Trail Safety

The Crowbar Lakes trails are rugged and remote wilderness trails, with challenging, hilly terrain, with roots and rocks underfoot. The trails are not for beginners or the ill-prepared. There are no amenities at the trailhead or along the trail. Cell phone coverage is poor at best, and definitely not reliable. You are travelling through the habitat of a diversity of wildlife from songbirds, eagles and osprey, to coyotes, bears and ticks, so be aware.

The parking lot and trails are not maintained during the winter months so you can expect deep snow and/or icy conditions.

Even if you are an experienced hiker, don’t underestimate anything in this remote and challenging terrain. 

Key Safety Recommendations:

  • Tell someone of your planned route and expected return time
  • Know your physical limitations, and realize that your trip back out will be significantly slower and more taxing than on your way in
  • Keep an eye on the time, know when sunset is, and don’t play it close
  • Wear proper footwear for rough terrain and potentially wet feet (the trail includes stream crossings, wet/muddy areas, slippery and rugged terrain and potentially ice and snow)
  • Consider hiking with a buddy–travelling these trails alone adds risk
  • Carry sufficient water, food, and a printed trail map, extra layers of warm dry clothing, rain jacket, sunscreen, first-aid kit and flashlight or headlamp 
  • Carry a charged phone (and extra battery pack). Your battery will drain quickly in a remote area as your phone works harder to establish connection, and will drain even more quickly if you use your flashlight (you can turn off any Apps that will drain your battery unnecessarily while you hike). 
  • For longer hikespack survival essentials including:
    • Compass
    • Whistle
    • Knife
    • Emergency matches/lighter
    • Emergency blanket
    • GPS device or app
    • Water purifying device or tablets
  • Expect flies in the spring and early summer. Bring insect repellent, bug hats/clothing as appropriate.
  • Expect ticks almost year-round. Wear light coloured clothing (to spot ticks easier), wear long sleeved top and pants, tuck pants into your socks and practice tick checks, especially in bushier areas, when you return to the car and again when you get home (and consider bringing along tick repellent and a tick removal kit). Learn to identify, avoid and deal with ticks and Lyme disease (Tick Safety)
  • Never feed or approach wildlife. Learn about wildlife safety and what to do if you encounter wildlife, before heading into the wilds (e.g. Being Coyote Smart, Avoiding Problems with Black Bears)
  • There is hunting and trapping in the Wilderness Area. Be cautious and wear hunter orange clothing and hat during the fall hunting season. Check the government website to confirm hunting season dates.

Other Safety Resources:

  • Trail Apps such as AllTrails, Trailforks and GAIA GPS allow you to see not only the trails and map features, but your actual location, which can be helpful if you become disoriented or are lost and need a rescue. Download the map to your phone at home or wherever you have internet connection (wifi or cellular) so the App can still track your location while you hike using your phone’s GPS.
  • Nova Scotia Search and Rescue recommends AdventureSmart, a national program that, in addition to providing safety resources, gives users an App that lets you easily create a trip plan you can then leave with a friend or family member.