Skyline Trail, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canada

Best Autumn Activities in Nova Scotia

Best Autumn Activities in Nova Scotia

Autumn is a wonderful time of year in Nova Scotia.

Best Autumn Activities in Nova Scotia

Autumn is a wonderful time of year in Nova Scotia. A slight chill in the air makes everything seem so fresh and clear. Tree canopies start to transform into gorgeous reds, yellows and oranges towards the end of September. And while the province provides a multitude of recreational, cultural and culinary opportunities throughout the summer, it does not slow down come fall. There is so much to see and do that we’ve compiled a list of some of the best activities that Nova Scotia has to offer throughout autumn.

Join in the Harvest!

In early fall, if you visit any farmers’ market you’ll be treated to the largest variety of produce compared to any other time of year. Late summer vegetables and fruit are still available and fall harvest treats, like apples, squash, pumpkins, pears and late season potatoes flood vendor stalls. The Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market showcases harvests from various pockets around the province. It is also fun to visit more rural roadside stands and farms. You can pick your own produce at various locations as well. For example, families, friends and couples like to go to Noggins Corner Farm in Greenwich (Annapolis Valley) to pick apples and their Halloween pumpkin. Numerous other u-pick farms are located around the province including Dempsey Corner Orchards in Aylesford (peaches, plums, pears, apples, squash and grapes), Gates U-Pick in Port Williams (pumpkins, pears and over 20 varieties of apples) and Rendell’s Farm in Point Aconi, Cape Breton (pumpkins).

Halifax Seaport Market on a busy Saturday (Photo: Scott Munn)

Halifax Seaport Market on a busy Saturday (Photo: Scott Munn)

Halloween Season

In Nova Scotia, Halloween is not limited to one night of the year. The province boasts a variety of activities from pumpkin festivals to haunted tours. All ages make it a tradition to visit River Breeze Farm because its haunted corn maze is set up differently ever year and is sure to fright. Kentville’s Pumpkin People Festival throughout October is also a popular event. The whole town is invaded with hilarious figures made of straw bodies and pumpkin heads.

Best Autumn Activities in Nova Scotia

Scarecrow festival (Photo: Scott Munn)

Experience the Fall Colours

Hiking and biking in Nova Scotia during the fall allows you to immerse yourself in sheer beauty as a spectrum of colours form the backdrop for your recreational pursuit. One popular trail is Cape Split just past Scots Bay, a 16-km trek (return) that hikers and mountain bikers both enjoy. Most of the trail is surrounded by woodland until you arrive to an open field overtop a cliff providing you with the most stunning views of the Bay of Fundy. On the drive up to Cape Split on Highway 358, be sure to stop at The Blomidon Look-off along the way. If you are staying in Halifax, there are numerous places to stroll, like Long Lake Provincial ParkShubie Park and Point Pleasant Park. Walking along their forested trails will make you forget you’re actually in the city.

There are also many scenic drives throughout the province to enjoy the trees’ new hues. One such place is Cape Breton’s Cabot Trail, considered one of the planet’s best drives any time of year. As you dip and climb throughout the Highlands flanked by rivers and ocean, you’ll marvel at the lush foliage transformed into warm tones.

Best Autumn Activities in Nova Scotia

Fall colors on the Cabot Trail, Cape Breton

Fall Festivals

If you decide to take a scenic drive around the Cabot Trail, you can time it so you’re there during the Celtic Colours International Festival in October. The world-famous event features hundreds of musicians and performers from across the globe. The largest Oktoberfest celebration east of Waterloo, Ontario takes place annually in Tatamagouche on the Sunrise Trail. During the last weekend of September, the town erupts with a festive Beer Garden, dancing, traditional German bands and delicious specialties, like schnitzel and cake. Finally, for wine connoisseurs and foodies, the Winery Association of Nova Scotia puts on the Fall Wine Festival every year from mid September to mid October. Various wineries, restaurants, cellars and farms throughout the province host a variety of events from grape stomps and tours to Iron Chef Competitions and winemakers’ dinners.

Fall is a wonderful season, whether you are visiting Nova Scotia for the first time or wish to experience something new in your home province. Take in the beauty of this time of year while celebrating the season’s bounty, attending fun-filled festivals and events and enjoying precious moments with family and friends.

Michelle Brunet

October 2012

You'll marvel at the lush foliage transformed into warm tones.

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