Rainbow Haven Beach in Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia Off-Leash Dog Friendly

The Pros and Cons of Taking Your Dog to Rainbow Haven Beach

After finishing an inspiring year-long work term, I have a few weeks off before embarking on my next endeavour. How lucky am I that this transition lined up with the month of August? Naturally, this means spending a ton of quality time with Dallas (and other family members) at my parents’ lake house in New Brunswick. I have been out of the Province for about a week so far. But don’t worry – we’ve been out and about a ton this summer, so I have a few dogventures to catch you up on. 

One of the best things about summer is that the days are much longer, so we don’t ever have to worry about going on dogventures after dark. After arriving home from work and eating dinner, there is still lots of time to catch some sunshine. And of course, there is no better place to do so than at the beach.


A couple of weeks ago, I talked about my love for Conrad’s Beach (and beach days with dogs in general). In that post, I mentioned that finding the right beach is key. If you want to spend some time off-leash (which you probably do, because off-leash time is the best time), you’ll want a beach that isn’t too crowded. This normally keeps us away from HRM’s more popular beaches. But on a Wednesday evening, we decided to take advantage of the beautiful weather, and the potentially quieter beach times, to go back to Rainbow Haven Beach.


This was my first time at Rainbow Haven Beach in years (I’m thinking it had been at least 15 or 16 years). We were quickly reminded about what makes this beach so well loved. It’s simply beautiful. A boardwalk takes you from the parking lot through the grassy dunes and onto the large sandy beach. The beach wraps around a small point at the entrance to Cole Harbour (the actual harbour, not the nearby community). While we were there, the waves were gently lapping on the shore, and seabirds soared overhead.

However, even on a weekday evening, the beach was still pretty crowded. We were able to find a small area for swimming, but beach fetch was out of the question.


A word of caution: at the eastern end of the beach, at the channel into the Harbour, the current is quite strong. While this is a less crowded area of the beach (making it a tempting place to take your dog swimming) be very careful of the current.

Despite the fact that the beach didn’t offer us much wide open space for playing, I found myself taken by Rainbow Haven’s gentle beauty. This is an amazing spot for an evening beach walk. We would recommend parking your car on Cow Bay Road and going for a long stroll through the entire park area.


To summarize, here are the pros and cons of Rainbow Haven…

Pros: Beautiful sandy beach, lots of parking, lifeguard-supervised swimming area, change rooms, washrooms and outdoor showers.

Cons: Some swimming areas can be dangerous, too crowded for much off-leash time.

For more information about Rainbow Haven Beach (including driving directions), you can visit the directory page.


That concludes this week’s post. I hope you get to enjoy some quality time with your pooch on this sunny #fetchfriday.


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