Nova Scotia Staycation – Hirtle’s Beach, Lunenburg County

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.

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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:

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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!

Nova Scotia Staycation – Greenbay Beach, Lunenburg County

Back in the spring I had a pulmonary embolism about a week after routine gallbladder surgery.  I lived – YAY!  However, having blood clots has ‘grounded’ me from travel for the time being which means the summer vacation we were planning out of country was cancelled.  Lucky for me, however, I live on the South Shore of Nova Scotia which means I live in one of the most beautiful places in Canada.  So, this summer I have been playing local tourist and since most people who read this blog aren’t from here I  thought I’d share with you some of the wonderful places I have been visiting right here at home.

This summer has been beautiful, sunny, and scorching hot so we have been spending a lot of time at the beach.  We live within 30 minutes of more beaches than I can count on my hands.  Greenbay is one of our favorites because, as you can see from the photos below, it isn’t generally crowded.  We usually take the scenic route there down the Lahave River which takes us about half an hour from our town of Bridgewater.

The beach has several little coves.  The first cove is usually the most crowded as it is located across from McLeod’s Canteen and the port-a-potties.  We always keep going past this area and drive a little way down the road, passing lots of cute little cottages and beach houses, until we are a few coves down.  We have to squeeze the car off to the side of the road to park and then we take one of several little trails that take us to the beautiful beach that we generally only have to share with a few other people if there is anyone else there at all.

My teenage daughters generally spend their time taking selfies on the big rocks that separate the coves while my husband and I walk the shoreline looking for shells or just enjoying the peacefulness of the beach.

On our way home we usually stop for ice cream at the General Store in Petite Riviere which is located across the road from a little picnic park with gazebo.

Life By the Sea – Places to Stop for Fun Martime Road Trip Photos

My youngest daughter and I recently travelled from the South Shore of Nova Scotia where we live to Summerside, Prince Edward Island so she could compete in the Atlantic Junior Badminton Championship.  It would ordinarily be about a 4.5 hour drive, but we went up a day early so were taking our time and stopping for fun photos.

Stop #1 – Stewiake, Nova Scotia for a picture with the Mammoth.

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This stop just off the highway provides several places to get a snack or something to eat and even has a place to play mini-golf during the tourist season if you have some time to kill and want to get out and move around a bit.

Stop #2 – Oxford, Nova Scotia

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Oxford, Nova Scotia is home to Oxford Frozen Foods, the world’s largest supplier of frozen wild blueberries.  This giant blueberry is located just off the exit by the gas station and convenience store.  Directly across the street is a really nice picnic park with a new playground that sits along the local swimming hole so it makes for a great place to get out of the car and move around.  I would have taken a picture of the park area but it was raining.  I’ll get a photo next time.

#3 – Gateway Village, Prince Edward Island

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As soon as you cross Confederation Bridge and arrive in P.E.I. you come to Gateway Village.  During tourist season (mid-May – October) the place is all abuzz and offers your first opportunity to get your Cows t-shirt or PEI mud shirt.  Sadly, we were there a few weeks too early so we missed out on the Cows t-shirt which was a total bummer, however, we did get the photo with the lobster that greets you at the gift shop that stays open year round.  Gateway Village has a great playground and offers a nice view of Confederation Bridge for those who want to take a photo.  If you go there the right time of year you’ll find lots of great little shops and can get some Cows ice-cream.

These are just a few fun places to stop, get a silly photo, and stretch your legs on a Maritime Road Trip.

Distracted by Snow

Distracted by Snow

We had a snowstorm yesterday and I can honestly say I’m quite sure I get more excited about snow days than my kids do. As long as I don’t have to drive anywhere I get right giddy. You’d think having a day inside would mean more time to focus on my writing, but I find it rather distracting and managed to accomplish absolutely nothing yesterday. Oh well! I just sat back and enjoyed nature’s beauty. Every once in a while a person’s just got to do that!