Ovens Natural Park Sea Cave Trail and Campgrounds Nova Scotia

My first outing after the long road trip to Bridgewater Nova Scotia turned into a day trip touring a bit of the South Shore area with a stop at Ovens Natural Park. I enjoyed the views from atop the cliffs and the interpretive sea cave trail. In addition there is a café as well as campground, cabin rental, RV park, and a beach located at Ovens Natural Park.

 

The Ovens Natural Park sign and map of campground

The Ovens Natural Park sign and map of campground

 

Driving from Bridgewater to Ovens Natural Park only takes 30 minutes, if you’re driving from Halifax it should take about 1 hour 20 minutes.

For hours and fees see the visitor info at the bottom of this article.

 

Ovens Natural Park cliff trail Riverport Nova Scotia Canada

Ovens Natural Park cliff trail

 

Cunard’s Beach gold panning

Did you know that in 1861 there was a gold rush in Nova Scotia? After gold was discovered along the coast a boom of prospectors created a town of over 600 people.

A plaque at the site states that lots sold for as much as $4,800 in the gold rush days. Only 3 years later the boom went bust but looking towards the sea from the parking lot I noticed people panning for gold.

 

Panning for gold at Cunard's Beach Nova Scotia Canada

Panning for gold at Cunard’s Beach

 

During the peak of the gold rush the town included hotels, stores, and a bank although all the buildings are gone now. There is a gold rush museum at the Ovens Natural Park and you can rent a gold pan to see if you can strike it rich panning for gold at Cunard’s Beach.

 

Sea Cave Trail and Cunard's Beach signage at Ovens Natural Park Nova Scotia

Sea Cave Trail and Cunard’s Beach signage

 

 

Creating the Ovens Natural Park

Ovens Natural Park is privately owned land, the Chapin family (relatives of singer Harry Chapin) now owns and operates the park.

In 1935 Oscar Young acquired much of the land that makes up the Ovens Natural Park, although more land was purchased in the 1980’s bringing the park to a total of 190 acres.

 

Staircases down the cliff to view caves at Ovens Natural Park Nova Scotia

Staircases down the cliff to view caves at Ovens Natural Park

 

Ovens Natural Park trail

To the left of the parking area is the starting point for the Ovens Natural Park cliff trail interpretive tour.

Ovens Natural Park trail is 1.1 km (about 2/3 of a mile) out and back trail along the top of a cliff. There are several staircases leading to a tunnel and viewing points to the sea caves. This is an easy hike for all ages.

This east coast hike is way different than the mountain hikes of Alberta and turquoise colored lakes.

 

Bench with a seaside view at the Ovens Natural Park

Bench with a seaside view at the Ovens Natural Park

 

Indian Ovens legend

According to the handout I received the site is referred to as Indian Ovens on the earliest maps of the area. Legend has it that a Mi’kmaq brave entered a cave in his canoe and traveled an underwater passageway to appear on the other side of Nova Scotia in Annapolis.

 

Waterfront RV park in Nova Scotia

Waterfront RV park in Nova Scotia

 

Looking out to the Atlantic Ocean you can see Ovens Reef to the right, where the ocean waves are breaking. Several ships ran aground in the 1800’s including the Pioneer in 1878, the Hope in 1881, the Scud in 1882, and the B.C. Smith in 1891.

 

View of ocean from Tucker's Tunnel at Ovens Natural Park Nova Scotia

View of ocean from Tucker’s Tunnel at Ovens Natural Park

 

Leading the way to Tucker’s Tunnel a sign above the stairs reads “Enter at your own risk” but you can’t crawl inside the tunnel. Seems not much risk involved. Still cool to look into the old gold mining tunnel.

 

Dramatic cliffs overlooking the sea in Nova Scotia

Dramatic cliffs overlooking the sea

 

Continuing along the trail there are some great look-out points with dramatic views of the waves crashing along the rocky coast, the blowhole, thunder cave, and Young’s cave.

Thunder cave is aptly named as it does sound like a clap of thunder when the waves hit.

 

Cave opening at Ovens Natural Park in Riverport Nova Scotia

Cave opening at Ovens Natural Park

 

View of Lunenburg historic town

At the end of the trail looking across Lunenburg Bay you can see the historic town of Lunenburg. It’s a nice short 20-minute drive from the Ovens to Lunenburg and worth a visit to the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

 

Seaside view of Lunenburg from across the Lunenburg Bay

Seaside view of Lunenburg from across the Lunenburg Bay

 

Walking back to the parking lot I noticed the building housing the showers and washrooms for the campground.

Visiting in the evening you can catch live music from 8 pm until closing on Tuesday to Sunday from June to September.

 

Seaside view from the cafe patio at Ovens Natural Park Nova Scotia

Seaside view from the cafe patio at Ovens Natural Park

 

 

Visitor info Ovens Natural Park Nova Scotia

Address

326 Ovens Road, Riverport Nova Scotia

Telephone

902-766-4621

Admission fee day visitors pass

  • $10 adults
  • $5 seniors (65+)
  • $5 children (5 – 15)
  • FREE for children under 5
  • $8 per person for groups of 15 or more

All prices are in Canadian dollars and do not include sales tax.

Hours

8:30 am to dusk from May 11, 2018 to October 18, 2018

 

Can I bring my dog?

Dogs are allowed but must always be on leash

 

Camping site at the Ovens Park in Riverport Nova Scotia

Camping site at the Ovens Park

 

Ovens Natural Park campgrounds

Rates

  • $35 per night – per tent and includes up to 2 adults and 3 children
  • $235 weekly rate and $900 monthly rate (per tent)
  • $12 per additional adult with maximum of 4 adults per site
  • $6 per additional child
  • $5 per pet
  • One vehicle allowed per campsite
  • $7.50 per additional vehicle

All prices are in Canadian dollars and do not include sales tax.

Check-in and check-out times

  • Check-in time is 1 pm and check-out time is 11 am

Amenities

  • Hot showers
  • Flush toilets
  • Swimming pool

For more into check out the Ovens Natural Park website or the Nova Scotia tourism website.

 

Nova Scotia Ovens Natural Park cliff trail of sea caves

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About the Author

Susan Moore's first solo travel experience was traveling around SE Asia for 7 months in 1993. It was life changing and extraordinary. Currently Susan is living a nomadic life, working and roadtripping around the USA and Canada. Read all about Susan » You can reach Susan Moore at Facebook or Twitter or Instagram

4 Comments

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  1. Julia Dent says:

    It looks gorgeous there!! I’ve been to Canada a few times, and Nova Scotia is the next on my list!

    • Susan Moore says:

      Julia I hope you will LOVE Nova Scotia as much as I do! So much fun exploring the coastal towns, hiking, beaches, super friendly people. I’m off on another scenic drive today to Cape Sable Island. Craving seafood and sandy beaches today. Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

  2. Wendy Bowe says:

    Great write up on the Ovens Susan. You’ve captured it well. I can’t think of a better view to park an RV!! I’m happy to hear that your stay has had so many adventures.

    • Susan Moore says:

      Hi Wendy, thanks for reading my blog and thanks for your comment. I just drove back from Cape Breton today, another great adventure in Nova Scotia! I spent 3 nights and did some great hikes, will post about the trip soon. I have so much catching up to do with writing and editing photos. Sorry for the delay in replying to your comment but I was busy hiking and walking on the beach and internet was intermittent :)

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