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Difficulty: Moderate (rugged terrain)
Setting: Coastal barrens, lighthouse, nature reserve.
Iconic Nova Scotian coastal beauty.
Access road closed (must park at the gate).
Part of the larger, Duncan’s Cove Nature Reserve (tread lightly).
A half-hour drive from Halifax lies a lesser-known lighthouse and coastal view. Chebucto Head offers many of the same features as Peggy’s Cove, but with much less tourist traffic, and far less friendly access (the access road was left in disrepair and you now must park at the gate). It is also part of the larger 370 hectares Duncan’s Cove nature reserve
The area is ideal for rock scampering and exploring the coast. Beyond the mouth of Halifax Harbor, a broad view of the Atlantic ocean along with the Halifax/Dartmouth city lights on the horizon combine for fantastic scenery. With the lighthouse always in view and the coastal barrens landscape, it’s nearly impossible to get lost.
TThelighthouse was first lit in 1872 and continues to this day to guide ships from their journey across the Atlantic Ocean. Next to the lighthouse is the remains of a WW2 era concrete fortification which was equipped with searchlights and naval guns and functioned as a defense of Halifax Harbor from German U-Boats and surface raiders. A huge fog horn in the parking lot area still functions (beware the loudest sound you will ever hear).
Chebucto Head is an ideal trip for those looking for a pleasant coastal drive and a destination that is off the beaten track. The area has had a reputation as a lovers lane in the evenings and can feel a little too remote when the sun goes down, but the view of the city lights at night and the ocean and coast during the day make it a great spot. Chebucto Head, as well as the adjacent Duncan’s Cove hiking trail, is part of a large nature reserve, so tread lightly and follow the Leave No Trace principles.
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