Pollett's Cove: A Wilderness Journey


It was 1:30am in Halifax as I packed my gear into my car and hit the road headed for Northwestern Cape Breton. After a very long drive I was lucky enough to enter the Cape Breton Highlands National Park just in time for dawn. With moose almost everywhere you look and a beautiful mist rising from the peat bogs, there is no better place to watch the sunrise. I slowly made my way down Mackenzie Mountain into Pleasant Bay where the pavement ended and my real journey began. Although hungry and sleep deprived I threw on my National Geographic backpack filled with camera gear, food, clothes and water for two days. I began my long hike along the rugged hills and wind swept coast of northern Cape Breton. With challenging climbs from sea level to 1200 ft it is one of the toughest 20 km (with return) in the province and I would strongly suggest spending the night there if you are going to take the time to hike in. Polletts Cove itself was once a small settlement until the 1940’s and has said to be one of the most scenic places in Canada. With its steep surrounding hills, whales feeding close enough to shore to hear there blow holes as they come up for air and horses that summer in the lush green meadows, it seems you enter into another world when arriving at the cove.

After seeing the orange glow of the sun setting over the Gulf of St Lawrence followed by spectacular stars that out line the surrounding mountains on a clear night, it is by far the most inspiring place I have ever seen.

Pollett’s Cove has many campsites to choose from, depending on the weather, which can be very windy along this coast, you may want to camp back from the cove among the trees, or at the river mouth. Moose, bears and coyotes are all very common here and one should be prepared to encounter them. This is a back country hike for more experienced hikers and you should come well prepared for any weather situation. For more information on Pollett’s Cove visit Explore Nova Scotia.