Nova Scotia has many islands worth a visit – too many for me to list all of them: some you need your own boat to get to — others you can get to by ferry (Brier Island); by tour (Henry Island); rent a kayak and paddle there (too many to mention!), drive there over a causeway (Isle Madame and Cape Breton Island) or even walk there at low tide (Micou’s Island).
The South Shore has many islands itself, and so today I thought I’d mention some of them. Some you can visit, some are protected. One of my sisters and her husband go and visit many more of our islands regularly – sometimes by kayak, sometimes by motor boat. If only I could take an excerpt from her brain and instal it here, you’d have more colour and nature and beauty than you could shake a stick at (always one of the weider expressions, in my opinion. I mean – you could shake a stick at any amount couldn’t you? ..weird)
There is, of course, Cross Island which you can see if you stand in Blue Rocks and look out to see. Not too far from shore, there is an old lighthouse there, and a few old cabins still used by locals who spend their time off in the summer there (locals love it so much here in Lunenburg County we don’t go far from home vacation time comes around — okay, there are certainly plenty of people who travel far and wide, but as many or more who stay put).
Sheep, Flat, Southwest & Shut-In Islands are easily kayakable, and some local tour companies actually offer kayaking tours to these islands.
Westhaver Island is actually just around the corner from us. The beach is a walk away (just over 1km) and you can see the island quite clearly from the shore (it’s not the HUGE island with the monstrous house perched atop it, it’s the lovely little one with the lighthouse). Like many of the islands around here, it’s lighthouse was not always automated … and when you see how tiny the island is you’ll find it incredible someone once lived on it. The original lighthouse is now gone, having been destroyed by fire in 1887. A new lighthouse was built, and the lighthouse keeper was moved into the oil storage building where the lighthouse keepers continued to live until 1921 when it became automated. The old wooden structure was finally replaced with steel in 1948 and fibreglass in 1945. While this island is only a stone’s throw from shore (okay, maybe a bit further) you can no longer visit it because it is a tern nesting site. The island needing mentioning, though, because it’s history is kinda cool.
Big Tancook Island is definitely worth a visit as well, and there are ferries from Chester each day to take you there. It has one of the few remaining one room schoolhouses still in operation. It’s not a crowded touristy place – it’s just lovely instead. Hiking & biking trails, lots of birdlife, fossils and geocaching. It’s a unique little island well worth a visit.
If you’re not into sea kayaking to visit islands you can always try rowing or canoeing on a lake! Lake Mush-A-Mush has plenty of islands worth visiting, and the water it crystal clear and soo refreshing!
Come and have a look at our islands: one of the many reasons to come down to the South Shore a stay for more than a day.