Difficulty: Moderate (distance, hills).
Setting: Coastal forest, peninsula, steep cliffs, Bay of Fundy tidal system.
Facilities: Parking lot, bathrooms.
Signage: Info kiosk at trailhead and trail markers.
16km (4-5hour return trip).
One of the best views in the province.
Well marked and maintained trail.
Peninsula w/200ft cliffs overlooking the Bay of Fundy.
Cape Split is located in Scots Bay in the Annapolis Valley (1hr 40min drive from downtown Halifax). The 430 hectares of protected land encompasses the western portion of the Blomidon Peninsula and juts several kilometers into the Bay of Fundy.
This trail is one of the most visited trails in Nova Scotia, with more than 40 000 visitors per year. The reason being that it leads to one of the best and most unique views in the province.
The journey starts from a large parking area complete with picnic tables, washrooms and a map of the trail. The 8km linear trail has some steady uphill climbs through the dense deciduous forest. The trail is well used, maintained and marked so there are no worries about getting lost.
During the roughly 2 hour hike out to the point, you’ll be treated to a beautiful array of flora and fauna, with the area being home to over 300 species of plants. Keep your eyes peeled for some uniquely formed old growth trees, including some possible native trail marker trees. The trail can be muddy in areas so proper hiking boots are recommended. There are some small but steady uphill climbs on the way to the point.
Once you reach the point of the peninsula you’ll be treated to one of the best views in the province. The point breaks into multiple pieces which jut into the bay and cause white water to rush by with the tides. The cliff-lined islands are home to hundreds of shorebirds. The point is where the Minas Basin meets the Bay of Fundy, home to the world’s highest tides. Timing your hike to coincide with high or low tide will give you different views, and it’s time well spent watching the tides come in and out from this spot.
Besides being a natural wonder, Cape Split is also culturally significant. An archeological survey found 6 prehistoric sites, including one at Clam Cove dating over 2000 years old. The area is very significant to native Mi’kmaq folklore as it was said to be the home of Glooscap.
This trail is a must visit for anyone up for the moderately difficult 4-hour return trip. Remember to be very cautious around the actively eroding and very steep shoreline. Also, check out nearby Blomidon Provincial Park.