Planning your trip to Nova Scotia’s LaHave Islands to come kayaking or standup paddleboarding with us? In addition to our nearby beautiful coastal towns and villages, there’s plenty to keep the outdoor enthusiast happy here on the South Shore. Be sure to check out our favourite hikes and beaches while you’re visiting the area. Of course all that touring around will help you work up an appetite — check out our recommendations on where to eat and stay too!
Take a Hike…or two!
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Nova Scotia’s South Shore, with it’s unique and varied coastline that’s so amazing for paddling, is also home to some of the provinces most stunning hikes. Give your weary paddling muscles a rest and stretch your legs along these great trails. We also offer custom guided hike / paddle options, or plan your own self-guided hiking adventure:
Hirtles Beach & Gaff Point
The hike at Gaff Point is one our favourite coastal trails in Nova Scotia. An easy to access half-day hike, this approx. 8km trail hugs the coast of a small point of land that juts out into the Atlantic, offering stunning views of open ocean, Mosher’s Island Lighthouse and the LaHave Island Archipelago. Keep your eyes peeled for porpoises, seals, and the wild sheep of West Ironbound Island!
Hirtle’s Beach is also a stunning beach in it’s own right. It’s a great place for the whole family, with nice waves for boogie boards or surf, depending on the swell.
From the Hirtle's Beach parking lot, head right along the beach - at the end of the beach you will find the trailhead for Gaff Point.
Old Bear Trap Road
This old coastal ‘road’ connects the communities of Green Bay with Broad Cove. The trail travels along a stretch of largely undeveloped coastline, through idyllic meadows and quiet, white sand beaches. Although overgrown in places, follow the ocean’s edge and you won't go astray. Stock up on picnic supplies at the general store in Petite Riviere, set up a shuttle with a friend, and make a day of it.
Nova Scotia isn’t known for soaring mountains…which makes hiking the highest peak in Lunenburg County easy bragging rights and a breezy way gain some elevation and break up the drive between LaHave and Halifax. The hike begins along the old railway tracks, along a section that is flanked by babbling brooks and small ponds. To reach Castle Rock (affectionately known as Mount Lunenburg), follow the marked trail to the right. There are several difficulty options, each with a steeper ascent. As you reach the top you’ll be rewarded with incredible views of the islands of Mahone Bay, and the open ocean beyond.
Life’s a Beach…
We’re lucky to be located in the midst of a concentration of Nova Scotia’s best beaches. While we still think the best beaches are found out on the LaHave Islands (and we’re not alone!), mainland beaches on the South Shore offer up some easy to access, stunning places to enjoy a peaceful summer day.
Crescent Beach is a long sandbar that connects several of the LaHave Islands with the mainland. Although the beach is now flanked by a paved road on one side, tradition carries on and you are still permitted to drive on the beach to access several of the LaHave islands via a network of small bridges. The route makes for a scenic dog-walk or run. Red fox who often take up residence in the sand dunes can sometimes be spotted. At a low tide, the Dublin Bay side of the beach is a popular place to dig for clams, as well as kite-board.
Part of Rissers Beach Provincial Park, you will find a lovely short trail here that takes you along a white sand beach that turns onto the mouth of the warmer waters of Petite Riviere, a popular swimming spot. The trail then loops back along a picturesque boardwalk through winds along a salt marsh. Parking for day visitors is on the west side of the highway.
Stones polished by the waves give way to white sand at Cherry Hill beach, where the surf rolls in most days. A salt marsh behind the dunes, and the size of the vast beach makes it feel open and wild. The Great Islands, home to the Great Island Artist Residency, lie just off of the far end of the beach.