Cape Chignecto Provincial Park, Nova Scotia
Cape Chignecto Provincial Park, a large protected wilderness area of the headland, contains miles of backpacking trails in addition to day use areas. It’s quite stunning and a place I could easily have spent a week hiking through.
I didn’t have a detailed map of the area but I followed the one road that seemed to lead out to the end of the cape. I wasn’t sure at a few points if I should have taken any of the turnoffs but I kept going. And going. The sun was setting before I finally made it to the trail head where I would be leaving from in the morning but along the way I passed many a beautiful beach and cove. There was absolutely no one around so I decided to stay the night at my planned departure point.
The Eatonville Trail was a really nice loop along the coast with a few access points to the beaches below the cliffs. In addition to exploring those trails down to the beaches, I also took a closed and overgrown spur trail down to the old Eatonville Harbor where I took a few minutes to soak up the deep, cavernous silence. That is until suddenly there was a clatter of stones sliding down a hill echoed across the bay and a doe materialized across the silted-up harbor, looking almost as startled by the loud echo as I had been. She paused for a moment, taking me in, than pranced effortlessly across the mud and rock to the other side over the course of at least twenty or thirty seconds. I had plenty of time to pull out my camera as I watched her skip across the tidal flats but I couldn’t take my eyes off her, I just observed. You’ll just have to take my word that it was magnificent.
The main section of the trail followed the cliff edge, providing numerous fantastic views of the bay, sea stacks, and cliffs. One section was even a raised beach – a section that had been vaulted upwards through tectonic activity. My favorite spot was Anderson’s Cove, a stunning stretch of beach with exposed sea stacks and and shallow sea caves formed from the power of water erosion. I spent some time there admiring the confier-rimmed cliff edges.