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Hemlock Ravine Park & Prince's Lodge

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Published on Apr 5, 2012

This 197-acre wilderness was home to John Wentworth, Nova Scotia's lieutenant governor in the 1780s. In 1794, John lent the wilderness to Prince Edward who landscaped the grounds, including the heart-shaped pond. This pond was named "Julie's Pond", after his companion Julie St. Laurent. After Edward and Julie returned to England in 1800 the grounds fell into disrepair. The Halifax Regional Municipality has owned the land since 1977 and now maintains this wilderness.

This network of trails, five in all, has many starting points, ending points and loops, making this a great place for all types of hikers. There are some easy going simple trails for groups and families, longer sections for a good workout, and more difficult trails for the more serious hiker.

The trails in the park pass many brooks, small ponds and a ravine. The ravine can be a tricky trail especially when the water is high or there has been a recent rainfall making the rocks slippery.

The area surrounding this park is heavily populated and has many access points to this wilderness. So if you think you've left the park too soon it's probably just another access point from the surrounding communities.

If you follow the ravine trail all the way, you will eventually come out along the bi-high near the Kearney Lake Road Exit.

In all this is a great get away from city life for a few hours of enjoyable hiking with friends.

Prince's Lodge
Prince's Lodge was named for the estate His Royal Highness Prince Edward, Duke of Kent resided in while in Halifax in the 18th century .In 1794, Prince Edward arrived to serve in Halifax.with his French mistress Julie St. Laurent. The Duke was often entertained at the "Friar's Cell" and liked it so much that Wentworth felt obliged to offer it to him during his stay in Halifax. Prince Edward accepted, and renovated the residence and developed the gardens around the estate by landscaper from England. The result was what is today Hemlock Ravine Park , 185 acres (0.75 km2) with a heart shaped pond known as Julie's Pond, and was constructed by the Duke in honour of his mistress.
The Wentworths resumed living in the lodge When Prince Edward returned to England. Now called the Prince's Lodge, it was here that Sir John established the Rockingham Club. But after Sir John died, the estate was neglected. By 1870, in ruins, it was sold at auction and divided into building lots. All that remains of the original estate is the Rotunda, which the Nova Scotia Government acquired in 1959. It is a small, round music room that stands on a knoll overlooking the Bedford Basin

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