Last week, I gave you the lowdown on how to kick off a weekend camping at Blomidon. This week, I am listing off the top three dog-friendly activities at Blomidon Provincial Park (and surrounding area). In no particular order…
1. Hiking at Cape Split
After a hearty Saturday morning breakfast, pack a lunch and head to Cape Split. It’s only about a 20-minute drive from the campground. While there are some beautiful trails within the Park, we recommend saving those for Sunday morning. The Cape Split hike takes more time, so it’s an ideal Saturday activity.
Cape Split is an old favourite among Nova Scotia hikers, and for good reason. But this is one dogventure that has a lot more to do with the destination than the journey.
The hike itself isn’t exceptional. You’ll spend most of the 1.5-hour walk winding your way through a wooded area that, while pretty, just doesn’t have that magical forest vibe that I love so much. The trail is too closed in to offer any view of the Bay of Fundy, there isn’t much wildlife around, and the landscape can feel a bit barren.
However, if you are there at the right time of year, there will be tons of pretty wildflowers along the way.
But it’s the destination that makes it all worthwhile. At the end, the trail opens up into a grassy field high on top of a cliff jutting out over the Bay of Fundy. You’ll want to make sure your dog is on-leash well before you reach the cliffs. They’re breathtakingly high and steep.
That said, you should be able to get away with going off-leash for most of the hike, as the trail doesn’t get close to the cliff’s edge until the last ten minutes or so.
The clifftop is the perfect place to take a lunch break before retracing your steps back to the start. The hike is about 8 km each way, and it takes roughly three hours start to finish.
2. Beach Walking at Cape Blomidon
If you time it right, you’ll be able to return to your campsite and treat yourself to some cold beverages and a campfire-cooked dinner before heading down to the beach at Cape Blomidon for low tide.
I am not sure how much the tide times vary from week to week and month to month, but be sure to check out this handy website so you can time your beach visit for when the tide is at its lowest. You’ll be rewarded with an awe-inspiring walk on the ocean floor, with massive red cliffs towering overhead.
If you’re as lucky as we were, you’ll have the beach to yourselves, so your pooch can run, play and dig (if they weren’t already tired out from the day’s activities).
3. Hiking at Blomidon Provincial Park
The hiking trails within the Park itself make for an ideal Sunday morning dogventure. While they are listed as several different trails, they can all be completed as one big loop. You can check out the trail map here. As you will see, the campground sits in the middle of the loop, which is really handy because it means you don’t have to drive to get to the trails.
We actually only did part of the big loop. We hiked north on Jodrey Trail, which hugs the cliff’s edge and provides fantastic viewpoints of the Minas Basin. We then did the short Look-Off Trail at the top of the loop before heading southwards along the Woodland Trail and back to the campsite. This took us about two hours, which included lots of stops to take photos. (Note: All photos from this hike were lost in an unfortunate iPhone incident – you’ll just have to see it for yourself!)
Although the views along this trail aren’t as breathtaking as those at the end of the Cape Split hike, we found the woods to be much prettier – offering a better balance between journey and destination. But the biggest benefit to this trail over Cape Split was that, even on a Sunday morning of a long weekend, we were completely alone. We didn’t see another soul. Cape Split was a different story – we crossed paths with at least a hundred people during our trek on the previous day. So if you’re looking for something a bit more peaceful (and totally off-leash friendly), we recommend giving the Blomidon hiking trails a shot.
So there you have it: my definitive list of the top three dog-friendly activities at Blomidon Provincial Park (and surrounding area). If we could change anything about our weekend, we wouldn’t. It was just that good.