Peggy’s Cove is a small idyllic fishing community that made it big with the tourists.
Now crowded and frequented by tour buses, the area is touted as a ‘must-see’ when in Nova Scotia. To be honest I wasn’t expecting much from this area, but I was pleasantly surprised by the quiet areas nearby, off the beaten path.
+Peggy’s Cove Lighthouse
This is the main event. It’s really nice that parking is free, along with a visitor’s center and restrooms. When I visited there was live musical entertainment in the form of bag pipers. The lighthouse is in great condition, though no more spectacular than any other. It is closed off to the public, so no climbing to the top. What is truly impeccable is the setting – the unique geological formation of bubbly rocks formed by molten lava – known as a batholith.
As you climb out onto the rocks take in the crashing of the waves in this glorious setting, yet play it smart. There are multiple big yellow and red signs warning tourists to stay off of the black rocks.
The black rocks are slippery, because they are wet. Because that is where the treacherous waves smash onto the rocks. Multiple deaths have occurred on account of tourists ignoring this safety advisory.
Stay on the dry rocks and walk away from the crowds to be rewarded with splendid views.
+Peggy’s Cove Town
Away from the lighthouse you can peruse galleries filled with artisanal works. It is a colorful town and just walking around snapping pictures or simply reveling in the sight of the fishing supplies and brightly painted homes is enjoyable.
Don’t miss the 100’ long fishermen’s monument by sculptor William DeGarthe composed of granite, not an easy stone to work with.
Even glaciers couldn’t turn the bedrock in Peggy’s Cove to a sandy beach.
+Polly’s Cove Hiking Trail
When you’ve had enough of the crowds, strap on your hiking boots and take a walk at this hidden gem of a trail. Just two miles down the road from the lighthouse, there is no blinking sing pointing to this trailhead. There isn’t even a trailhead. There is a small unmarked gravel pull off, Google maps recognizes the name and will direct you there. An easy to follow trail takes you past a field of glacial erratics.
After a short walk pop out by an old concrete structure covered in graffiti. This will be your landmark as you wander away around the series of herd paths.
Marvel at the scene before you, a glittering ocean, grass, and granite as far as the eye can see.
Vibrant carnivorous plants are thriving here.
The only company I had was a group of quiet local painters, finding their own quiet nooks in the rocks. After wandering about, head back towards the bunker and down the trail you entered upon. In this direction I was able to notice the crowded lighthouse landscape in the distance, a world away.
Also, a lone large pellet and table on top of a hill across the way – I felt compelled to climb up and reach them.
+Unnamed Pellet Hike, 7150 Prospect Rd West Dover, Nova Scotia
Half a mile from Polly’s there is a large unmarked gravel parking lot across from a playing field. Adjacent to the lot is lovely little long lake.
There is no signage and many different trails leading in different directions, in some spots the trail is not entirely obvious. Using the lake, road, and elevation as a guide I traversed up towards where I knew the pellet was. I wouldn’t recommend this unless you are navigationally confident. The scenery is not quite as glamorous, but reaching the pellet was a fun adventure all the same – and totally spur of the moment.
The whitewashed table makes for a perfect picnic destination, and not another sole was in this area.
+Mabel’s Farm Market, 3303 Prospect Rd, Whites Lake, NS B3T 1W3, Canada
If you’re coming from the east stop by the market for some fresh produce, pie, or a homemade loaf of bread.
The road to Peggy’s Cove is scenic, enjoy the ride. There are many spots to pull off and take a picture, just be mindful of traffic behind you and maintain the speed limit.
Peggy’s Cove is a magical little slice of the planet, and the adventure is what you make of it.