Nova Scotia’s Coolest Provincial Park: Arisaig

There are so many provincial parks in Nova Scotia, Canada, it’s actually hard to count them (I tried). I got to 100 and then I gave up. So how to decide where to go and what to see? Lots of the parks have something really distinctive and neat going on. Others are definitely just picnic parks – great for frisbee and a bag of chips but not much else. But! Oh ho. Nova Scotia’s coolest provincial park has been found. By me. In the middle of nowhere. You’re welcome.

Nova Scotia Provincial Parks

Provincial Parks in Nova Scotia are everywhere. Each county has a list (you can see a complete directory here) and most are completely free to visit, unless you are camping. Many have beaches, picnic areas, playgrounds, and other attractions. Some have lifeguards and lots of infrastructure, others are more rustic and meant to be explored on your own. Many provincial parks close at sunset and open again at sunrise. Some are also seasonal and only open in the summertime, so check before you drive a long way.

Looking for other parks? Check out Blomidon

Arisaig Provincial Park

Arisaig is part of the Northumberland Shore, on the part of Nova Scotia you would pass through on the way to Cape Breton Island. The closest community is Antigonish, home to St. Francis Xavier University. You aren’t far from Pictou, nor from the causeway to Port Hawkesbury. It’s a good location to stop on the way to or from Cape Breton.

The description of the park says it’s known for its geology and fossils, and that could be true! But every time I’ve gone, it isn’t for the fossils, but for the dreamy seascape, and the slightly eerie feeling of being very alone on these rocks at the edge of the ocean. It feels a bit like being at the edge of the world.

Arisaig waterfall

There is also a 1.5 kilometer walking trail that is very manageable. The last few times I’ve visited, the local library association has a program on that showed a story book page by page on the trail, which was very fun and would no doubt improve the walk for kids.

looking at the story book pages

Why is Arisaig Nova Scotia’s Coolest Provincial Park?

  • Arisaig is so eerie
  • It has a rocky beach to explore and look for fossils
  • You can hop over and play in a waterfall
  • There is a lovely, easy walk
  • Story books in the woods!
  • Watch storms coming
  • A perfect stopping point from Cape Breton Island
  • Google Maps gets you there perfectly
  • The drive out is actually quite pretty
  • There are very few dirt roads
  • It’s MOODY and feels like you’re on the set of some spooky east coast film

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One Comment

  1. One Weekend on Cape Breton: Complete Itinerary - Rachel Karoline

    […] at the Maritime Inn at the far end of town is always reliably good) and then head out of town to Arisaig Provincial Park. Nova Scotia has so many provincial parks, and they are all free to visit (you likely have to pay to […]

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