For our third post on day-trips and vacation spots in HRM accessible by bus (and bike!), we’ll take you for a ride on the #21. We were originally thinking of doing a post combining routes #21, #22 and #23 to cover all the lakes you can get to along St. Margaret’s Bay Road. Then we discovered D & Jo’s Country Market and decided to give the #21 its own post.
Note for Cyclists: As always, we have included the cycling distances from the point of origin at a Metro Transit Terminal. This time we began the route at the Lacewood Terminal, near the corner of Lacewood and Dunbrack.
Canada Games Centre (1km)
The Canada Games Centre is on Lacewood Avenue, halfway between the Lacewood Terminal and Hwy 102. It is HRM’s newest recreational and fitness facility, built for the 2011 Canada Games. It includes an Olympic-sized pool, state of the art workout facilities, basketball courts and an indoor track. A big pro is that they do women-only swims on Sunday. A big con is the membership fees (pricey). (@cdagamescentre)
Keshen Goodman Public Library (1km)
At the same stop for the Canada Games Centre, you will also see the Keshen Goodman Public Library. This is one of the best libraries in HRM, with floor to ceiling windows allowing plenty of natural light, a great selection of books, audio books, videos and comics. It also features a café, free Internet access and a great meeting space. (@hfxpublib)
Bayers Lake Business Park (2.4km)
To be honest, this isn’t the sort of thing we’d normally include in a local travel post, but, it is along this route and it is a place people might want to visit. It has everything you’d expect to find in a business park, with the full range of retail, grocery, building supplies & discount stores mixed with fast food and franchise restaurants. Ela Greek Taverna (formerly Opa) is something of a standout here. (@BayersLakePark)
Chain of Lakes Trail (4km)
Formed in December 2009, this trail runs more than 7 km before linking with the Beechville Lakeside Timberlea Trail. As suggested in its title, this trail hits most of the many lakes along the St. Margaret’s Bay Road, and is bike and foot friendly. The trail takes about 2 hours to walk one way. Once you get tired, make a beeline for the road and let your friendly bus driver do the rest of the work. To find out more on this trail, click here.
Lovett Lake (7.1km)
You are now approaching major lake activity. If you stayed on the #21, you have only a few more stops from Bayers Lake to get to Lovett Lake. After spending some time at Lovett, you can also switch to the Chain of Lakes trail from this area. Walk up Lakeside Park Drive, then take the trail to get to the back side of Governor Lake.
Governor Lake (9.0km)
Whether you reach it by bus or by trail, we urge you to check out Governor Lake. This spot is said to be a great fishing spot for speckle trout. There is also a farmers market here for lake supplies (see below), and a restaurant if you are looking for a larger meal. There are multiple entry points to this lake, some of them smaller than others. Either way it is a great spot for an afternoon of swimming.
D & Jo’s Country Market (9.0km)
This delightful country market really clinched this bus route for us. It’s not huge, but it’s packed with many local food items we haven’t seen in too many other places, including Cavicchi’s Meats, Schoolhouse Bakery, Char’s Country Dips & Seasoning and Farmer John’s Herbs. We’ll definitely be catching the #21 to come back out here.
Other Notable Swimming Spots
If you continue on from Governor Lake, you’ll come across Six Mile Lake (a bit of a trek from the road), Mill Pond, and Frasers Lake. All are great but a bit harder to access from the road. Fraser Lake, the last lake along the #21 Bus Route, is a very large lake, but the spots accessible from this route are mostly occupied by private properties.
According to an article in The Coast, two of the lakes along this route are popular spots for swimming in your birthday suit. While naked dips are illegal in HRM, we thought we’d share this fun fact.
Did we miss something along this route? Snap some photos and send an email to email@example.com to help us get a full picture of things to do on the #21. Looking for more bus-able adventures? Check out our past posts on the #15 Bus Route and the #60 Bus Route.