The Best of Outdoors Nova Scotia

Every month here at we try to introduce you to cool towns across the country that would fulfill any outdoor lover’s wish list. This month, it’s Nova Scotia:

Population: Almost 1 million inhabitants

Size: Roughly 360 miles in length and sprawling over 21,000 square miles and across multiple towns, the province Nova Scotia is the second smallest of 10 Canadian provinces.

Activities: Canoeing, cycling, hiking, paddling, scenic touring, skiing, surfing, wildlife observation

Why you should go: You won’t get better views of the Atlantic Ocean—with the sea in such close proximity, water activities abound, from whale watching by canoe at the Bay of Fundy to kayaking to the many inlets that frame the province. Nova Scotia is home to more than 250 bird and mammal species, so there are plenty of opportunities to watch the wildlife.

When you should go: Be prepared with some warm gear if you choose to explore the area in the winter months, as it can be quite chilly—but the waves at the Eastern Shore and South Shore are worth it. Northern Right Whales are known to appear in the Bay during the summer and fall months, and the warmer weather also attracts the majority of Nova Scotia’s tourists, so it’s good to plan your trip well in advance.

Must-see/do: Traverse the Cabot Trail in Cape Breton Highlands National Park by foot or by bike, and stop at the Skyline Trail boardwalk for magnificent views of the Atlantic Ocean and the endless hillsides.

Off the beaten path: For a quieter—yet equally fantastic outing—try the hike to Cape Split. The four-hour roundtrip hike to the tip of the headland and back is worth it to see where the Bay of Fundy flows into the Minas Basin. The forested hike opens up at the tip of the headland to provide an excellent view that won’t soon be forgotten.