Inukshuk on Black Duck Trail

Inukshuk on the Black Duck Trail

2. The Guysborough Loop – 2 Nights

Guysborough is around 300km northeast of Halifax. Do this trip counter-clockwise so you’re driving oceanside for the best views. The #7 Marine Drive follows the coastline out of Halifax; to stay along the water, make sure you branch off to the 211 just after Sherbrooke. If you keep as close to the water as you can you will come across a neat little ferry. $5 to cross and the sign said it runs quarter to and quarter after the hour.

There are two accommodation options in Guysborough, both run by Authentic Seacoast. As I was a guest of theirs, I spent one night in each. The Osprey Shores Golf Resort has motel-style lodging and is the cheaper of the two, but has a 9-hole golf course on a little peninsula and gorgeous views. The room was perfectly adequate, clean, and comfy. A continental breakfast is included, as is wifi, although I had to leave the room and move closer to the clubhouse/reception to pick it up.

Lundy Fire Tower plateau

Lundy Fire Tower plateau

The DesBarres Manor Inn is the more cozy, romantic, and luxurious option. It’s an old house built in 1836, restored immaculately, with ten beautiful rooms. It has a fine dining restaurant, lounge/games room, and a backyard patio overlooking the six acres of land it’s built on.

There’s also free wifi and a continental breakfast, although this one’s gourmet — not only do the bran flakes have raisins, but eggs (any style), bacon or sausage, toast, and pan-fried potatoes are prepared by the chef in addition to the standard cereals, yogurt, bread, and coffee.

For your middle day, I can suggest these points of interest:

  • Lundy Fire Tower – South of Guysborough and a couple kms up a dirt track off the main road. The plateau has 360-degree views of Nova Scotia. Lots of trees, rocks, ocean, and lakes. You get a great sense of the wilderness that is this province.
  • Wildberries

    Wildberries on Grassy Island

  • Grassy Island – In Canso (45 minutes east of Guysborough), take a free Parks Canada provided ferry to this historic fort island. Not much remains but a mowed out path and interpretive signs. But if you’re there at the right time of year you can pick wild berries — blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, and more.
  • Black Duck Trail – The trailhead is at the Black Duck Cove Day Use Park in Little Dover, just south of Canso. It’s an easy loop trail that’s cut through the forest and skirts the coastline. There are offshoots out of the trees for views of the ocean, and you can also abandon the trail and walk along the rocky beach.

Besides the three main places to eat — Rare Bird Pub, Big G’s Pizza & Restaurant, and Days Gone By Bakery & Restaurant — there is a little diner tucked in the back of the Wonder Store, at the bottom of the hill from the DesBarres Manor Inn.

For a more personal account of this road trip, check out my blog post.

On the next page, the daddy of them all: The Cabot Trail…