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Located just outside the Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) in Nova Scotia, Grand Lake is one of the most popular area lakes for water sports. The lake is also known and most often called Shubenacadie Grand Lake because it is the seventh and largest lake in the Shubenacadie Canal system.
The Shubenacadie Canal system provided a route for boats from Halifax Harbour to the Minas Basin, avoiding the more dangerous route through Cape Sable. The canal system consisted of the Shubenacadie River and a chain of seven lakes connected by nine locks and two inclined planes with Grand Lake being located between Lock 5 and 6. Completed in 1861, the canal was used to transport goods to mining camps up river as well as to move coal, lumber, bricks, and granite to the settlements along the route. In 1870, the canal was closed when a new railway system came into the area that was able to transport goods faster and more cheaply than the ships. Today the canal system is a National Historic Civil Engineering site and used for many recreational purposes including hiking, canoeing, kayaking and white water rafting. Many of the locks and equipment used to transport ships are still in place but in disrepair due to the extreme age of the structures, but a citizens group is currently working to revitalize the route to use as a greenbelt, a wildlife park, historical sites and educational facility.
Grand Lake is a large deep lake that offers residents and visitors a recreational paradise. Parks and campgrounds around the shoreline provide beaches with swimming areas, picnic areas, walking trails, playgrounds, shoreline fishing and campsites. Numerous boat launches offer easy access to the lake for boating, canoeing, kayaking, windsurfing, jet skiing, waterskiing, and fishing for smallmouth bass, striped bass, landlocked salmon, chain pickerel, and speckled trout.
Halifax, the capital of Nova Scotia (Latin for New Scotland), is the major economic area within Atlantic Canada. Founded in 1749 as the first British town in Canada, the town has grown into a world renowned city. Halifax is a major international port and hosts many ships, cruise ships, tugboats, and sailboats and offers a wide variety of art galleries, museums, historic sites, sidewalk cafes, shopping venues, nightclubs, lively pubs, theatre, casinos, and professional sporting events. Pier 21 National Historic Site, sometimes called Canada's Ellis Island, was the entry point for over one million immigrants from 1928 to 1971 and is located in the port. Take time to stroll along the oceanfront boardwalks and watch the colorful flurry of activity as ships load and unload their wares, fishermen haul in their catches and work on nets and equipment, or local craftsmen peddle their wares to tourists as they disembark from their cruise ships.
Halifax boasts over 450 restaurants and has more pubs, clubs, and nightlife venues per capita than almost anywhere else in Canada. In addition, the Halifax Regional Municipality offers year round recreational opportunities that range from beaches, swimming, canoeing, kayaking, cross country skiing, cycling, downhill skiing, horseback riding, golf, rock climbing, sailing, surfing, windsurfing, board sailing, tennis, and hiking trails. Whale watching tours and deep sea fishing for swordfish, halibut, flounder, tuna, Pollack cod, and haddock are available with the Atlantic Ocean at their door. Grand Lake is just one lake in the area, as the region has a wide choice of rivers, streams, and lakes for fun and outdoor recreation. No matter which endeavor you choose, be assured that there are plentiful guides, tours, and outfitters to ensure that your visit is safe and successful. With all this activity, a place to rest is no problem as vacation rentals include resorts, inns, bed and breakfast, cabins, camping, lodges, and private vacation homes. With so much culture, entertainment, and outdoor adventure, many choose to purchase real estate for their own piece of the action for a vacation home, retirement destination, or permanent relocation.
With big city entertainment, outdoor recreation, beautiful scenery, and historic significance, Grand Lake is a vacation destination that can please all of your traveling companions. But with so much to do, you can always come back each season with new friends to enjoy all that Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada offers and never get bored.
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