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Blue Rocks, Nova Scotia | © Graham-H
Blue Rocks, Nova Scotia | © Graham-H
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12 Epic Places in Nova Scotia Even Locals Don't Know About

Picture of Kate Horodyski
Updated: 19 October 2017
Nova Scotia is full of fascinating adventures and activities. From the Cape Breton Highlands to the bustling city of Halifax, there is something fun for everyone to explore. But what about something a little more off the beaten trail, something that even locals haven’t heard of? We’ve done the digging for you and found 12 epic hidden gems around the province.
Best Hidden Gems in Nova Scotia
Blue Rocks, Nova Scotia | © Graham-H

Blue Rocks

This tiny fishing town in Nova Scotia’s South Shore region has drawn artists and photographers since the 1940s. However, it’s largely unknown for the most part and is overshadowed by neighbouring Lunenburg. Known as “Lunenburg’s Peggy’s Cove,” this tiny town is a true hidden gem and is a beautiful spot to get a true feel for Nova Scotia’s small town life.

100 Wild Islands

When you first come across photos of these stunning islands, you’ll think you’re looking at pictures of the Caribbean, but they’re actually located just off the coast of Nova Scotia! Most locals haven’t even heard of them, so jump on the opportunity, and visit them now before word spreads!

Kejimkujik National Park’s Back Country

Kejimkujik National Park is a popular spot for both tourists and locals, but a journey into the backwoods offers a more remote experience in the otherwise well-known park. Explore the back country by foot or by canoe and plan your own adventure.

Hidden Gems in Nova Scotia
Kejimkujik Park | © Aconcagua

Secret Beach, Gaff Point Trail

Follow the Gaff Point Trail out to the coast, and you’ll be rewarded with your own private beach! Located in the South Shore, this little area is still largely unknown to locals, but, thanks to Instagram, it might not be a secret spot for long!

Fresh Twenty One

A high end five-course meal for under $40? We almost don’t want to share this secret spot! It’s not actually a secret, but the student-run restaurant at the Nova Scotia Community College isn’t something most locals know about. Chefs in training practice their skills, and you get to benefit! Lunch buffets are offered Monday through Thursday, and dinner is offered on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Hidden Gems in Nova Scotia
Fresh Twenty One | Courtesy of Matt Madden

The Kauzmann Trail

While the Cape Breton Highlands are by no means a secret spot, one of its trails is. You won’t find the Kauzmann Trail in any guidebooks, but rumour has it its views rival that of the popular Skyline Trail! This 2 kilometre hike will take you out to the water’s edge where you’ll find yourself 1,000 feet above the sea!

Little foggy #kauzmanntrail

A post shared by Marlene Malkowicz (@mmalkowicz) on

Bear River

You’ve undoubtedly heard lots about Nova Scotia’s stunning small towns like Mahone Bay, Wolfville and Lunenburg, but little is said about Bear River. Located inland along one of the Bay of Fundy’s tidal rivers, this picturesque spot has been a hub for artists for years. Come explore the area’s galleries, shops, studios, and vineyards and discover the ‘tidal village on stilts’.

Hidden Gems in Nova Scotia
Bear River, Nova Scotia | © walknboston

North River Falls

If you’re up for an adventure, consider the 18 kilometre hike through Cape Breton’s North River Provincial Park to North River Falls. The remoteness of this area makes it truly off the beaten path, and adventurers will be rewarded with stunning scenery and a chance to really get away from it all.

Gypsum Quarry

With its turquoise waters and surrounding cliffs, you may just think you’re in British Columbia rather than Nova Scotia at the secluded Gypsum Quarry. Follow the hiking trail beginning along the Cheticamp Back Road, and it will take you to this stunning quarry, where the visitors enjoy swimming, sun tanning and swinging from the rope swing.

Swam in this crazy hidden gem today #gypsumquarry #capebreton #novascotia #explorecanada #parkscanada

A post shared by Melissa Hurteau (@misshurt17) on

Trout Point Lodge

With an impressive list of awards and accolades, Trout Point Lodge is the place to go for luxury ecotourism in the province. The lodge keeps an air of secrecy around itself, and, because it does very little advertising in the province, most locals have never heard of it.

Port Hood Island

This island is about as remote as it gets with only two year-round residents! Located in Cape Breton’s St. George Bay, it has a few more residents during the summer months and is a great spot to explore rural Nova Scotia life.

Thomas Raddall Provincial Park

While most people head to Kejimkujik’s Seaside Adjunct, right across the harbour you’ll find the much less popular but equally stunning Thomas Raddal Provincial Park. Enjoy your own little getaway with the park’s camping sites, walking and biking trails and white sand beaches.