The Pomquet Acadian Trail and Chez Deslaurier
This October day was a perfect day for a hike with crisp clean air, deep blue sky with spectacular ocean views from a grassy meadow high above the ocean looking over St. George’s Bay and a view of Cape Breton in the distance. The sunlight shone on fields of wild flowers in purples, yellows, golds, reds and orange with even a few butterflies and dragon flies humming around.
Chez Deslaurier is a tea house set in an old farm house on high ground, not
far from Pomquet. This is an Acadian French area of Nova Scotia where French is spoken and Acadian traditions are still celebrated.
From the farm house you overlook Monk’s Head and a series of islands and islets and Pomquet Beach. With the sun and cloud playing over the land and the sea you could sit for hours and watch the changes in the light and shadow.
Behind the farm house several old farm implements are set off in the grassy meadow. Keep walking along the grassy track with the water to your right and you will come to the trail head for the “Acadian Trail”.
The trail is well marked and has maps of the area with a choice of several loop trails. The trails wind through a variety of natural areas. Numbered markers along the trails are linked to a self-guided interpretive brochure, available at Chez Deslauriers. The walking is easy and suitable for families. A longer trail continues along the water and along Monks Head.
The first part of the trail is along an old cart road through a grassy meadow
area. In fall this was thick with wild flowers of all colors – Queen Anne’s Lace, wild roses, clover, daisies, asters and grasses. Off to the right were the views of the deep blue ocean below and towards Cape Breton. This grassy trail is along the cliff top with open fields and hedged with evergreens and the occasional fruit tree.
The path then descends with a choice of going to the right down to the beach. We took the left fork which heads down into a beautiful forest area with a well kept trail. There were many varieties of mosses in greens with patches of reds,
evergreens and many types of mushrooms. The light filtering through the forest was cool and inviting and great for exploring. This is a great place to go with your camera and bring along a book about trees or mosses. You will definitely find lots to investigate.
A left turn at a small pond takes you back to the open old farm land and leads back up to the Chez Deslaurier house in a circle route. The whole short loop route took less than an hour. You can easily spend a day in the area exploring the different trails or head down to Pomquet Beach.
The Chez Deslauriers property is maintained and administered by the
Pomquet Development Society, a volunteer organization aimed at promoting the Acadian culture and encouraging tourism in the community. According to Collette Rennie of the Pomquet Development Society, “The trails are open year-round. [The Society] will be performing maintenance on these trails before the summer ‘walking’ season as winter along the coast can create much damage. The tearoom will be open each Friday beginning on July 8 from 11 AM to 2 PM. We serve a different traditional homemade Acadian meal each Friday, along with traditional Acadian meatpie ($8 per meal). “
“The interpretive centre will be open during those times as well. As well, we will have two lobster roll dinners during the summer – on August 14 and September 11. Both will be from 3-6 PM and include local entertainment, BBQ and a delicious lobster roll meal. The interpretive centre will be available to visitors as well during these two events. This information will soon be posted on our website.” (http://www.pomquet.net/en/trails.html )
How to get there
To get to Pomquet, take either Exit 35 or 36 north off Highway 104. Then turn right at the north end of Monk’s Head Road and follow the gravel road for approximately 1.5 km. It is approximately a 25 minute drive from Antigonish or 40 minutes from the Canso Causway if you are coming from Cape Breton.
Antigonish to Chez DesLaurier
Updates and more information
- Chez Deslauriers undergoing multi-year improvement project The Casket. July 30, 2015 by Corey LeBlanc
- Pomquet Beach
- Enjoy an Acadian Lunch in Pomquet