When one thinks of Canada’s East Coast, a pretty fishing village with its own lighthouse is certainly an image many people would have. And there may be no more picture-perfect Maritime fishing village than Peggy’s Cove (although I haven’t visited them all, so I could be wrong). The village was founded in 1811 and is the eastern point of the St. Margaret’s Bay (it’s thought the town’s name was derived from one of the common terms for Margaret — Peggy).
Peggy’s Cove is just a slow hour’s drive (43 km) from the provincial capital of Halifax, making it a very popular day trip destination. We visited in the fall and the town was still crowded with tourists — I can only imagine it gets worse during the summer travel crunch. Its success at drawing in tourists is also Peggy Cove’s main drawback.
Nova Scotia is home to 160 lighthouses, of which the Peggy’s Point Lighthouse probably is the best known and most photographed. Peggy’s Point Lighthouse was built in 1915. It’s not very tall but is nicely shaped and attractive. I think it would be fun to climb to the top and look out over the village and Bay, but its door was locked during our visit and lacking Spiderman skills, we were grounded.
Fishing has always been an important local industry (although today tourism has moved to the top of the list). My favorite part of Peggy’s Cove is the inlet where the fishing boats lay at anchor, nets hang and the lobster traps were stacked. Even though this is a tourist town, it remains an active fishing village.
The shore is rocky and eroded, and you need to be cautious around the water as rogue waves are common, even on seemingly calm days. Plenty of signs warn you about this risk, so stay off the wet dark rocks to avoid unpleasant surprises.
The town offers shopping and expected guest services. The coast around Peggy’s Cove has opportunities for hiking, kayaking adventures, whale and bird watching, among other activities. A boulder near the public parking lot had an interesting carved rock mural called the Fisherman’s Monument, which is worth a look.
Peggy’s Cove is most definitely a recommended destination for those visiting the Halifax region.
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