FOR THE LOVE OF NATURE
The area straddling Fundy Shore and Digby Neck south of Smith’s Cove is rich in natural beauty. For the adventurous, a number of trails exist that take you to lovely and at times dramatic scenic spots.
Go to the spot where 18th-century pirate “Cut Throat” Gulliver used to lie in wait with his crew for unsuspecting ships to sail by and plunder. Gulliver’s Cove is at the base of Digby Neck and offers two trails. The first is a 10-minute easy walk ending in picnic benches and a view of soaring cliffs where Gulliver hid his plundered treasures. A second trail takes you up a dirt road, and then around to the cliff edge so you can peer out across the Bay of Fundy and be at eye level with nesting eagles. This loop takes you down to view the cliff from the opposite side and allows you to really appreciate this rugged terrain only suitable for raiding bands of pirates. A map can be found on the Digby Trails website: http://www.digbytrails.ca/gullivers-cove.html.
The Van Tassel Lake Trails are just outside of Digby on 550 acres of woodlands. A 5km loop takes you around the entire lake and a number of side trails branch off to take you by abandoned cars, building foundations, a small reservoir, and a look-out point. Inspirational quotes decorate various trees along the way, giving you the motivation to keep climbing. The trailhead can be found at 859 Culloden Road in Mount Pleasant, and a map can be found on the AllTrails phone app or on the Digby Trails website: http://www.digbytrails.ca/van-tassel-lake.html.
Just off Highway 1 in Clementsport, by the bridge over Moose River, are monuments to the Annapolis Iron Mining Company and to the Rawding family of sea captains. Park here and head south to 1584 Evangeline Trail, and to the right of a small white house with green trim is the entrance to the trail leading up a steep hill. Follow this trail up and 10-20 minutes later you’ll arrive at Clementsport Waterfall – a 60-foot sheer drop down into a deep pool. This trail is on private property so be respectful, take with you what you bring in and no camping or ATVs allowed.
Another hidden gem on Digby Neck, tourists to the area have been climbing up Mount Shubel as early as the 1800s. Access is on private land, so be respectful when visiting this beautiful trail. Drive down Digby Neck on highway 217, and just passed the Digby Neck Fire Hall, before you get to the town of Sandy Cove you’ll head down a hill. Partway down the hill is a very small cottage close to the road. Drive up the driveway and park alongside the trail entrance. This is a steep path but ropes are set up to help you on your way. It’s only a 20-minute hike, but the steepness of the path makes it difficult. When you reach the end, you’ll be at the edge of Mount Shubel with a breathtaking bird’s eye view of Sandy Cove. You can see each side of Digby Neck from Saint Mary’s Bay to the Bay of Fundy.