Hometown travel: road tripping around Hants County, Nova Scotia

A few weekends back, I found myself with a rental car and road trip fever. It would have been easy to go back to some of my favourite stops of the summer, or to finish getting all of the stamps on my wine passport. Instead, I had a burning desire to go somewhere I had never been before. Considering I’ve lived in Nova Scotia my whole life and have had jobs in the past which required me to travel the province extensively, this was not going to be easy.

Poring over my map of Nova Scotia, it jumped out at me: Route 215 in Hants County.

I had definitely never been all the way around the Route 215 loop. It runs along the Bay of Fundy, conveniently connecting to one of the wineries I had never visited before, Avondale Sky. In short, the perfect road trip.

Hants County Nova Scotia Route 215 road trip


Getting off Highway 102 at Exit 10 in Shubenacadie, I hopped on to Route 215 and headed north. Originally, I was going to start, and end, my trip with a day of tidal bore rafting, but that didn’t exactly work out, given the scarcity of spots in the boats. Instead, I stopped at the Fundy Tidal Interpretative Centre outside of Urbania (Point B on the map) to go out to the viewing platform constructed out of the old rail bridge and watch the incoming tidal bore.

Shubenacadie River Urbania Nova Scotia

Shubenacadie River Urbania Nova Scotia

After the rafters woo-hooed their way past us, it was time to get back into the car and head into the unknown. For no particular reason, I had to stop for this herd of cows, meandering in single file for almost a kilometre. They seemed practically … elephant-like to me.

Cows Route 215 Hants County Nova Scotia

Burncoat Head

I didn’t know much about Burncoat Head (Point C on the map) other than it had an historic lighthouse.

Burncoat Head lighthouse Hants County Nova Scotia

This was probably my favourite stop of the day, because it was completely unexpected. The local community has built a lovely park and picnic area, including paths which lead directly to the Bay of Fundy.

Burncoat Head Hants County Nova Scotia

Take the stairs (carefully!) down to the water, because the view at the bottom is spectacular.

Burncoat Head Hants County Nova Scotia

My next-summer-resolution has already been set. I’m going back to Burncoat Head. At low tide, you can walk across the floor of the Bay of Fundy to the base of the little island. It bears a striking resemblance to the Flower Pot Rocks of Hopewell Rocks, don’t you think?


Continuing on Route 215, past small towns and acres of farmland, I stopped at another historic lighthouse in Walton (Point D on the map). This one was open to the public. Literally. The door was open and a quick look inside revealed visitors can climb a couple of steep ladders to go up to the top. Totally worth it.

Walton Hants County Nova Scotia

I’m a lighthouse keeper!

Walton lighthouse Hants County Nova Scotia

Coming back down the ladders, a handwritten sign caught my eye. It was only the most effective warning sign I’ve ever seen. Don’t say you weren’t warned.

Walton lighthouse Hants County Nova Scotia


My last stop was practically by accident. Earlier this summer, a local community group worked with a group of engineering students from a local university to build a camera obscura in Cheverie (Point E on the map). I wasn’t sure how to fit it into my summer hometown travel plans, until I drove right past it. The curious structure is worth a closer look, and I won’t spoil it for you by showing the image you’ll see projected inside.

Cheverie camera obscura Hants County Nova Scotia

Wrapping up the loop around Route 215 I found this lovely apple-hay barn, which could have been mundane, until I edited it enough to look like it is on infrared film. Art!

Hants County Nova Scotia



  1. I get so frustrated that everyone knows about Hopewell Rocks in NB and not about Burncoat Head. There are so many spectacular places to see in Nova Scotia that go unheralded.

    I gotta go find that camera obscura at Cheverie.

    Wonderful post.

    • Thank you so much – Burncoat Head is now among my favourite places in Nova Scotia. Next time, I’m taking a picnic lunch and staying for low tide!


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