Monday, June 18, 2012

LaHave Islands

The LaHave Islands lie just ten miles from Lunenburg, on Nova Scotia’s scenic South Shore. That’s ten miles as the crow flies, but unless you’re actually a crow then getting there takes a bit more time than you might expect. Travel along Route 332, the Lighthouse Route, to East LaHave, and from there take the cable ferry across the LaHave River -- it leaves the eastern side of the river at 15 and 45 minutes past the hour. Turn left after leaving the ferry, and proceed no farther than the delightful LaHave Bakery before continuing on your way. It’s essential to stop at this bakery
and café to snack on fresh baked goods or enjoy delicious soups, light lunches, and a fine variety of teas, coffees, and cold beverages. You might like to pick up a loaf of bread to bring along as well; milk & honey, cheese & herb or multigrain are just some of the choices. Now that you’re properly provisioned, it’s time to continue west along the shore to Crescent Beach; the road to LaHave Islands runs parallel to the beach, behind the dunes. Take time to linger on this smooth strip of sand; although the seawater is usually too cold for swimming, it’s a great walking beach, well-used
by locals and visitors alike. During my most recent visit, there were several people wading hip-deep in the cold water, digging into the sand for surf clams (above right). They’d wisely chosen to wear wetsuits for this activity!

Back on the road, a bridge at the end of the beach/causeway leads to Bush Island, where a small but picturesque fishing harbour makes for interesting exploration. The next island is Bell Island; here you’ll find the LaHave Islands Marine Museum (top), housed in a former Methodist church. The eclectic collection of displays here pays tribute to the area’s seafaring past and to its farming history, as well as recognizing the contribution of the district’s veterans of the two World Wars. There are some fine examples of local boatbuilding, including large double dories and an example of a double-ended Bush Island boat christened the Vera Mae.

A little farther down the road lies the turnoff for Wolfe Gut, an out-of-the-way corner with lovely views of the shoreline. This is just one of the many peaceful spots that make a visit to the LaHave Islands worthwhile. The South Shore is a popular travel destination and can at times be busy and bustling during the summer months, but the LaHave Islands are a haven of calm and peaceful surroundings on a summer’s day.

1 comment:

  1. The bakery is well worth the stop, but also the Nova Scotia artisans gift shop on the lower level. Great craftsmanship and prices.