Lighthouses? We’ve got plenty! New Voices author, Andrew Wilson, takes us along on a Nova Scotia roadtrip to find as many as possible.
I can’t remember at what point during the pandemic I first had the idea of visiting and photographing as many lighthouses in Nova Scotia as I could. I had plenty of time on my hands to research our quest thoroughly, with help from a website called lighthousefriends.com.
I created an excel spreadsheet of all past and present lighthouses in the province and pared it down to what I believe are 160 extant lighthouses. To aid in finding lighthouses along any given route, I added a ‘county’ column that I can search, as well as a ‘boat required’ column. I do intend to try getting to some of the ‘boat required’ lighthouses eventually.
The lighthouse quest has been an excellent pass-time while the Atlantic Bubble holds firm. In our trusty 2016 Honda Accord with its superb 6-speed manual transmission, my partner Quentin and I have explored our province from Yarmouth to Cape Breton over the past few months.
So far we’ve scoped out 12 lighthouses.
Cape Fourchu Lighthouse, Cape Fourchu, Yarmouth County
This is a beautiful drive. Taking highway 304 out of Yarmouth, you meander along the coast through an active fishing port in Yarmouth Bar, where an impressive concrete sea wall connects.
Finally you reach Cape Fourchu, where a towering light sits atop a large rock outcropping. Next to this distinctive and architecturally interesting lighthouse is a museum, which unfortunately was closed due to covid. The spectacular vistas and humungous outdoor whale skeleton exhibition were certainly consolation enough.
Chebucto Head lighthouse, Duncan’s Cove, Halifax Regional Municipality
Not far outside downtown Halifax is beautiful Duncan’s Cove. After taking highway 349 off the Armdale rotary, you have the option to take the 253 and straddle the coast or stay on the 349 through Spryfield. Once you reach Duncan’s Cove, find Chebucto Head Road and follow it until you reach the gate.
A few hundred meters on foot will have you at the base of the lighthouse, where you can see the burnt out remains of the abandoned lighthouse keeper’s quarters and survey the mouth of the Halifax Harbour.
Burntcoat Head Lighthouse, Burntcoat Head, Hants County.
The tides move so quickly that during a rising tide, you can watch the water level rise with each wave. An amazing sight to behold! The lighthouse has been converted into a museum about the light, tides and local maritime history.
When the museum is open, you can climb up into the area where the light used to be kept, allowing a panoramic view of the Bay of Fundy.
Cape Auguet Lighthouse, Cape Auguet, Richmond County
On the beautiful Isle Madame, there is a small point called Cape Auguet. Situated on the rugged coastline and at the end of a dead end road called Cape Auguet Road, is a breathtaking view of the Atlantic Ocean. You need to walk the last few hundred meters since the road is washed out. The scenery is well worth it, and, on a clear day, you see Canso.
Jerome Point, St. Peter’s, Richmond County
Situated in the picturesque community of St. Peter’s is Battery Provincial Park. With lovely walking trails and a campground, it’s an excellent spot to stop and relax. Known for St Peter’s Canal with a lock system that is unique in North America, there’s a lot to see in this sweet little spot. The park includes Jerome Point with a beautifully restored, classic-looking lighthouse used to guide ships from the Atlantic into St Peter’s Canal.
Grand Passage Lighthouse, Westport, Digby County
This remote destination can be found on beautiful Brier Island. Leaving Digby, you need to travel down Digby Neck, grabbing ferries at East Ferry and Freeport before entering the stunning Brier Island. Once on the island there is lots to explore, from lovely walking trails to whale watching. Brier Island is a hidden gem in NS!
You’ll find the lighthouse at the northern tip of the island next to a quaint walking trail, which took us past wild roses and seals lounging on the rocks.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this quick summary of many different trips! I encourage everyone to take this troubling time as an opportunity to explore what can be found around home.