Old Hall Wilderness
Highway #7 Porters Lake, NS ,B3E 1H7
The Old Hall Wilderness Heritage Centre
is dedicated to the preservation
and presentation of the cultural and natural
history of the Porters Lake
area, and protection of the surrounding
undeveloped wilderness. Our goal
is to present a chronical of the longstanding
ties between the life of
the community and the surrounding wilderness.
Displays focus on our wilderness heritage,
natural history, community life, trade
and outdoor recreational opportunities.
They include displays depicting exceptional
natural features as well as the flora
and fauna of the surrounding undeveloped
area. Look back to the days of one room
schools through photographs and relics
from schools which once existed in the
area. Examine tools and paraphernalia,
as well as a video presentation, of a
typical logging operation, depicting a
way of life that was once a mainstay of
the community. Learn about the "lay
of the land and sea" when you view
the sixty square foot relief model of
the Porters Lake watershed. Open mid-May
Learn About the lay of the land, and
sea, when you view the sixty square foot
relief model of the Porters Lake watershed.
porters Lake is, in effect, an inlet of
the Alantic Ocean. Unlike most other Eastern
Shore inlets, however, Porters Lake occupies
a fault zone. The lake lies in a wrench
fault that streches from the Atlantic
Ocean, at Terminal Beach, to a point some
30 kilometers inland to the Halifax International
The landscape along Porters Lake crosses
several natural Theme Units from the Eastern
Shore Beach landscape to the more rugged
and dramatic Granite Ridge Landscape that
dominates the the northern end of the
Lakenorthern end of the Lake.
Of The Stagecoach
With improvements to the overland roads
to the east came the days of the Stagecoach.
Inns and coach houses operated in this
area. Fourteen miles from the Dartmouth
Ferry, Fourteen Mile house was the site
of an early "drive through",
tired horses in one door and a fresh team
out the other!
Early European settlers, like the MicMac
people who were here before them, relied
on the lake and coastal waters for transportation.
Prior to overland roads to Dartmouth being
established, self sufficiency was a necessity,
and was supplemented through reliance
on coastal vessels to deliver goods to
market at Halifax and beyond. Connected
to the Atlantic Ocean at Rocky Run and
by way of a canal to Three Fathom Harbour,
coastal vessels plied the Lake. Boat building
in the area was prevalent.
In the wilderness surrounding the lake,
generations spent their winters harvesting
the woods. Vast inland forests were exploited
and timbers for construction, masts, spars
and shipbuilding were floated down the
lake, bound into rafts and rowed to Halifax
Harbour on the tide. Sawmills of every
type and description operated on or near
The Old Hall served, for a short period
of time as a temporary Schoolhouse, prior
to completion of the "new" school.
Have a look back to the days of the one
room schools that once dotted the countryside.
Photo's and relics from the Myra Road
and Middle Porters Lake Schools are on
Porters Lake has, in close proximity,
a wide range of natural attraction and
areas for outdoor recreation. Canoeing
and boating on the lake, hiking and cycling,
along with Lawrencetown Beach and a Provincial
Campground, highlight a variety of activities
possible in this area. As well evolving
plans to designate a large track of wilderness
north and west of Porters Lake will ensure
that hight quality wilderness activities
remain an enduring legacy for future generations.