Lake Echo is full of surprises. At first glance, perhaps you might think it’s a standard exburb, a relic from a twentieth century dream of rural life. You’d be dead wrong. Lake Echo’s housing stock isn’t just made up of the standard 1980s tract housing, it’s a collection of unusual — sometimes whimsical — homes nestled into the ravines and craggy hills that surround the beautiful lake. It’s a marvellous place to call home.

Lake Echo is part of that surprisingly expansive club of communities in HRM that many Haligonians and Dartmouthers have never visited. They might sail by Route 107’s Exit 18 occasionally, on their way to Martinique Beach or other points north, but they’ve never explored what this community has to offer. Well, we have, and we think you should, too.

First, its landscape. Lake Echo is built on the steep rocky slopes that lead down to the lake itself. Some of the streets are terraced, like they were planned to allow each home its own lovely view, whether of the lake or the towering forest. Homeowners have landscaped and hardscaped to take best advantage of their lots: you’ll see plenty of multi-level decks, strings of lights, and chimeneas as you explore the neighborhoods.

Orenda Canoe Club is one of Lake echo’s jewels. Its history stretches back more than 40 years, and its values of community support and enjoyment have helped three generations of kids from Lake Echo and its environs develop into active, self-confident adults. It strives to make membership affordable to everyone. And although it’s tucked away in rural Nova Scotia, it’s a world-class club. Five Canadian Olympic paddlers have trained at Orenda, most recently Lake Echo native Genevieve Orton.

And if the idea of paddling a canoe along the misty surface of a glacial lake isn’t magical enough to draw you in, Lake Echo’s forests could still ensnare your imagination. The village backs up onto the vast Waverley-Salmon River-Long Lake Wilderness, which contains rare, old-growth pockets of hemlock, red and white pines. Dozens of rugged hiking trails and ATV tracks crisscross the bush, although it’s rare to see another person. You’re more likely to come across rabbits, porcupines, or white-tailed deer. And while the forest here is dark, deep, and mysterious, there are no known reports of tiny houses made of gingerbread.

Jokes aside, we’re not the first people to notice the fairy tale qualities of Lake Echo. One of its landmarks is a tidy neighbourhood of mini-homes neatly laid along lanes named after Disney’s version of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, including Happy Drive, Bashful Avenue, and Dopey Lane.

Lake Echo is home to a handful of small businesses and pizza parlours — try The Crazy Weasel — but it’s also just a 25 minute drive to either the MacKay and MacDonald Bridges, and less than 30 minutes to the airport. Porters Lake — groceries, banks, all amenities — is about ten minutes away. Buses run every two hours on weekdays.

Are you ready to explore Lake Echo? Let Century21 show you what it has to offer you.

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