The Gaff Point hiking trail is one of the most scenic spots along the South Shore - Lighthouse Route in Nova Scotia. The trail is on a gorgeous headland that juts out into the Atlantic Ocean.
Directions: Take highway 103 to exit 11; at exit 11, head south on route 324 toward Lunenburg. After about 10km take route 332 towards Rose Bay/ Kingsburg. At Rose Bay watch for signs for Kingsburg and Hirtle Beach. Watch for Hirtle Beach road which will lead you to the beach and trail.
Distance: 6.5 km (4.1 mi)
Elevation: 70 metres
Time: 2+ hours
Level of Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Food/Water: Water is always necessary. Light snacks are also a good idea.
Clothes/Accessories: A sweater or light jacket; sturdy walking shoes or hiking boots; and a camera.
Facilities: There are outhouse facilities at Hirtles beach which is the start of the trail.
The start of this wonderful hiking trail is Hirtles beach. Park in the parking lot, go to the boardwalk and turn right. You'll see Gaff Point in the distance. You'll walk about 1.5km along the beach before you see some interpretive signs at the edge of the woods.
You'll see a path that leads up a hill toward the hiking area. This is private land so refrain from using this route. Stay level with the beach and you'll find the actual trailhead further ahead.
This hiking area is managed by the Nature Conservancy of Canada, the Nova Scotia Nature Trust and the Kingsbury Coastal Conservancy.
Thanks to these groups this gorgeous area is preserved for all to enjoy.
You will hike through forest and woods as you make your way to the top of the headland. This can be a very wet and soggy area.
It was a rainy day when I hiked Gaff Point. This made the trail very wet and I was glad to have my sturdy hiking boots.
The trail will lead you to a grassy field which overlooks the ocean. This is a dramatic view of the ocean. The rain clouds made is especially beautiful when I was there.
Gorgeous views of the colorful rock formations makes this trail extra beautiful. I don't think it would be possible to take a bad picture from the trail (even in the rain).
At times you will be high above the crashing waves and other times you will be hiking along a ledge quite close to the waves. I think I liked this the most while at Gaff Point.
It had been on my list for a long time. I finally made it and enjoyed every minute. It did stop raining during the hike. However, the dark clouds stayed with us and provided a great backdrop for my pictures.
There are many great accommodations to be found on the South Shore - Lighthouse Route in Nova Scotia. Check hotels, motels, B & Bs and Inns in Lunenburg, Mahone Bay, Chester, Bridgewater and Liverpool.
There are also lovely vacation rentals in the same areas: Lunenburg, Mahone Bay, Chester, Bridgewater and Liverpool.
These links will also give you choices in smaller communities in the vacinity.
Nova Scotia has a wide variety of places to eat. From fine dining, family restaurants, pubs and pizza spots. There is something for everyone. I suggest you check my Where to Eat page for some tips on how to find a restaurant in your location.
There is still lots to see and do in the Lunenburg area! Don't miss The Rum Runners trail, The Ovens and Blue Rocks. And, don't forget Mahone Bay, Chester & Peggy's Cove!!
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