Balancing Rock Trail, Nova Scotia

A popular hike in the Digby area showcases a mystifying geological formation – the Balancing Rock. Will it still be there when you make your way to the end of the trail? Only one way to find out…

How to get there

The Balancing Rock Trail is located on Long Island, there is no bridge so you need to take a ferry – which adds to the adventure.

It is as simple as can be. At the tip of Digby Neck there is a town called East Ferry, a boat ride just a few minutes long lands passengers and their vehicles in Tiverton.

Line up along the side of the road, there is a little café that serves food and ice cream. Try to get there as early as you can to make sure you fit on the vessel, it leaves from East Ferry on the half hour, ex 12:30.

The scenery is lovely – there is a lighthouse across the way,

and you can watch for birds and wildlife while you wait.

Fare is only collected one way, the return the ferry leaves Tiverton the hour.

Hike the Balancing Rock Trail

Don’t trust the Google Maps location to get to the trailhead. It is well marked and comes up quickly after departing the ferry terminal on the left hand side of the main road, Route 217. From the parking lot the trail is one mile in length, so a total of two miles upon completion. Initially the trail is very flat, some rocks and roots, also areas with boardwalks.

Towards the end of the hike descend 235 stairs to stunning St. Mary’s Bay.

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And there you have it, the main attraction: balancing rock is four feet wide, twenty feet tall, comprised of basalt.

Local lore tells of fishermen who tied a rope around the rock and couldn’t tear it down into the sea. One cubic meter of the rock weighs three tons, this is a shockingly heavy column.

Bonus hike: Fundy View Trail

Park at the Island Historic Society [243 Highway 217 Freeport, Nova Scotia Canada B0V 1B0] which houses a neat seasonally opened history museum.

Check out the artifacts and play drop the clothespin in the milk bottle.

It’s a game we really enjoyed, soon to be a party hit at home! Entrance is free, donations accepted, and there are restrooms. The hike starts right behind the building, heading up hill. Almost instantly you are treated to views of the salt marshes and Freeport, a fishing village that makes its income from lobster.

A platform sits at the summit of the hill. Head down the other side to the Bay of Fundy – a whole other world.

Spy a lighthouse across the way, *fun fact* did you know that Nova Scotia has so many lighthouses, you can buy one? So long as you can take care of them, the excess structures are crumbling.

The landscape is beautiful.

Follow the shore in either direction searing tide pools, enjoying the geology, and the vibrant colors of the mossy rocks.

Good to know:

+Whale watching tours are popular activity available from the island

+An additional ferry on the opposite side of Long Island takes you to Brier Island

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