Trip To St. Peters and The Provincial Park, Nova Scotia.
Finally a warm weekend and we headed off on Friday, after work, to St. Peters, about an hour’s drive away. We had booked through the provincial “call center” which is located somewhere in Ontario. Provincial campsites are usually more expensive than private campsites. However, the sites are often situated around historical treasures, provide hiking trails and the sites are larger and more private. But what is annoying is the $9.00 fee they add on for the privilege of booking. Change your booking in any way and you get the dubious pleasure of paying another $7.00! We were told there were only electrical sites and a dump station, so we arrived with a tank of water and those gloves we all stash way in the bottom of the trailer.
When we pulled up the staff at the counter looked at our booking, eyed the length of the trailer and said you will never get into your designated site with that; “it is up a hill and a sharp turn”. Fortunately for us, there was still room in the campsite so he was able to change our booking without charging the $7.00 again. He also asked “would you like a 2 way hook-up? Yes Virginia, there are 2 way hook-ups in the campsite; I guess no one had told the call center. After leaving Hideaway Campground and heading toward Cheticamp, we left the Cabot Trail and headed north to Pleasant Bay, Aptly named; a fishing village nestled between the greens hills and the ocean with the boats in the harbour, protected from the ocean by the breakwater of huge boulders.
Once settled, we really enjoyed this campsite. We had a view of the St. Peter’s Bay side as did many of the campsites. There is history in the park and they provide a printed stapled hand-out with the history of the canal and various areas in the park including forts which no longer exist except for the signage in the park. Numerous trails which were well laid out and we enjoyed the easy walking and the views of the water and woods; Fort Toulouse Ruins Trail
Kavanagh Homestead trail does show the foundations of an old homestead. If you like history,it is interesting to imagine this area in its heyday and its connection to Fortress Louisburg. This area provided much of the food for the fort. Also, Saturday evening park staff provided a karaoke which was a lot of fun. This was an easy weekend with several stops
The Nicolas Denys Museum, just a short distance from the canal. This was a hodgepodge of antique items provided by local people. I had expected information on Denys who had been a major business man in the area in Fortress Louisburg days, so I was a little disappointed in the museum. However worth the visit if you want general information about the more recent history of the area and how people lived.
A museum we really enjoyed was the MacAskill House Museum a well-known Maritime photographer who was born in St.Peter’s. Two floors were filled with his photos plus examples of furniture and some antique cameras. Well worth the visit.
The highlight of the trip for us was the St. Peter’s canal. As we were drinking our morning coffee we saw the boats turn in from St. Peter’s Bay and we guessed correctly they were heading for the canal. Once we got there we saw 6 boats go through the locks at a leisurely pace. It takes time so part of the fun is everyone gets off their boats and chats with the lockkeeper and other boaters. One crew had just completed the Marblehead to Halifax race so it was interesting talking with them. One ship Bayou was huge and the crew using walkie-talkies got the boat through the lock. Would certainly go back to enjoy the canal and camping at the park.