your own adventure” walk at the Irishman’s site. We started with the Interpretive Trail, and did a few side loops that are more meant for biking, and eventually hooked up with the Glooscap Heritage Trail and back to the car.
We walked about 5 km for about 1 hour 15.
The Interpretive Trail is made of crushed gravel and is flat and wide and easy to navigate.
If you are going with small children, strollers, or children with bicycles, this is your best route. Just still to this trail and you will have no troubles.
It’s a beautiful trail that weaves and wends through the woods.
You will also get a first-hand look at the topography from gypsum karst.
Karst is a distinctive topography in which the landscape is largely shaped by the dissolving action of water on carbonate bedrock, like gypsum.
The Irishman’s Road Recreation site would be a great place to explore in all seasons from snowshoeing to seeing the leaves change in the fall.
We will definitely be back to explore some more, especially now that we are familiar with the lay of the land, and we know more trails are being built all the time!