2014  HIKING, CYCLING,

& RV TRAVEL ADVENTURES

 

   
 
Runtrails' Web Journal
 
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SCENIC DRIVES ALONG THE COAST SOUTH OF
HALIFAX:  ST. MARGARET'S BAY, MAHONE BAY,
ICONIC PEGGY'S COVE, COLORFUL LUNENBURG,
& OTHER STUNNING SEASIDE VISTAS

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 20

 
"Peggy's Cove is one of several fishing villages built around the snug harbors of the   
craggy south coast . . . An old lighthouse standing on a massive granite ledge and fishing
boats moored along weatherworn wharves are a part of the atmosphere that
makes this cove well-known among artists and photographers."
 
~ AAA TourBook/Atlantic Provinces & Quebec, 2013 edition, p. 184
 
 
When we were researching our trip through Nova Scotia I kept seeing pictures of the lighthouse at Peggy's Cove in the promotional literature and on websites.

It is probably the most famous icon of the province -- and I had to see (and photograph!) it in person: 

Not only is the lighthouse photogenic, some of my favorite fishing village scenes in the Maritimes were also in this little cove that is an easy drive south of Halifax. We included it in an out-and-back day trip past St. Margaret's Bay, Mahone Bay, and the colorful town of Lunenburg, another historical fishing port popular with visitors to the area.

ST. MARGARET'S BAY

Our primary destinations on our road trip today were Peggy's Cove and Lunenburg. Both seaside towns are southwest of Halifax, off NS 3 and 103.

Outbound we drove on Rt. 3, which is a narrow and more scenic road but pretty rough in some places. On the return we made much better time on Rt. 103, which is more like a freeway. This is the route we took from our RV park near Hammonds Plains:

 

Peggy's Cove is on the western side of the peninsula where Halifax is located. It's about 25 miles from our campground. We took NS 333 down and back at the beginning of our trip. (Note that the distance numbers on the map are in kilometers, not miles.)

There are some great views of St. Margaret's Bay along NS 333, especially on a beautiful sunny day like today:

 

We passed beautiful upscale waterfront houses like these . . .

. . . and this small building with its roof partially caved in, but it didn't deter from the beauty of the large bay:

We chose a Wednesday for this excursion for a reason. Both towns are very popular tourist stops (traps, even) and both were pretty busy this sunny summer weekday. We wouldn't want to be near either town on the weekend, a holiday, or during a festival.

ICONIC PEGGY'S COVE 

Icon or not, the lighthouse and little fishing village at Peggy's Cove make a worthy destination, not just a tourist trap. We were very surprised there wasn't an entry fee!

Despite all the people who were there, we were able to park in the lot near the lighthouse and the expansive, smooth granite rocks surrounding it. We had as much fun climbing all over the rocks and watching the surf coming in -- such awesome deep blue water! -- as we did looking at the red and white lighthouse.

 

 

 

 

 

I took pictures of that thing from just about every conceivable angle except from the water! It's mesmerizing.

This is not the original lighthouse built in 1868. That one was destroyed by a hurricane in 1954 and the current lighthouse was constructed.

This lighthouse is unusual because it has housed the village's post office every summer since 1975 (the weather is too rough in the winter for residents and employees to traipse out there). Items mailed from here receive a special commemorative cancellation stamp.

After we walked around the lighthouse and out on the rocks and listened to the musicians (a man playing bagpipes on the main path to the lighthouse, shown above, and a woman with an accordion at its base), we went back to the truck to get the dogs. We decided to do that after seeing other people with their dogs.

We took them to another area farther away from most of the people where we could climb all over the rocks and not bother anyone. There were pools of water where the dogs could get wet:

Above and below:  Jim can Casey on the rocks

 

The views were gorgeous in every direction:

 

 

Before leaving town we walked downhill to the small cove and took photos of the buildings, boats, fishing gear, etc.

We didn't realize until then that the tide was rather low. The cove might look even more interesting when the water is high:

 

 

 


Water covers this mud when the tide is up.

 

This is my favorite scene from Peggy's Cove; it looks more like a painting than a photograph:

Across from the visitor center on the edge of town is a very nice sculptured stone memorial to the folks who have made their living fishing here since the early 1800s:

 

This tiny town is a photographer's dream on a clear summer day. Go there -- on a weekday, if possible -- if you ever visit Nova Scotia.

Continued on the next page:  more gorgeous scenery, boats, and buildings in Mahone Bay and Lunenburg

Happy trails,

Sue
"Runtrails & Company" - Sue Norwood, Jim O'Neil, Cody the ultra Lab, and Casey-pup

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2014 Sue Norwood and Jim O'Neil

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