One day last month we decided to go on a day trip. Being a fairly hot weekend, I said we should only go if we go somewhere along the coast. There’s no way we would enjoy ourselves in the heat if we spent the day outside inland and there was really no point going if we were just going to spend the day driving around in an air conditioned car. That narrowed it down a bit, but there is a LOT of coat here in Nova Scotia! A family friend had mentioned going to a place called ‘The Ovens’ a few times so we decided to check that out.
The Ovens Natural Park is a privately owned camp ground right on the Atlantic coast. It has all the regular amenities: picnic grounds, sites for tents and campers; there are cabins and a swimming pool a beach – even if it is a bit rocky – a small resturant and a little store…
The caves are, of course, the main draw to the location. There’s a wonderful path that goes along the edge of the cliffs and down into the caves. Little “look-offs” have been created both inside some of the caves so you can go in and look around, as well as outside along the path for a different view of the coastline. There is also a boat tour you can go on to visit the caves by sea instead of by land. If we go again, I’d love to do that and perhaps spend a night and explore the camping area! Visiting again at low tide is definitely a must, as well!
If caves aren’t your thing, the park offers many other activities. You can watch the sailboats in the Lunenburg Harbour, visit the small gold mining museum and try your had at panning for gold on the beach, swim in the pool, or enjoy a cold drink at the restaurant. There’s even a petting zoo! I also found many other things to photograph aside from the caves. There’s live music at the diner almost every night.
One cave was extended during the area’s gold mining days. Mother nature (or, of course, whoever designed the flow of the park!) saved the best for last with Cannon Cave. The water rushing in and out of the cave really does sound like a cannon going off. It’s really quite spectacular. The beautiful colours of the slate and water are a sight to see as well.
I highly recommend The Ovens as an afternoon, at the very least, detour, especially if you are a fan of the force and beauty of Mother Nature and the sea.
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Cost: $8/adult for entrance to the park. There are other/different fees for boat tours and camping etc.
Hours: Camp ground so n/a… though it would difficult to go into the caves in the dark!
This post is one in a series examining interesting locations in Canada and around the world.