Sandy Lake Beach Park

The proper name of the Beach Park is the Bedford Lions Sandy Lake Park:

In recent years the Bedford Lions donated $150,000.00  matching both the Province and HRM to create a country park setting with a pristine lake swimming area…”Bedford Lions Sandy Lake Park”. This excellent facility is located at the end of Smith Road off the Hammond Plains Road, in the heart of Bedford. – Bedford Lions Club

I am using the term “Beach Park” or Sandy Lake Beach Park, or Bedford Lions Club Sandy Lake Beach Park to make it clear the reference is to the Beach Park and not the larger Sandy Lake area.

A good description of the Sandy Lake Beach Park is available at Halifax Trails: Sandy Lake Park, a website created and maintained by Greg Taylor

The page offers:
Trail Map
– Videos (see embedded video at right & links below)
– Info (link to SLCA).

From the page content:

Difficulty: Easy – Moderate (distance/navigation).
Setting: Lake, beach, wooded trails.
Facilities: Parking Lot, Beach, Change rooms/Bathrooms, picnic area and beach volleyball court.
Signage: Minimal.
– Supervised beach (in summer).
– Lots of trails off the beaten path.
– Full bathroom/changing/picnic facilities.
– Popular off-leash dog walking area (See Rules).

Sandy Lake Park is an area encompassing a couple hundred acres of land owned by Halifax Regional Municipality and has large areas contested and threatened by development.

Part of the Sackville River Watershed, Sandy Lake is an important ecosystem full of wildlife and even old-growth Acadian forest.

The main attraction of the park is the well designed and maintained beach area. The warm sandy beach is supervised by a lifeguard during the summer and even has accompanying facilities in the large building adjacent to the beach. Next to the beach is a large sand play area, a grassy area, picnic tables, benches, garbage cans.

The next most popular use of the park is off-leash dog walking. The trails are all off-leash, but the area in and around the beach is no dogs allowed from Spring-Fall. The park is equipped with garbage cans and dog bag dispensers. Parking during the off-season is at the gate of the park. The main parking lot is not accessible and requires 500m of extra walking.

The park is also an excellent place to explore off the beaten path. You can see some impressive old-growth trees in different parts of the park. There are lots of paths leading in various directions (as far as Marsh Lake and Jack Lake). If you choose to go off the beaten path, make sure you’re prepared and have some navigation aid.

The park was originally created with the help of the Bedford Lions Club donating $150, 000 and championed by ongoing stewardship of the Sandy Lake Conservation Association. The association has a great history of the area on their website and I highly recommend reading it to get a more in-depth rundown of the challenges faced by another one of our lesser-appreciated natural gems.

Video: Hiking in Sandy Lake Park. Halifax, Nova Scotia – 360°
Filmed & edited by Halifax Trails/Greg Taylor, Nov 11, 2017
“A colourful, crisp fall day in Sandy Lake park in Hammonds Plains. A popular spot for dog walkers and beach goers in the summer. One of the very few places in Halifax still left with some huge old growth trees. For more details on the park, visit… ”

Video: Sandy Lake Park, Bedford, Nova Scotia
Halifax Trails/Greg Taylor Mar 25, 2016


“We are a human (29-years-old) and a dog (7 year-old black lab) on a mission to explore all the coolest dog-friendly spots in Halifax, Nova Scotia (and beyond)”
Provides a comprehensive description of the dog-walking opportunities.

Sandy Lake Park has two different modes of operation. The first mode, the one we encountered, is the off-season mode. Running from October 1 to June 30, this is the more dog-friendly time of year. During this time of year, access to the main parking lot is blocked off by a gate. Park your car at the end of Smiths Road and go from there. The off-leash zone starts right away. So from the very beginning of your walk, you and your four-legged pal can enjoy off-leash time. Which is the best time.

…during the off-season Sandy Lake Park is almost entirely off-leash. The only exception is the beach. Dogs are not allowed on the beach at all, even with a leash, regardless of the time of year. But given the abundance of off-leash space, which includes access to the lake, we’re okay with that.

During the summer months (July 1 to September 30), the off-leash space at Sandy Lake Park is smaller, but still wonderful. The space that stays off-leash year-round – the red trail on the map below – is actually a big wooded area with lake access, and it’s where we spent most of our visit.


Bedford Lions Sandy Lake Park an unknown gem
In, October 24, 2013 4:03 PM. Text:

There is an article in the Oct. 23rd edition of the Herald’s Bedford Sackville News on Sandy Lake Park. This article was written by Lion George Churney. I have to admit that I am aware of the park but have never been there even though I have lived my entire life in Bedford!

The following is a snippet of what George Churney has to say:

“Originating as a project of the Bedford Lions Club – so families could picnic and swim in the pristine waters of Sandy Lake – the Lions partnered with HRM and the province to produce this excellent recreational facility. Most residents have no idea of the spring-fed lake that runs parallel to the Hammonds Plains Road for approximately two kilometers. With only a few homes and cottages along the upper shoreline, the lake has been virtually unaltered or affected by human activity.

Bedford Lions Sandy Lake Park contains a number of picnic tables and a large sandy area away from the water where small children can play safely. There are washroom facililties and a building suitable for storage and a canteen. There is a wooden ramp leading to the waters’ edge and the lake’s soft sandy bottom.

Benches are available overlooking the water, where the signs and sounds of both adults and children splashing around can be enjoyed. During the months of July and August there are ever vigilant lifeguards on duty from morning to evening.

Unfortunately, this tremendous facility still remains Bedford’s greatest secret.”