Bekoning Beacons


by Ilona Kauremszky

Special to Canadian National Geographic Travel Magazine - summer 2007

Nova Scotia - For centuries, Nova Scotia's rugged south shore was the stomping ground for privateers and fishermen whose lives depended on the glow of the lighthouse. While the glory days of these beacons are long gone, their magic continues to cast a spell over the Maritime's nautical past.

Today, more than 20 lighthouses still dot the islets and coves between Yarmouth and Halifax, creating a 575-kilometre route that winds past fishing villages, historic hamlets, sandy shores and rocky outcrops. Many lighthouses stand along popular migratory-bird flyways and near lobster-fishing hubs. Maritime hospitality is around every corner.

If you follow the lighthouse trail, here are a few highlights along the way:

In West Pubnico, the province's oldest Acadian settlement, you'll find a livinghistory museum, Le Village historique acadien de la Nouvelle-Écosse. Pictureperfect period homes and fish houses are separated by a rolling meadow dotted with grazing sheep. From here, you can see Abbotts Harbour Lighthouse rising in the distance.

Once regaled as North America's privateering capital, Liverpool is now famous for its bellowing foghorn and the birthplace of country music legend Hank Snow. At Fort Point Lighthouse Park, the original lighthouse erected in 1855 is now a museum with costumed interpreters and loads of Maritime memorabilia.

A replica of the pride of Lunenburg, the famed Bluenose — the world's fastest schooner and a ubiquitous symbol on our dime — graces the harbour of this UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Among the province's most photographed lighthouses — Cape Forchu and Peggys Cove — provide the bookends that begin and complete the road trip. Their shining lights now guide more tour buses than fishermen.

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photo courtesy: Nova Scotia Tourism


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