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opposing cliffs

Cape Split Adventures: A Hike to Heaven on Earth

Date Posted: June 1, 2017Reading time: 3 minutes


We’re taking a weekly look at something or some place we love in Nova Scotia! Follow along each week this summer as we celebrate well known favourites and local hidden gems.

Feeling like the warmer temperatures are here to stay, I decided to get outside this weekend and pay a visit to one of my favourite viewpoints in all of Nova Scotia: the Bay of Fundy from atop the cliffs of Cape Split.

A 447-hectare Provincial Park Reserve in Scots Bay, about a 1.5 hour drive from downtown Halifax, Cape Split is not only a famous coastal landmark with one hell of a view, but also a fantastic day hike that will have you feeling energized, spent, accomplished and inspired all at once.

Last summer, my partner and I ran the hiking trail to the tip of Cape Split for the first time in nearly a decade, and, being reminded of how amazing the experience truly is, vowed to make it happen at least once a year. This time, we decided to take it slow, bringing along our good camera to capture some of the most unique shots you’ll find in the province.

Spanning approximately 6 kilometres one way, the trail lead us through Nova Scotia’s dense deciduous forest, complete with beautiful old growth trees perfect for photo ops. Though we stopped probably about 10 times for mini photo-shoots, including climbing up onto the trunk of a fallen tree that sprawled across the trail, we made it to the end in about two hours.

As you near the end of the hiking trail, the forest opens up to a wide meadow overlooking the Bay of Fundy and the Minas Basin, approximately 200 feet below.

Standing atop this tall cliff and looking out over the vast Atlantic Ocean yields an excitable, complex feeling unlike any other. Simultaneously, I felt powerful, high up and mighty, while also feeling vulnerable and inconsequential in the grand scheme of Mother Nature and her great elements. The strong coastal winds and sheer height of the cliffs are a very real reminder of each individual’s small place in this beautiful world.

The Bay of Fundy below also happens to be home to the highest tides in the world, with 160 billion tonnes of water flowing in and out twice a day. Reaching the coast at low tide, we watched the waves crash in as the water level started to climb back up — a humbling display of the power of this extraordinary cycle.

After enjoying a fairly elaborate picnic overlooking the bay (I’m a go big or go home kind of gal), we set back on the trail, tracing our steps through the forest all the way to the parking lot at the park’s entrance. Giving our feet a break, we hopped in the car and headed for a hard-earned pint at The Port Pub in Port Williams, our trusted post-hike hang out.

On the way back to Halifax, we gave our camera one last hoorah at the famous Look Off, with spectacular views of the Annapolis Valley below. While taking this in, I also had to make a mental note to self that wine-tour season is just around the corner, and that another trip back to the valley would be in order soon to visit this rapidly emerging wine region, before the masses catch on!

This year, I might have to make a few trips to Cape Split. I’m making up for lost years, and I fall in love with this province more and more every time I visit.

Fast Facts:

Continued from the blog originally posted by Nadine LaRoche on August 24, 2016