From stunning saltwater coasts to serene forests and freshwater lakes, Chester and its surrounding areas are an outdoor lover’s paradise. Whether it’s the high octane rush of sailing at sea you crave, or a casual weekend of camping, hiking and fishing, there is truly something special in the fresh air here.
This beautiful provincial park is an ocean-side island campground, joined to the mainland by a short causeway. Graves Island has long been a popular vacation spot for visitors and a perfect base for outdoor adventurers like ocean kayaking and biking along the South Shore, as well as day tripping to the area’s nearby attractions. Located on Route 3, just 3 km east of the Village of Chester and west of Exit 7 on Highway #103, Graves Island features 84 camp sites, walking trails, picnic and swimming areas, and a boat launch. The park also offers WI-FI service to stay connected and runs from May through October each year. http://www.novascotiaparks.ca/parks/graves.asp
Join in on the world’s longest running treasure hunt! The legendary mystery of the Oak Island “Money Pit” began in 1795, when three boys discovered unmistakable proof that someone had buried something deep in the ground. For centuries, seekers have tried find the buried mystery which, according to theories, could contain Captain Kidd’s treasure or connections to the Holy Grail. The Oak Island legend has recently experienced resurgence in popularity and is currently being filmed for a History Channel television series. For tour information go to http://www.friendsofoakisland.com/main/.
Rails to Trails:
In the Chester area, discover tales of treasure and artisans who craft treasures of their own. The Chester Connection Trail connects East River, through Western Shore and Oak Island, to Chester. This 35km section of trail includes the East River Bridge over quiet, meandering pools and the Martin’s River Bridge, a dramatic span that connects us to the Dynamite Trail section to the west.
The village of Chester, founded in 1759 by New England Planters, showcases sailing, stately homes, magnificent gardens and a relaxed lifestyle where the scenic beauty will capture your heart. Enjoy marvelous restaurants, boutiques, art galleries and craft shops.
The Aspotogan Trail (11km) connects Hubbards’ restaurants, gift shops, and accommodations to East River. The Aspotogan Trail section is a peaceful cycle through woods and lakeside picnic spots. Cyclists who are comfortable biking on roads may wish to take a scenic detour around the Aspotogan Pennisula loop, popular with local cyclists for its coastal views, photogenic fishing villages, sandy beaches, cafés, and a mysterious castle on the shores of Southwest Cove.
Together, The Chester Connection and Aspotogan Trails are part of the Rum Runners Trail (119km) that connects Halifax and Lunenburg (www.rumrunnerstrail.ca).
If you’re looking for a truly unique Nova Scotia experience, hop on the ferry to the remote island of Tancook. Just across the water from Chester, Tancook Island is a one-of-a-kind spot with a rustic, untouched charm all its own. Only 3 miles long with a population of 125, you can easily pack a picnic, enjoy the views and explore the island’s many pathways – by foot or by bike! Before heading back home, stop into the island’s museum, craft shop or gallery. However you choose to spend the day here, Tancook is the perfect little Nova Scotia escape and what the locals call their very own secret treasure! http://www.tancookislandtourism.ca/
If you’ve never cycled the Aspotogan Peninsula or kayaked in Mahone Bay, then Freewheeling Adventures is a must-try! Whichever mode you choose, this is a spectacular way to experience the unique beauty of Chester and its surrounding areas. From Hubbards to Lunenburg, East River to Chester and quiet coastal lanes to Mahone Bay, visitors can easily spend days exploring fascinating new places by bike, boat and foot. Whether you’re seasoned cyclist or casual novice, the Aspotogan Peninsula is a stunning 52 km loop, accessible from Hubbards (about 40 minutes from Halifax). The Aspotogan Peninsula is packed full of pretty curves, fishing villages and side roads with beautiful beaches, and lovely cafés to enjoy. Local company Freewheeling Adventures uses premium equipment and outstanding local characters to deliver rental bicycles and kayaks, or guide you on a multisport holiday. http://www.freewheeling.ca/
When sun, sand and a relaxed day by the water are what you crave, Bayswater Beach and Picnic Park may be exactly what you need. Located along route 329 on the western shore of St. Margaret’s Bay, Bayswater Beach is a pristine long sandy beach with calm waters, a freshwater pond and a picnic area with outdoor barbecue pits, and change areas. Also, a bit further down from the beach sits one of the two memorial sites from the Swissair 111 disaster of 1998. The memorial holds the names of those who perished in the tragic airline crash. And don’t forget to check out Freda’s Beach and Meisner Beach for a more intimate beach experience.
Exploring nature’s watery wonders is one of our favourite things to do here. Canoe or kayak along the seacoast, bays, inlets, lakes and rivers and with so many to choose from you’re sure to find the perfect channel for your expertise. Either bring your own craft or simply rent one while you’re here. http://www.kayakshack.ca/
We may be best known for our stunning coastlines and water adventures, but we also love the great game of golf! The charming Village of Chester, renowned for its sailing, stately homes and relaxed seaside lifestyle has a beautiful 18-hole, par 70 course at the Chester Golf Club. This is one of the scenic golf courses in Nova Scotia with stunning ocean views. If you’re looking for a good challenge, Sherwood offers an exquisite balance of nature and golf. The 1000+ acre property is home to many forms of wildlife and houses some of Nova Scotia’s most beautiful landscapes. Go to http://www.eden.travel/sherwood and https://www.chestergolfclub.ca/for more information.