It’s easy to forget how many incredible landscapes exist just outside this city.  Nova Scotia is home to over one hundred provincial parks, with panoramic coastal views and white sandy beaches.

Whether you feel like going on an ambitious hike, camping with friends, or taking in some new scenery, with fall approaching there couldn’t be a more beautiful time to visit some of these breathtaking provincial parks.

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1. Summerville Beach

161 km away (1 h 45 min)

One of the most beautiful landscapes on the South Shore, Summerville Beach Provincial Park contains 85.5 acres of white sand dunes, winding boardwalks and open salt marshes.

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2. Blomidon

122.2 km away (1 h 30 min)

Known for it’s high cliffs and spectacular views, Blomidon Provincial Park spans a total of 1875 acres of the Fundy Shore and Annapolis Valley Region.  The park is open from May to September, and offers over 70 campgrounds along multiple hiking trails.

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3. Caddell Rapids Lookoff

75.8 km away (54 min)

Less than an hour long drive outside the city, the Cadell Rapids Lookoff offers an amazing view of the Shubenacadie River’s incoming tides.  The park offers lots of great spots to stop for a picnic, and bald eagles are often spotted in the area!

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4. Pomquet Beach

230.8 km away (2 h 22 min)

Located in the Northumberland Shore region, Pomquet Beach National Park spans over 405.6 acres, with a 3 kilometer stretch of white sandy beaches and sloping dunes.  Swimming is supervised in the months of July and August, and multiple well maintained boardwalks wind through the park.

via @madison_murphy116

5. Rushton’s Beach

150 km away (1 h 43 min)

Rushton’s Beach Provincial Park is famous for its warm water and sprawling sand bars.  Only 46.7 acres in size, Rushton’s is a great place to explore at low tide!

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6. Cape Smokey

430.9 km away (4 h 36 min)

A popular rest spot for those hiking along the Cabot Trail, Cape Smokey National Park sits atop Smokey Mountain and offers some incredible coastal views.  Drive out to Cape Smokey and spend the day hiking along some incredible peaks!

via @natalie.callan

7. Cabots Landing

474.7 km away (5 h 36 min)

A little further outside the city than Cape Smokey, Cabots Landing Provincial Park is also within Cape Breton, and spans only 21.3 acres.  The 3 kilometer beach here offers a beautiful view of the Pollets Cove-Aspy Fault Wilderness Area, and is a great spot to hike and fish.

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8. Uisge Bàn Falls

355.9 km away (3 h 50 min)

Head out to Usige Ban Falls next time you’re looking to do an epic hike in Nova Scotia!  There’s an amazing 1.5 kilometer trail that winds through this provincial park and brings hikers to a 15-meter waterfall in the middle of a granite gorge.

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9. Sand Hills Beach

247.1 km away (2 h 56 min)

A beautiful 2.5 kilometer beach sits along the coast of this 233.79 acre provincial park.  Shallow sand bars and warm swimming water make this a popular spot to visit in the summer.

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10. Arisaig

201.3 km away (2 h)

One of the most unique landscapes in Nova Scotia, Arisaig Provincial Park has well maintained hiking trails during the summer months and cross country skiing trails all winter.  The unique geology of the park has been known to produce interesting fossils over four million years old.

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11. Taylor Head

102.5 km away (1 h 25 min)

There’s a 6 kilometer peninsula within the 2 thousand acre Taylor Head Provincial Park that stretches out onto the Atlantic Ocean which visitors can hike and kayak along.  One of the most popular parks in Nova Scotia, Taylor Head is famous for its beautiful coastline and secret beaches.

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12. Port Maitland Beach

310.1 km away (3 h 7 min)

From the hiking trails of Port Maitland Provincial Park visitors can access almost 1 kilometer of white sandy beaches that line the Yarmouth & Acadian shores.  Swimming is supervised here during July and August.

via @scotianstateofmind

13. Smugglers Cove

292.7 km away (3 h 1 min)

It is rumored that during the prohibition days of the early twentieth century this cove was used by rum smuggles to bring liquor into Nova Scotia.  The cove’s cliffs offer a beautiful view of this unique inlet.

via @jennaharvie

14. Mavillette Beach

308.2 km away (3 h 7 min)

Grassy sand dunes and a 1.5 kilometer beach wind along the shores of this 106.4 acre park.  Wide sand bars are perfect to walk along at low tide, and swimming is supervised here during the summer months.

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