Dollar Lake, Nova Scotia, Canada

Lake Locations:

Canada - Nova Scotia -

Beautiful Dollar Lake is one of Nova Scotia’s favorite vacation getaways. With over 500 acres of water set within a lush, wooded landscape, Dollar Lake Provincial Park also gets plenty of day visitors from Halifax only 30 miles away. Only a few miles inland from the Atlantic Coast, Dollar Lake gains the benefit of plentiful rainfall, creating a landscape similar to a temperate rain forest. The deep, pristine lake is nearly void of the signs of human habitation, with only the park facilities and a few other buildings at the northeast end of the lake. The beaches and campground areas are only open during the warmer months, so the lakeshore and surroundings remain undisturbed for much of the year. Those wishing to cross-country ski or snowshoe on the gravel roads and trails within the park can enjoy a winter wonderland that gets a considerable amount of snow.

The name Dollar Lake came about when the owner of the lake and future park sold it to Nova Scotia Province for that sum. Little is written about the history of the lake, or when the dam over the outflow was built. The area has a unique geology, with 500 million year old sedimentary rock formations that were once a part of the ancient African continent. The collision of continents about 380 million years ago created enough heat and pressure to turn most of the rock into granite, slate and quartzite. Glaciers eventually gouged Dollar Lake-the deepest in the region- from the underlying rock, and rainwater run-off caused incoming streams flowing swiftly across rapids created by the rocks. Rushing water has worn rocky stream beds and caves into the gorges in the area. The landscape is softened by the many ferns and low-growing plants, creating a haven for wildlife and birds.

Dollar Lake itself has much to offer. Park management has created 119 campsites around three loops of road in the camping area. Sand was brought in to broaden the natural beach area and a boat ramp installed. A lifeguard is on duty at the main beach, and the safe swimming area is marked. Several walking trails totaling over a mile and a half surround the camping area and beach. A second swimming beach is located near the campgrounds. A picnic area, trailer dump station, multiple vault toilets and water are available, but campsites are not electrified. Flush toilets and showers are available in certain areas. Although boating is permitted and water skiing allowed, the boat launch area isn’t particularly well suited to larger boats, so fishing boats, canoes and kayaks are usually the preferred craft. Fishing is popular here; the lake holds speckled trout, eels and the sought-after lake trout. A Nova Scotia fishing license is required.

Dollar Lake Provincial Park encompasses nearly 3,000 acres. An abundance of wildlife can be seen here, including deer, snowshoe hare, mink, muskrat, beaver and river otter. Birds of prey such as red-tailed hawk, the occasional bald eagle, osprey and kestrel, tree-loving hairy and downy woodpeckers, and warblers soar above the forest or flit among the trees. Along the lakeshore, mergansers, black ducks, great blue heron and the occasional loon are seen feeding. Children enjoy searching for frogs, snakes, turtles and salamanders. A stand of hemlocks near the lake is over 100 years old. There are over six miles of gravel roads in the park that the Department of Natural Resources staff keeps groomed all winter long for hiking, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. The park provides a serene respite from city noise and traffic year round.

Dollar Lake is close to other major hiking trails in the area such as the Musquodoboit Trailways which passes nearby. The system of trails meanders along the Musquodoboit River, with some sections a rail trail along an old railroad bed. A Dollar lake campsite makes a great home base for exploring the trails and many caves in the area. Mastodon Ridge & Showcase Nova Scotia is located only a short drive from Dollar Lake. Children especially love the life-size replica mastodon and indoor fossil sandbox and play area. Older children and adults enjoy miniature golf and the audio-visual presentations of Nova Scotia and the Bay of Fundy. The Shubenacadie Provincial Wildlife Park, less than 5 miles from Dollar Lake, is a 50-acre refuge containing native birds and animals and a few exotic species. Interactive displays at the Creighton Environment Centre feature wildlife and their environment, while the Greenwing Legacy Interpretation Centre features displays on waterfowl and wetlands and offers wetland educational trails. Occasionally Shubenacadie Sam, Nova Scotia’s version of Punxsutawney Phil, greets visitors if he can find time in his busy schedule forecasting the start of spring on Groundhog Day.

For the less athletically-inclined, Halifax is a modern city with a wealth of both historic charm and modern entertainment. A casino is located near Halifax, and several public beaches offer saltwater swimming. Charter fishing cruises can be arranged as can charter excursions among the small islands off the coast. This early harbor town holds several historical churches and buildings and a number of special interest museums to suit every member of the family. The Atlantic Canada Aviation Museum depicts Atlantic Canada’s aviation history with artifacts, medals, photos, uniforms, weapons and 24 vintage aircraft on display. No Titanic fan will want to miss the Titanic exhibit at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic or the cemetery where so many of the unclaimed victims of the disaster are buried. Genealogy buffs will want to see the Pier 21 Museum where many European immigrants arrived on the North American continent. Halifax offers serious pub-crawling venues, theaters, the arts and shopping.

If camping isn’t in the cards, visitors to Dollar Lake can easily find lodgings in the Halifax vicinity. Hotels, motels, guest cottages, inns and bed-and-breakfasts are plentiful. Real estate may even be available near Dollar Lake. There is plenty to do in this small province surrounded by water with only a million residents. The scenery is amazing, and the fishing is great.

Things to do at Dollar Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Water Skiing
  • Golf
  • Camping
  • Campground
  • Picnicking
  • Hiking
  • Cross-Country Skiing
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • Provincial Park
  • Museum
  • Miniature Golf
  • Shopping
  • Casino Gambling

Fish species found at Dollar Lake

  • Eel
  • Lake Trout
  • Trout

Dollar Lake Photo Gallery

Dollar Lake Statistics & Helpful Links

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Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Dammed

Surface Area: 531 acres

Shoreline Length: 7 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 213 feet

Average Depth: 38 feet

Maximum Depth: 112 feet

Water Volume: 20,206 acre-feet

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Trophic State | LakeLubbers

Trophic State measures the level of algae and nutrients in a lake.

An oligotrophic lake is very clear (blue in color) and does not support much plant or fish life. A hyper-oligotrophic lake is the clearest of all lakes, and is nearly devoid of plants and fish.

A mesotrophic lake is slightly green and supports a moderate degree of plant and fish life. A lake's most desired trophic state is generally this mid-point - the mesotrophic state.

A eutrophic lake is somewhat murky and supports a large amount of plant and fish life. A hypereutrophic lake is clouded with algae, plant life, and fish life. A eutrophic or hyper-eutrophic lake can be difficult to navigate by boat - and is often an unpleasant place to swim.

The use of phosphorus-rich and nitrogen-rich fertilizer on lawns and golf courses surrounding a lake can cause it to become eutrophic or hypereutrophic.


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Catchment or Drainage Area | LakeLubbers

This is the surrounding area that drains into a lake, including land, rivers and their tributaries. This is also known as the lake's "catchment basin".

Small lakes at the highest peaks of mountains have small drainage areas. The world's oceans have the largest drainage areas.


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Lake-Area Population | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated number of people who live in a house with a view of a lake, plus those who self-describe the lake as their home, for example: "I live at Smith Mountain Lake."


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Water Residence Time | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated time that it takes for an amount of water equal to the entire volume of a lake to flow out of - or evaporate from - the lake.

Residence Time can be as short as a few days for fast-flowing small lakes, and can exceed 100 years for slow-flowing large lakes.


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Completion Year | LakeLubbers

This is the year that a reservoir was first filled to the reservoir's normal elevation - or the year that a natural lake was first dammed. A large reservoir can take more than a year to fill after its dam is first closed.

The Grand Anicut in southern India is generally considered the world's oldest dam that still operates. Grand Anicut was constructed in the second century BC. It now impounds an irrigation network that includes roughly one million acres.

You can find many of the the world's newest reservoirs on LakeLubbers. Many of the world's oldest reservoirs appear on the last page of that list.


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Water Volume | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated volume of water that a lake contains -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. By this measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal.

You can find many of the the world's largest lakes (by water volume) on LakeLubbers.

Water Volume can be measured in acre-feet, in cubic miles, or in cubic kilometers. One acre-foot is the amount of water needed to cover one acre (43,560 square feet) to a depth of one foot. One cubic mile equals 3,379,200 acre-feet. One cubic kilometer equals 810,713 acre-feet.

1 acre-foot is equal to 325,851 US gallons. Siberia's Lake Baikal contains about 6,276,367,740,000,000 gallons of freshwater - nearly 1 million gallons for every living person on earth.

The other - and more widely used - measure of a lake's size is the lake's surface acreage. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is North America's Lake Superior.


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Maximum Depth | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated greatest depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. The world's deepest lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal; that lake's maximum depth is estimated at 5,314 feet.

You can find many of the the world's deepest lakes on LakeLubbers. If you select the last page of that list, you will find the (maximum depth of) the shallowest lakes in our database.


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Average Depth | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated average depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. If the water volume and surface area of a lake are known, an estimate of the lake's average depth can be calculated:

Water volume ÷ Surface Area = Average Depth

Example: 1,000,000 acre-feet ÷ 20,000 acres = 50 feet average depth


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Maximum Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's highest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can occur during flooding. A lake's highest possible maximum elevation is usually the top of the lake's dam or spillway.

At lakes that include residential development, government regulations usually forbid the construction of homes below a lake's maximum elevation.


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Minimum Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's lowest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can be reasonably expected to occur. Low lake levels can occur due to deliberate seasonal draw downs for irrigation or impending snow melt, reduced water inflows, drought and evaporation, residential or commercial water demands, and hydropower generation.

Some lakes' minimum and maximum elevations are virtually the same. Lakes that generate hydropower may vary by several feet - according to power demand. Lakes whose primary purpose is to prevent flooding can seasonally vary by 100 feet or more.

When some lakes reach their minimum elevation, their boat ramps may not be long enough to permit boat access - and boats docked on shallow parts of the lake may end up on dry ground. In those cases, kayakers and shore-based anglers may be among the few happy recreational users of the lake.


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Normal Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's normal water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level. For a reservoir, this water level is also known as "full pond" or "full pool".

You can find many of the world's highest-elevated lakes on LakeLubbers. Lakes with the lowest elevations (known by LakeLubbers) are shown on the final page of that list.


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Shoreline Length | LakeLubbers

This is the length of the exterior shoreline around a lake - measured at the lake's normal elevation. The shoreline length can be considerably shorter or longer when lake water levels are lower or higher than normal.

A lake with many coves has a much longer shoreline than a lake of similar surface area that is nearly circular in shape.

When known, the shoreline miles that we report in our statistics include only the lake's exterior shoreline, and exclude the shorelines of islands located within a lake's boundaries. In lakes with many islands, those islands' combined shorelines may exceed a lake's exterior shoreline.

You can find many of the world's longest-shoreline lakes on Lakelubbers.


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Surface Area | LakeLubbers

This is the area (acreage, square kilometers, etc.) of the top surface area of a lake - measured at a lake's normal elevation. The surface area can be considerably smaller or larger when lake levels are lower or higher than normal. North America's Lake Superior is the world's largest freshwater lake by this measure.

The other measure of a lake's size is the lake's water volume. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Lake Baikal in Siberia.

You can find many of the world's largest lakes (acres) on Lakelubbers. There is no widely-accepted minimum surface area that defines a lake. What Lakelubbers describes as a lake, you might call a pond. The smallest lake that Lakelubbers currently includes is Hawaii's 2-acre Lake Waiau.


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Water Level Control | LakeLubbers

This is the organization that controls water releases or outflows from the lake or reservoir. In the USA, this is often the US Army Corps of Engineers, a power company, a municipal water system, an irrigation district, or a paper manufacturing company. In the case of private or gated lakes, a homeowners' association may be the lake's controlling authority.

Many lakes cross borders, including North America's Great Lakes. The control of such lakes and their coveted freshwater may be amicably shared - or hotly disputed.

"Water wars" continue at many lakes as growing populations and crop irrigation needs compete for the freshwater that lakes contain.


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Lake Type | LakeLubbers

There are 3 basic types of lakes that are currently included on LakeLubbers. 2 types may be dammed or not dammed, producing 5 classifications.

- A Reservoir is a man-made freshwater lake that is usually created by damming rivers.

- A Natural Freshwater Lake occurs naturally - often by glacial activity - and has a salinity of less than 30 parts per thousand. It may be dammed to produce electricity or for other reasons.

- A Natural Saltwater Lake occurs naturally and has a salinity of more than 30 parts per thousand (ppt). It may be dammed.

"Brackish" water may be categorized as freshwater or saltwater, depending on its salt content (salinity). Oligohaline water has less than 15 ppt of salt. Mesohaline water has 15-29 ppt. Polyhaline has 30-335 ppt.


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