NOTE – for accommodations and food it is best to check in advance about hours and opening.
Charlos Cove on the Eastern Shore of Nova Scotia is just 1 hr 40 minutes from Antigonish but it feels like a world away. Its a great place for a few days of peaceful relaxing and short explorations. Even the driving reminds me of my first trip there and “The Road Less Travelled”. Definitely not a lot of traffic.
Boylston Provincial Park
Enroute we stopped at Boylston Provincial Park, Day Use park has picnic tables and grassy area with lovely views of Chedabucto Bay. Walk down to the left of the entrance gate along a shady boardwalk to take you to a foot bridge over to a small island. A swimming, beach walking looking for pebbles and a shady island path are all great for the whole family. The park is just a few KM before you reach Guysborough town.
The ambiance of the town with its old homes and churches is from the late 1800s. The Old Court House Museum is a good stop to learn about the history of the area and to get any info you need for your trip. Only the visitor info is available during COVID times. There is a self-guided walking tour of Guysborough. Download the map. Stop for a meal at the Days Gone BY Bakery for a bowl of chowder, sandwiches and delicious baked goods. Browse antiques and local art. Head down to the marina and the Guysborough waterfront.
SeaWind Landing Country Inn is situated in Charlos Cove about 30 min from Guysborough town via Lundy. The inn’s proprietors Dave and Anne Marie are hospitable and welcoming and knowledgeable of the area. Our room was in the main part of the Inn, with a view of the Atlantic Ocean and the Sugar Islands just offshore. The water was so calm there was little sounds of the waves. Great place to watch the sunrise and sit out on our little patio or the chairs on the well-kept lawn. Of course everything was spotless and all social distancing and masks in place.
The food is always memorable with breakfasts of eggs benedict, scrambled eggs with smoked salmon, and my favorite the blueberry stuffed French toast. Of course with lots of hot coffee. The evening meal favorites were mussels in Pernod sauce, lobster croquettes, halibut, scallops all in delicious recipes. Best desert was the crème brule with Baileys Irish Crème.
We were lucky to get the special stay of 2 nights get the 3rd night free. This gave lots of time for an enjoyable staycation and take small day trips in the area.
Charlos Cove is adjacent to Larrys River. This is a hub of Acadian culture on the Eastern Shore. I enjoyed reading “The Forgotten Acadians … a story of discovery” by Jude Avery while exploring the area. In other years this area would be buzzing with activities for the Acadien Festival on August 15 but all was quiet this year. No matter when you visit take time to stop at the Acadien Interpretive Site with paintings and interpretive signs illustrating the history of the area – Larry’s Rover Parc de nos Ancestres across from the St. Pierre church. Also wander down to the footbridge crossing Larry’s River for a view of the river.
Tor Bay Provincial Park
Boardwalks lead through various types of vegetation to several sweeping sandy beaches with rocky outcrops. Picnic tables and interpretive panels give insight into the creation and history of the area.
Black Duck Cove
Just 30 min north of Charlos Cove, towards Canso is Black Duck Cove Provincial Park. The Canteen at the Parking entrance has ice cream and meals with picnic tables and benches in the sun or shade. It looked like the locals as well as visitors frequent the place as it is one of the few places available for food in the area. A series of boardwalks and walking trails lead around the area. The swimming beach has lovely soft sand and a protected beach. Benches and picnic tables make it easy to stop and relax weather you are a swimmer or not.
In October 2019 I was on a trip in Guysborough with travel writers sponsored by DEANS. Darcy and Alex of thank HarbourTone Productions created this video which captured the spirit of our adventures.
For More Information
- Boylston Provincial Park – https://parks.novascotia.ca/content/boylston
- Guysborough Town – Self guided walking tour https://www.guysboroughhistoricalsociety.ca/historic-walking-tour
- Days Gone By Bakery https://www.daysgoneby.ca/
- SeaWind Landing Country Inn https://www.seawindlanding.ca/
- Tor Bay Acadien Society https://www.socacadien.org/
- Tor Bay Provincial Park https://www.tripadvisor.ca/ShowUserReviews-g499226-d5555762-r594419678-Tor_Bay_Provincial_Park-Guysborough_Nova_Scotia.html
- Black Duck Cove Provincial Park https://www.novascotia.com/see-do/outdoor-activities/black-duck-cove-provincial-park/2207
- Off the Beaten Track on the Eastern Shore https://www.outandaboutns.com/2019/11/11/off-the-beaten-track-on-the-eastern-shore/