Authentic Atlantic Canada - Nova Scotia's Fisherman's Reserve
I grew up in Nova Scotia, and my home province is a place that I continue to enjoy exploring to this day! Whenever I travel I look for spots that show the true character of an area, asking questions like: “What places do the locals like?”, “What views really capture the city?”, and “What is life really like here, removed from the tourist attractions?”
I recently discovered an authentic Atlantic Canadian gem along the Eastern Shore of Nova Scotia called, “Fisherman’s Reserve”. That name could describe almost anywhere along the province’s 7,600 kilometres km of coastline, but today we’ll focus on the reserve in Three Fathom Harbour - a small community that’s about a 30-minute drive from Halifax.
Fisherman’s Reserve gives a raw, authentic look into the long-standing way-of-life of many rural Nova Scotians, both past and present. The narrow gravel road of the reserve is dotted with a few dozen wooden shanties and wharfs, with colourful boats docked in the summer or stored on cradles over the winter. Continuing past the last cottage where the road ends, a seawall of piled blue slate rock and concrete stretches out into the water, connecting the mainland to Wedge Island. The seawall is over half a kilometre long and is only passable at low tide.
Travel Tip: Plan your trip around the tides, because you’ll want to hike out to Wedge Island!
Wedge Island is about 400 m long; its western side rises sharply to a grassy plateau, its dirt foundations carved and curved by the wind and the waves. The island slopes gently to the east, down to a rocky beach where you can walk toward the far end of the island. There, a lone fishing cottage sits with the ocean stretching out in all directions.
The best part of this little trek is the rocky shoal at the furthest tip of the island. Hop along the rocks here, around the tidal pools until you get out the farthest edge … then take a seat. This is a spot where you’ll feel like you’re in another world, with the mainland hidden from view behind the island and the ocean filling all the other sides. There’s a sense of peace and silence here, like nothing else exists, you can just be present. While you’re there, trying looking to the West - if you’re lucky and the tide is very low, you might just see a few seals lying on the next island over.
We hope you enjoy this little Nova Scotian gem! To walk straight out to the tip of the island and back would take less than an hour, so this is more of a wandering trek where we encourage you to spend some time taking in all the views, and maybe bring a picnic!
Let us know what you think of Fisherman’s Reserve and Wedge Island, and don’t forget to tag #canadaexplored in your photos!