If you are looking for a short backpacking trip that is challenging and scenic, look no farther than Cape Chignecto Park in Nova Scotia. Cape Chignecto Provincial Park is on the western tip of the northwestern Nova Scotia, jutting out into the Bay of Fundy and Minus Channel. The park has a 52 kilometre loop, leading from West Advocate through to Eatonville, passing by the western tip of Cape Chignecto. Cape Chignecto Park is almost across the Bay south of the Fundy Footpath — but can offer a much more scenic view of the Bay of Fundy shoreline. The section between Cape Chignecto and Eatonville is one of the more scenic hiking routes in Nova Scotia, as the trail follows the zig zag cliffs on the Bay.
Typically, the trail is completed in a three day, two night trip. There are backcountry campsites and cabins available for hikers. This year, we revisited the area after our previous trips about 20 odd years ago – with one trip doing the trek in 18 hrs. A fair bit older now, we split the difference and made it two days and one night, deciding to stay in a cabin near Bald Rock.
Making the trip in two days was not without an arduous first day of over 30 kilometres, this time traveling counter-clockwise to Eatonville before going south on the coast. We landed at our cabin at dusk and settled into our pre-made shelter with thanks. The cabin was well-built, tidy and had a comfy covered front porch and table for cooking.
On our second day, we finished the trip going from Big Bald cabin through Cape Chignecto, Refugee Cove and Mill Brook. In remembering the previous trips in this area, my mind had conveniently forgotten about the significant hills in between! After making our best effort of the hills, we chose to end off the trip with a short beach walk back to the Red Rocks headquarters. (There is only one area where you can travel between stops along the beach.) By revisiting the park after such a long time, it reminded me of the hiking treasures that are just next door waiting for adventure.