Trails and Parks

The PEHRA Trails and Parks Committee was formed in 2001 to plan and construct a connected system of trails on public parklands in the Portland Estates and Hills area. Our major project –the paved multi-use Portland Lakes Greenway – is complete except for a short section at the northwest end. Committee members continue to monitor this and other trails, and we lobby our Councillor and HRM staff about specific issues related to maintenance, repair, upgrading, and safety.


PEHRA Trails and Parks Committee Report, June 20, 2022

Upgrade to the “Orphan” Trail.

The main Portland Lakes Greenway has a section at its Baker Drive end that remains unpaved. We refer to this as the “orphan” section. The Greenway-standard upgrade of this section has been delayed since 2010. We have been lobbying HRM staff for several years regarding this, and Councillor Becky Kent is very supportive of this project. In May David MacIsaac (Supervisor, Active Transportation) informed us that trail upgrade is included in the approved 2022-3 HRM budget.

The project is currently undergoing final engineering design. The design engineer (Jennifer Jeans) met in 2021 with Millward, and informed us that the normal grade standard could not be met on the incline adjacent to the trailhead mini-park. MacIsaac recently informed us that they are now targeting a maximum grade of 8% with a 3 m wide path (slightly narrower than the standard 3.5m). We have requested input on the final design prior to tendering.

Mapping and Naming of HRM Trails

There is confusion among HRM staff (both AT and Parks) regarding the naming and mapping of trails in our community. The main paved trail appears in some maps and reports by the originally agreed name of the Portland Lakes Greenway (and is shown as such in the 2018 HRM Greenway Map and on signage along the trail). However, some staff persist in calling it the Portland Hills Greenway. There is also confusion about the two sections leading from Russell Lake to Baker Drive.

In late May Millward was contacted by Katherine MacLellan (Intern AT Planner) to discuss the naming of facilities around the Portland Lakes Greenway. We met on the trail and I explained the location of the greenway, provided mapping for all the nearby unpaved trails (only some of which currently appear in the master GIS mapping), and also offered name suggestions for the unnamed trails. She compiled the mapping and her naming recommendations into a KML file for viewing in Google Earth desktop, or Google Maps on the web. Suggested names are the Osprey trail (paved connection to Freshwater Trail), Boardwalk Trail, Bellbrook Trail, and Morris Lake Trail. There is also a potential future trail on the east side of Russell Lake (Russell Lake Trail). The recommendations are largely for internal use initially, and will require approval from HRM Parks.

Update on the Wastewater Project

Our contact at Halifax Water (Renee Roberge) has provided us with an update on the wastewater upgrades taking place alongside the paved greenway trail.

  1. Dexter Construction began dismantling the temporary bypass pipe starting in early June. Dexter’s crews disconnected and gathered the pipe along the trail, with traffic control people on-site to guide trail users. Most of the disrupted sections of the paved trail have now been re-paved and restored to their original condition.
  2. The majority of construction at the Russell Lake pump station has been completed. However, due to delivery delays for critical components, final completion is now anticipated in late July.

Once all work is completed, PEHRA reps will do a final walk through with Halifax Water staff to ensure adequate repairs to the trail and remediation of any environmental damage.



The PEHRA Trails committee is pleased to announce that the Active Transport Greenway links to the Woodside ferry are now completed. The Mount Hope Greenway has been extended down Atlantic Street to the Woodside ferry terminal. This means you’ll be able to cycle/walk/ wheel/blade on paved shared trails (with winter maintenance) all the way from our community to the ferry, via the Portland Lakes, Baker Drive, Mount Hope, and Atlantic Street greenways.  View the map online at the HRM Active Transportation page.

This article was updated on August 24, 2022