If you read my blog regularly then you know I am grounded from travel due to health reasons; therefore, I have been playing stay-at-home tourist all summer. Lucky for me I live on Nova Scotia’s South Shore, one of the most beautiful places in Canada!
Today we ventured off to Hirtle’s Beach, about a 30 minute drive from my home in Bridgewater, because my oldest daughter had spent the night with friends in the quaint little fishing village of Riverport which is just a few minutes from Hirtle’s Beach.
Ordinarily, this would be the place I would post a picture of the village of Riverport taken from the bridge entering town where you can see the fishing boats and stunning old homes built by sea captains a century ago, one of which I tried desperately to convince my husband to let me buy over a decade ago (and I still daydream of owning every time I drive by), but I can’t find the picture I thought I had taken last time I was there which means I probably just thought about taking a picture but got distracted by the house…
In Riverport, we found my daughter and her friend at a quaint little cafe and then headed down the scenic road to Kingsburg where Hirtle’s Beach is located. As it is one of the last weekends of summer and it was beautiful out the beach was busier than I am accustomed to it being, meaning the parking lot was full and cars were lined for quite a ways down the road. Despite this, we managed to get a parking spot in the lot in front of the bathrooms – score! We also had lots of space to spread out because the term ‘busy’ at South Shore beaches generally means you just have to walk a little further down the sand than those who arrived before you to find a wonderful little spot all to yourself.
Before you get to the sand, though, you have to walk across a boardwalk lined with the names of people who sponsored a board. I always take a moment when I’m there to read a few of the names and thank them silently for their part in creating access to this beautiful place.
At the end of Hirtle’s Beach is a path that leads to the Gaff Point Hiking Trail, which is a 3.2 km hike that offers lots of great views, sometimes seal sightings, and the ‘secret beach’. My husband and I used to hike this trail all the time when we were in our 20’s but didn’t venture all that far along the trail today, though, because we were just in sandals and you really should wear sneakers on the trail as it is quite rugged.
The panoramic view from the field along the Gaff Point Trail:
So, for anyone who is considering a day trip to the area, or better yet a vacation to the South Shore of Nova Scotia, I would also recommend visiting the Ovens Natural Park which is located nearby. There you can explore sea caves which are pretty cool!
Lisa Pomfrey-Talbot is President & CEO of Cathydia Press, a small publishing company based out of Bridgewater, Nova Scotia. She is also the author of the children’s chapter book, Jennie Fowler Nighttime Prowler. She blogs about writing, publishing, parenting teens, local tourist attractions, and any of her other random thoughts. Don’t forget to follow her blog!