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Thread: Nova Scotia in September ... ideas?

  1. #1
    Member kwc's Avatar
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    Nova Scotia in September ... ideas?

    Hi ... we're heading up to Nova Scotia in early September, staying in northern Cape Breton Island ...
    anything special that we should not miss during our visit? good dayhikes? are the whale watching tours worth the bother? and if so, what's the best port for such?
    thanks!!
    Take nothing but pictures. Leave nothing but footprints. Kill nothing but time.

  2. #2
    Registered User Dalraida's Avatar
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    Hiking

    Since you are going to be in the vicinity, plan to spend the day at Meat Cove. There is a nice trail to above treeline just before the Meat Cove road ends. You can also walk the old road to a remote light house from the parking lot just past road end.

    However, if you have the time I would suggest taking the 5 hour ferry ride from North Sydney to Port au Basque, Newfoundland and spend a couple of days driving around there. It's beautiful. I spent about two weeks there in July and can't wait until next summer to go back again.

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    Senior Member una_dogger's Avatar
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    We are backpacking the Cape Chignecto Coastal Trail (around the Bay of Fundy) NEXT WEEK!
    Will be sure to let you all know how it is!

  4. #4
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    una dogger-you're gonna love Cape Chignecto! The view is spectacular.
    kwc,check out the Fishing Cove trail in the Cape Breton Provincial Park. It's a 5 mile hike from the top of the park,down to an ocean campsite where you would likely see Minke whales passing by. Check with the rangers station in Cheticamp for details.
    If you decide to camp at Fishing Cove,the trick is to arrange to have your gear picked up on the beach the morning you hike back out(all uphill). The lobstermen in Pleasant Bay will do it for a reasonable fee. This way you get to daypack out!
    There's also a kayak outfitter-Wilderness Cape Bretton(Steve Fraser),and a cetacean research center in Pleasant Bay-all in the harbor.
    The Newfoundland idea is a good one too-but then-I'm a Newfie-what else would I say!

  5. #5
    Senior Member una_dogger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KayakDan
    una dogger-you're gonna love Cape Chignecto! The view is spectacular.
    Yay! Thanks!
    Sorry to derail this thread, back to regularly scheduled programming!
    Sabrina

  6. #6
    Senior Member spaddock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dalraida
    Since you are going to be in the vicinity, plan to spend the day at Meat Cove.
    We went to Cape Breton last year and had an awesome time.

    We found Meat Cove to be a very weird place. It just had a strange vibe to it. We had planned on camping there but took off after feeling that vibe. Funny thing, other people we bumped into later on down the Cabot Trail said the same thing. We bumped into a local who told us historically that was hillbilly moonshine country. Lots of fights around there in the olden days and what not. The trail is no doubt awesome... felt uncomfortable leaving our car there after the owners of the tea room asked us 7 times if we locked it. We did however see the whales playing around from the top of the Meat Cove cliffs.

    Instead we went to Fishing Cove and spent a night on a tent platform by the Ocean. The view was incredible.

    There's also a trail called Skyline, more of a boardwalk, but there was a TON of moose to be seen around it.

    My favourite trail was White Point. It was really rocky and grassy and reminded me of the rolling terrain of Scotland. Lots of spots to go for a swim as it winds around the Gulf. We saw whales from the shore there too.

    If you can pickup the book "Hiking Trails of Cape Breton" by Michael Haynes, we found it to be a great resource.


    -Shayne

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    Shayne,
    Funny you should mention the strange feeling about Meat Cove. We were thinking of camping there(end of May 2001) and besides the 40mph wind,we thought the place was definitely funky....was that a banjo I just heard?

    We tried to do the Fishing Cove trail and it was still closed on May 29! We were told we couldn't go in because of "dangerous conditions". "There are some blowdowns-and possibly even snow on the trail-and there isn't any firewood in the campsite" Oh no! How will we ever survive such a hostile environment?
    We got a real chuckle from that!
    After we explained where we normally camp,we were told that the Park Warden might consider giving us a "special permit"

  8. #8
    Senior Member Mac's Avatar
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    Nova Scotia trip

    I've actually worked in Meat Cove (wharf dredging job when I was much, much younger).

    When I was there, my coworkers told me that the local population was a combination of local ancestry and a bunch of people who left the U.S. during the Vietnam era.

    This may or may not have been totally true, but I did see one girl who looked like she belonged on a California beach.

  9. #9
    anita514
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    I hear they have a mean cod toss in yarmouth!

  10. #10
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    Smile

    Hi,

    First post to this site... Shout out to Dave M from the ex-DECcie.

    Two Septembers ago, my wife and I wandered over to Nova Scotia on our "fall journey." We found the entire area unbelievably nice.

    We camped at Meat Cove one night, but I'd have to concur that it was a bit unsettling at first. We pitched the tent on the high bluff, roping it down because of the high winds. For much of the evening, people were zipping past the campground on ATVs - back & forth, back & forth. I have no idea where they were going or what they were doing.

    The upsides were: We were the only ones camping. (Good news, bad news?) We got to watch the pilot whales in the morning, although from that height they looked a bit like carp. While having morning coffee, I looked to the bare knoll mentioned in another reply and saw a large bull moose against the sunrise. Sweet.

    There doesn't seem to be a whole lot to do at Meat Cove... unless you bring an ATV.

    From there, we went over to Ingonish and found a really wonderful waterfront cottage camp... no one else in sight... and found it so delightful we didn't leave for four days. (Played with a young fox in the early morning... hiked Ol' Smoky mountain with spectacular views... lots of nice stuff.)

    If you're a foodie, bring some vittles along - good food seems hard to come by in that area.

    Enjoy!
    Bob

  11. #11
    Senior Member Puck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mac
    I've actually worked in Meat Cove (wharf dredging job when I was much, much younger).

    When I was there, my coworkers told me that the local population was a combination of local ancestry and a bunch of people who left the U.S. during the Vietnam era.

    This may or may not have been totally true, but I did see one girl who looked like she belonged on a California beach.
    I work with some Canadians, one is from Halifax. They have told me that Meat Cove is famous for genetic studies because the area was very isolated which resulted in a lot of inbreeding.

    The place is also famous for its birds. Puffins, gannets, aclids, shearwaters etc.
    Trail adopter Dry river Cut-off.

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