Nova Scotia Destinations
Take a virtual tour of Nova Scotia. From the historic south shore to the world-renowned Cabot Trail, explore our growing collection of Nova Scotia vacation destinations, grouped by region and category for your convenience. Please select a region from the map below to begin your Nova Scotia virtual tour.
From Halifax, take Hwy 102 to Truro, exit right (#14A) towards Tatamagouche. Follow Route 311 North to the town of "The Falls". Turn left and follow route 256 to the bridge over Bailey's Brook; follow brook upstream to falls. Please respect any privacy signage.
Take Exit 5 (Newport) off 101, through Newport Station and left onto 215 (Glooscap Trail along Minas Basin). Drive to shore along left access roads from Cheverie to Bramber. Hike along shore for unusual rock formations and fossil hunting.
Note: Please watch tides!
Take Exit 12 (Brookfield) off 102 towards Truro. Follow 289 East towards Upper Stewiacke, then left onto Pembroke Road (unpaved - marked by sign to "Burnside"). Follow road through Pembroke to Burnside, keeping right to Upper Burnside. Watch
for "Burnside Community Park" sign on right before bridge. Park and follow steps down to falls.
Follow Highway 102 North to Truro and exit #13 right to Brookfield. Continue on 289 east to Middle Stewiacke, and exit right to South Branch. Follow road through South Branch and turn right onto unpaved Higgins Mill Road (marked by sign). Continue on dirt road to first house on left (Butcher's Farm).
The falls are located across from house, over embankment, and can be easily accessed roughly 300 feet before the house, on right. The falls consists of a beautiful 50 foot vertical drop into a pool which then cascades over a 20 foot rock slope.
Note: Please show courtesy by asking for permission to access falls trail.
Big Bald Rock Cove is one of my favorite sites on the Cape Chignecto trail. This sheltered cove is a great spot to catch beautiful sunsets over Chignecto Bay, such as the one above. A spur trail follows the brook for a short distance upstream to several nice camp sites. This area is deep in the heart of Moose country, and by now you may have noticed signs of moose along the trail. I haven't yet sighted a moose along this trail but there have been plenty of tracks between the Cape and Seal Cove.
Not far past Seal Cove the trail veers right to follow the coastline in around Eatonville Harbour. At one point before the trail turns inland there is a view across Eatonville Harbour, showing the "Three Sisters" sea stacks on the far side. Hard to believe that this area was once a bustling ship-building community of several hundred folks. All that remains are old wharf pilings, mounds of red brick, and a few old foundation imprints in the field next to Eatonville Road.
If the tide is receding, then a side trip to the Three Sisters is recommended. Follow the Eatonville River downstream to the mouth of Eatonville Harbour, then go right and follow the coastline a short distance until you see the sea stacks... an incredible sight and hard to miss.
At this point you may decide to return to Eatonville and camp in one of the many sites in the area, or continue onto the Red Rocks trailhead, following the third leg of the Chignecto trail.
Beyond Big Bald Rock Cove the trail becomes a little more rugged, and coming upon the Keyhole Brook area is always a welcome sight. This backcountry site is one of the larger along the trail. The camp sites are spread out nicely and sheltered back from the coast; which can offer a welcome respite from the fickle weather along the fundy coast.
Refugee Cove is the largest backcountry camp site in Cape Chignecto Park, with several well developed sites tucked back away from the cove. This area has quite a distinct history. In 1755, when the British expelled most French-speaking Acadians from Nova Scotia, a group of Acadians weathered one winter hidden in this cove. Many years later a thriving logging operation was established in the Cove. The logging has long since disappeared but there are still remnants such as an old brick boiler at the mouth of the Cove. The trail actually follows the old logging road upstream along Refugee Cove Brook, and if you look closely you will see the remains of old logging wagons.
Seal Cove is another favorite site on the Cape Chignecto trail. This site offers unparalled views across Chignecto Bay, and on a clear day you can look across to the New Brunswick coastline. The cove is aptly named... I've never camped here without spotting at least one seal surfing the waves offshore or basking on the rocks. A trail leads back from the cove up the hillside to several camp sites. This cove boasts the only lengthy sand beach along the trail and is another great spot to watch the sun set over Chignecto Bay.
Stoney Beach is the first backcountry camp site after rounding Cape Chignecto. There are a handful of sites, away from the coast, up on a grassy hillside. This coastline faces Chignecto Bay, on the Fundy shore, and there are usually numerous seals basking on the kelp-ridden rocks, just offshore.
From the Red Rocks trailhead, Mill Brook is the first backcountry camp site along the trail. The climb into and out of Mill Brook is one of the most challenging in the park... from 600 feet down to sea level, in little more than a kilometre, with some very steep grades. The trail itself is well developed but it would be wise to rest at intervals, even climbing down. There are several camp sites with a spur trail that leads down to a nice sheltered cove and beach. Mill Brook itself cascades over a nice waterfall before emptying into the ocean at the cove. Mill Brook is a great place to camp or rest before heading onto Refugee Cove.
Take Exit 11 (Wolfville) off 101 in Valley; follow 358 North to Scots Bay, and follow signs to Cape Split. Park in lot at end of road, across from house. Trail is marked by sign at end of parking area.
Warning: Beware of dangerous Bay of Fundy tides which can easily trap unwary explorers.
Cape St Lawrence is located on the northern tip of Cape Breton Island. From the Cabot Trail near the community of Cape North, turn north towards Bay St Lawrence. Follow the road past Bay St Lawrence, as it becomes dirt, to Meat Cove. There is a campground at the end of the road... and the trailhead. The campground owner will allow parking here for a small fee.
Park here and follow the dirt road as it winds up over the mountain. After a challenging climb the track levels out a bit and begins to slope downward. Look for a track that branches to the right and is marked with flagging tape. This is the old Cape St Lawrence lighthouse access road... follow this road as it descends to the open fields of Cape St Lawrence.
Cape St Lawrence was the site of several lighthouses... all that remains today are the old foundations, some rusting equipment, and a new automated light. On a clear day you can look northeast to St Paul Island, the northen-most land mass in Nova Scotia. Watch for moose along this trail, eagles over the mountains and whales off the coastline.
Note: Several footpaths lead away along the coastline... following these coastal paths will eventually lead to Lowland Cove.
From Halifax, follow Marine Drive along Eastern Shore, onto Route 316, past Charlos Cove and towards Cole Harbour. Just before right turn to Cole Harbour there is a small parking area to the left. Park here at the trailhead and follow trail as it climbs up onto barrens.
This trail follows what was once an old war-era access road to a communications outpost; crossing the barrens from Cole Harbour to Queensport, a distance of roughly 8km (5mi). The trail is a beautiful walk through a marshy barrens that is typical of Nova Scotia's Eastern Shore. The trail is lined with tamarack (eastern larch) and teeming with bog life. Watch for eagles circling overhead.
Note: keep right at the first fork in the trail, and left at an ATV junction towards the end of the trail. There is remnants of an old concrete bridge near the trail end.
From Halifax, follow Highway 101 towards Annapolis Valley. Look for gated logging road (unpaved) on left side, roughly 3 km before the Ellerhouse Overpass. Park on road side and walk down the access road until you see bridge across Dawson Brook. Just before bridge a path forks right into woods. Follow this right path along bank of brook until you hear the waterfall.
Take Exit 20 (Bridgetown) off 101, follow Hwy 1 past Granville Centre, turn right to Parker's Cove, then left to Delaps Cove. Look for "Wilderness Trail" sign on left and turn onto dirt road to parking area.
From Halifax, through Armdale Rotary follow Hwy #349 (Herring Cove Road). Just past Portugese Cove turn left onto dirt road (watch for sign). Park at end of road and follow path on right along coast.
Note: Dress warmly and watch for seals!
Egypt Falls is located in the Upper Margaree area of Cape Breton Island. The best way to reach this area is to follow Hwy 105 towards Whycocomagh, then turn onto Route 395 north, following the shores of Lake Ainslie towards Scotsville. A couple of kms past Scotsville there is a dirt access road on your right. Follow this road as it winds up into the hills... after a few kms look for the Egypt Falls trailhead on your right. It is marked by flagging tape and a survey marker (there may also be a sign?)... at the top of a sharp left bend in the road. Park here, off to the right of the main road.
Follow the well-defined trail as it descends sharply to the waterfall area. The trail is not long but drops steeply to the brook... beware the vertical climb back out. This is a beautiful (and wide!) waterfall, nestled within the Cape Breton highlands. A lovely spot for a picnic or to soak in the fall colours.
Fishing Cove is the only backcountry camping area found in Cape Breton Highlands National Park. The trailhead is located between Cheticamp and Pleasant Bay, on the west coast of Cape Breton Island, and is well marked. From the parking area the trail descends over 300m (1000 ft) and follows the Fishing Cove River roughly 8km to the ocean.
The end of this trail opens onto expansive fields at the mouth of the river... once the site of a lobster cannery, long since abandoned. There are still signs of old foundations and equipment. Several well developed campsites (with tent pads) are scattered throughout the fields and there are outhouse facilities.
This is one of the most beautiful coves in Cape Breton with breathtaking sunsets. It is not uncommon to view whales outside the cove or moose strolling across the fields.
Note: It is advisable to make reservations if you plan to overnight at the cove... this is a busy area during the summer months!
Fishing Cove Panoramic (120k)
Follow Hwy 102 from Halifax to Truro, exiting left (exit #15) onto Hwy 104 towards New Brunswick. Exit right onto Glenholme Loop, then turn right onto old highway. Follow a short distance and exit left on Hwy 2 towards Parrsboro. Follow road through Five Islands, then turn right onto Lynn Road (just before bridge over Harrington River). Follow road up mountain and look for obscure trailhead on left when road starts to level at top. Note: the trailhead area has now been clear-cut, and the trail to the river valley has been destroyed. This falls is now very difficult to locate without navigating a clear-cut mess.
The falls area was once known by local fisherman as the "Garden of Eden", for good reason. The west branch of the Harrington River spills over a 60 foot vertical cliff into a pool, and then joins the main Harrington River. This waterfall is one of my favorites, as you can stand behind the actual falls.
From Halifax, take Hwy 102 to Truro, exit right ( #15 ) onto 104. Follow Hwy 104 through New Glasgow and exit left ( #29A? ) to James River/Browns Mountain, just before Antigonish. Follow dirt road until you see "THE FALLS" sign on right. Park on left area of road. Follow trail to falls, keeping right at trail forks.
Note: The final descent to the falls area is quite steep (almost vertical). Please use extreme caution on loose, slippery slope.
Follow Hwy 102 from Halifax to Truro, exiting left (exit #15) onto Hwy 104 towards New Brunswick. Exit right onto Glenholme Loop, then turn right onto old highway. Follow a short distance and exit left on Hwy 2 towards Parrsboro. Follow road to Economy, then turn right onto unpaved River Phillip Road (road is marked by sign to "Economy Falls"). Follow dirt road up over mountain, following signage to Economy Falls. The Kenomee Canyon trailhead is located at the top of Economy Falls.
The Kenomee Canyon trail loop is the largest of the Economy Falls trail system, and one of the nicest trails in the Province. Borrowing from the brochure... "This is a spectacular 18km wilderness hike into the Economy River Wilderness Area along the edge of the Economy River gorge."
The trail follows the river's steep banks upstream to the headwaters at Murphy and Black brooks, then loops around, crossing both brooks, and heads back downstream on the opposite bank. The trail crosses several feeder streams which must be forded on foot, however there is a sturdy bridge spanning the river just above the falls.
There are several backcountry campsites along the trail, including Chain Lake Falls, Murphy Brook Falls and Newton Lake campsites.
Watch for spectacular wildflower blooms in the spring and brilliant fall colours throughout the abundant hardwood stands in the fall.
This backcountry trail is one of my favorites, and makes a great two-day hike.
Lowland Cove is located on the northern tip of Cape Breton Island. From the Cabot Trail near the community of Cape North, turn north towards Bay St Lawrence. Follow the road past Bay St Lawrence, as it becomes dirt, to Meat Cove. There is a campground at the end of the road... and the trailhead. The campground owner will allow parking here for a small fee.
Park here and follow the dirt road as it winds up over the mountain. After a challenging climb the track levels out a bit and begins to slope downward. Look for a track that branches to the right and is marked with flagging tape. This is the old Cape St Lawrence lighthouse access road. From here you can follow the Cape St Lawrence branch to the coast, and them follow the coastal footpaths to the cove. Or you can keep straight past the Cape St Lawrence branch trail... which eventually leads down to the cove.
Lowland Cove is a beautiful spot to camp overnight... there is a nice camping spot at the far end of the cove, next to the brook. Expect to see eagles soaring overhead or whales swimming offshore. There is also a good chance of spotting a moose on the trail.
You will notice old cow trails along the way... some locals lead their animals down to graze at the cove.
Note: I would avoid hiking this area in the fall during hunting season.
Turn left just past the Canso Causeway, following Route 19 to the community of Mabou. In Mabou turn left on the road to Mabou Harbour... after 4-5 kms look for a dirt road on the right. Follow this road as it winds through the Mabou Highlands, past Mabou Mines and MacDonalds Glen to the bridge over Mill Brook. Park here or at the trailhead just past the bridge, up the hill a bit.
The community has contructed an excellent trail system throughout the Mabou Highlands (there is a map of the trail network at the trailhead). Several of the trails follow the coastline and up along the highlands, affording spectacular views. Probably the best view is from Beinn Bhiorach.
Money Point is located on the northeast tip of Cape Breton Island. There are two routes to this area:
- Turn off Cabot Trail near Cape North and follow road to Bay St Lawrence, through the town and turn right onto road before wharf (Money Point Road). Follow this road to the mountainside... this is the trailhead. Follow the trail up over the mountain to the Money Point Light access road.
- There is an old road that leads over the mountain to the money point access road, but you will require a good four wheel drive vehicle to reach it. Just past Cabots Landing on the way to Bay St Lawrence look to the right for a gravel road. Follow this road up over the mountain, past the radio towers, keeping right. Eventually the road levels and begins to descend slighly... you will encounter a fork in the road. Park and follow the grassy cart track left... this is the old Money Point lighthouse access road.
Follow the old track down the mountain and left along the coastline until you see the lighthouse. Please note that the descent to the coastline is quite steep and a challenging hike back out.
This is a wonderful spot to camp or picnic, with a great view of St Paul Island offshore. Look for eagles soaring down off the mountains behind you, or pods of whales swimming offshore.
Note: follow the trail back along the coast (to the right after the climb down) and you will find the rusting remains of an old shipwreck!
Follow Hwy 102 from Halifax to Truro, exiting left (exit #15) onto Hwy 104 towards New Brunswick. Exit right onto Glenholme Loop, then turn right onto old highway. Follow a short distance and exit left on Hwy 2 towards Parrsboro. Follow road to the community of Moose River, exiting right onto dirt road just past Moose River bridge (at sharp right bend in road). Follow the main dirt road for roughly 2 kilometres; look for possible flagging tape on tree, at left side of road.
Follow possible flagging tape down mountainside, angling down to the right, on the remains of an old logging road. This route will lead to the river, just downstream from the site of an old logging dam. Cross the river below the dam and follow the right bank downstream until you see the remnants of an old log driving dam. From here go right into woods, following the old dam spillway; then straight down slope to base of waterfall.
There is no easy way into Moose River Gorge... to get close to the river requires a 4x4 vehicle with good clearance to navigate the old logging roads. Getting into the gorge itself requires hard backcountry hiking, and vertical climbing. This is one of the roughest areas in Nova Scotia, requiring almost vertical climbs of several hundred feet... definitely NOT for the unfit or inexperienced hiker.
Follow Hwy 102 from Halifax to Truro, exiting left (exit #15) onto Hwy 104 towards New Brunswick. Exit right onto Glenholme Loop, then turn right onto old highway. Follow a short distance and exit left on Hwy 2 towards Parrsboro. Follow road to the community of Moose River, exiting right onto dirt road just past Moose River bridge (at sharp right bend in road).
Follow main dirt road up mountainside until the road levels, then turn right at fork in road (this should be the third right off main dirt road, and may be marked with flagging tape). After turning right at fork, follow road short distance and take first right on old logging access road. Follow this old road as it loops down into gully and up the right side of a large hill. Look for this hill... it stands out with it's trees, surrounded by a barren clear-cut landscape. Keep right on old logging road, past hill, and park at end of track. Look for old skidder track at far left of clearing and follow down hill, through woods to cliff edge. Look for flagging tape and follow straight down to river. From here you can either follow river upstream to several waterfalls, or cross river and follow downstream to the Great Falls which spills over 80 feet into a canyon surrounded by vertical rock faces. This is some of the most dangerous hiking and climbing that I've yet experienced in Nova Scotia... please use EXTREME CAUTION when navigating river and cliff edges.
Follow Cabot Trail through St. Ann's to North River. Turn left onto Oregon Road ( unpaved ) just past North River bridge; Follow dirt road to Provincial picnic site. Trail is 18 km ( return ) and is quite rugged during last 4 kms, but the 100 foot falls is worth the hike. This is the most spectacular falls I've seen yet in Nova Scotia. Hiking time is estimated at 6 hours ( return ).
Follow Hwy 102 from Halifax to Truro, exiting left (exit #15) onto Hwy 104 towards New Brunswick. Exit right onto Glenholme Loop, then turn right onto old highway. Follow a short distance and exit left on Hwy 2 towards Parrsboro. Follow road to the community of Five Islands, exiting right onto dirt road just past North River bridge. Follow the dirt road to a sharp left bend, then exit left onto old logging track at next sharp right bend.
Follow old logging road down small hill and to the right, through a flat area, until you can hear the falls on your left. Look for a small trail on the left, leading down steep hill to the base of the falls. The last part of the trail descends steeply on a loose bank to the falls (use the ropes to help with the descent). Extreme care should be used on this part of the trail.
Polletts Cove is located on the northwest tip of Cape Breton Island and is one of the most beautifully scenic places in Nova Scotia.
The trailhead is accessed by turning off the Cabot Trail in Pleasant Bay, towards the community of Red River. Just past Red River the road becomes unpaved.. follow this until the road ends at the driveway to a cottage. Park here and walk up the driveway, past the cottage, and to the right, where you will see a trail heading off along the coastline.
The trail hugs the mountainous coastline.. there are a few challenging climbs, with notable mention to the climb over the Fox Back Ridge, between the trailhead and Otter Brook. Otter Brook is a great place to stop for a rest and get a small taste of what is in store at Polletts Cove. The hike from Otter Brook to Polletts Cove is very pleasant, and at the end the trail opens onto an expansive meadow offering a beautiful view of the entire cove.
There are many campsites to choose from. Depending on the weather, which can be very windy along this coast, you may choose to pitch camp back from the cove among the trees, or at the river mouth, near the shore.
Don't be surprised to encounter horses and cows in this cove. They are brought here to graze on the abundant grassy slopes surrounding the cove; an area that was once farmed many years ago.
For the adventurous, there is a small trail at the very back of the cove that leads past a small cottage and up along the banks of the river. Follow this trail as it leads back along the river to a bend where you will notice plenty of moose sign. Or, you may choose to climb the hills at the north end of the cove, which afford spectacular views.
There is no easy way into this falls... the old Economy dirt road may require a 4x4 vehicle, depending on the weather and time of year. Getting to the falls itself requires hard bushwhacking upstream for a few kilometres on the river, and some vertical climbing.
Follow Hwy 102 from Halifax to Truro, exiting left (exit #15) onto Hwy 104 towards New Brunswick. Exit right onto Glenholme Loop, then turn right onto old highway. Follow a short distance and exit left on Route 2 towards Parrsboro. Drive to community of Bass River, then turn right at sharp left bend in the road (just past bridge). Follow road to sharp right bend, and exit left onto dirt road (Old Economy Road). Follow this dirt road until you cross the second small bridge (at the base of a big climb). Park here and walk right until you reach the river. Follow the river upstream for a few kilometres and you will be rewarded by the sight of a beautiful waterfall, cascading over 70 feet down a sloping cliff-face. There are two smaller (but equally beautiful) falls just above the big falls.