When you hear the name Country Harbour in Nova Scotia you might think you are on the coast with fishing boats and the ocean waves. However in driving from Monastry on highway 316 you see a sign for Country Harbour and then pass signs for Country Harbour Cross Roads, Country Harbour Mines, Middle Country Harbour, Country Harbour Ferry and still are miles from the ocean.
Country Harbour is a 10 mile long deep inlet from the sea on the Eastern Shore of Nova Scotia. It is not only beautiful but has an interesting past.
A great place to stay and use as an exploration point is the Seawind Landing Country Inn in Charlos Cove. The 20 acre grounds has interesting paths through the forest or along the shore are great for an evening or early morning stroll. The food is superb, prepared with loving care from local ingredients by the innkeeper. There is a choice of comfortable rooms near the shore with the sound of the waves – or rooms with a view to the east or west from your 2nd floor porch.
The Seawind Landing Country Inn is a 30 minute drive from Drum Head at the mouth of Isaacs Harbour and Country Harbour. Stop along the way at the lovely Tor Bay Provincial Park and enjoy the boardwalk through the trees and over marshes and mosses. Seabirds nest on offshore islands – great for birdwatchers. Continue along Hwy 316 to Isaacs Harbour and take the turn off to the Country Harbour Ferry. This 12 car cable operated ferry takes you across Country Harbour to continue down along the coast through Port Bickerton towards Halifax on Hwy 211. Even if you decide not to take the ferry it is fun to watch it make the crossing. Signs are posted at the turnoff informing if the ferry is operating or not.
This part of the Eastern Shore of Nova Scotia was the closest part of North America for the early ships from Europe. The long protected harbour was a welcome relief from the open sea. The discovery of gold in the area was another draw to the area. From the 1600s the area was alive with ship building, forestry, small farming, fishing and gold mining.
Country Harbour was also settled by Loyalists from the King’s Carolina Rangers and the South Carolina Royalists who left Florida in October 1783, landed in Halifax and then the settlers went on to Country Harbour. The United Empire Loyalist 2.2 KM trail has interpretive signs giving the history of the settlers.
Salsman Provincial Park is located on a small peninsula on the east side of Country Harbour near Middle Country Harbour. From June to September the park offers campers a quiet setting to relax and enjoy the area. The camp ground is situated on an island connected by a short causeway giving lovely views of the water and hills. On an early November morning the sunrise over Country Harbour was memorable with its golden glow and reflections in the calm water.
The nearby Loonsong Cottage Retreat offers workshops and retreats for women on a variety of topics. Check their website for calendar of events.
Country Harbour River offers fishing and exploring. The rural farms and cottages enjoy spectacular views in fall with the changing leaf colors.
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