Autumn is awesome
SHUNPIKING MAGAZINE / SEPTEMBER, 1999 Vol. 4, No. 6 Issue 29
Revised October 2003
Guide by Deannie Sullivan-Pierce [N.S. Leaf Watch]
Leaf illustrations by Elizabeth Owen [Courtesy N.S. Museum of Natural History]
Map by Tony Seed / New Media Services Inc.



Fall – Nature’s masterpiece. Despite clear-cutting of its forests, Nova Scotia still hosts an amazing spectacle of autumn leaf colour. From the striking orange-yellow maple hills and the brilliant reds of the blueberry fields to the subtle yellows of the bogs and salt marshes, the stunning vistas highlighted on our map are easily reached, and offer the fall shunpiker a full palette of unforgettable experiences. (The Editors)

1 Arcadia
The boardwalk in Uktobok Trail in Arcadia passes through twelve distinct habitats offering gentle fall colours.

2 Ellenwood Provincial Park
Known for its lush hardwood forests and bogs, this park, with its recreational facilities, is a tranquil picnic area.

3 Meteghan
Smuggler’s Cove Park offers great fall sunsets from either the cliff or the beach.

4 Belliveau Cove
Marshes and bogs provide gentle colour along 5 km of coastal boardwalk.

5 Digby
Ferry patrons are saluted by towering hardwoods of Beamish Mountain as they pass through Digby Gut.

6 Bear River
Brilliant hardwood hills reflect in the tidal Bear River.

7 Bridgetown
Located north of Bridgetown on North Mountain, Valleyview Provincial Park provides a panoramic view of the western end of the Annapolis Valley.

8 Aylesford
Along the North Mountain, the southern brow is coloured by mixed hardwoods.

9 Kentville Ravine Trail
At the Agricultural Research Station is a walking trail where you can observe American chestnuts, walnuts, native cherries, mountain-ash and alder, as well as several species of ferns.

10 Hall’s Harbour
Bay of Fundy village features steep cliffs capped with groves of hardwoods and softwoods.

11 The Lookoff (N of Canning)
From atop The Lookoff, panora-mas of the beautiful Minas Basin await, with vistas of valley farms and patchwork fields.

12 Smith’s Corner
This vista, located on Route 14 between Martock and Vaughn, will inspire the photographer in you, with rolling hills clad with aspen, birch and red maple.

13 Rawdon
Off the McCarthy Road, along a stream bed are maple trees with leaves which turn reddish-bronze and cover the stream, creating a picturesque effect.

14 Walton Lighthouse & Lookout
This vista, featuring hardwoods accented by mud flats, provides you with an excellent view of Cape Blomidon’s fall colours.

15 Burntcoat Head Park
This park features hardwoods, among a series of gentle trails, and a great view of incoming and outflowing tides.

16 Shubenacadie
From Shubenacadie to Maitland, contrasting shades of maples, blueberry fields and green conifers, as well as the yellows of the bogs and wetlands, will capture your attention.

17 Economy
Splashes of hardwood colour frame the everchanging Economy Falls, making this vista worth the short drive in on the River Philips Road.

18 Five Islands
Driving over Economy Mountain, stunning hardwood and softwood colour contrasts with the red of the sandstone and mudflats.

19 Kirkhill
Hardwoods and softwoods add dotted colour throughout this vista of Parrsboro. On a good day you can see across to Cape Blomidon.

20 Cape Chignecto Peninsula
Roadside blueberry fields are ablaze with colour. Cape Chignecto Provincial Park, overlooking the Bay of Chignecto and Minas basin, provides picnickers with a spot to enjoy the colourful hardwoods which dapple the Red Spruce forest.

21 Amherst
At low tide, red mud contrasts against the yellow grasses of the Tantramar Marsh.

22 Fenwick
Located between Amherst and Springhill, Fenwick Ridge offers a vista of maples, Yellow Birch, Red Spruce, and some ash.

23 Wentworth
The Wentworth Valley, featuring scarlet blueberry fields, is adorned by deciduous slopes at Wentworth Centre. Vistas include Swallow Hill, at the Transfer Station site, and High Head, the highest point at Ski Wentworth, from where, on a clear day, the Confederation Bridge to PEI is visible.

24 Wallace
From the Livingstone Bridge, located over the Wallace Harbour, you can admire tree-lined marshlands and the rich colours of Wallace Bay. To the south, the village houses dotted along the shore are contrasted against the vibrant colours of the fall.

25 Balmoral Mills
Vistas at the Balmoral Grist Mill Museum boast colourful hardwood foliage, reflecting in the mill pond.

26 Mount Thom
On the south side of Hwy 104, hundreds of rolling acres of blueberry fields turn a stunning red after a frost.

27 Greenhill
This look-off and nearby park offer a kaleidoscope of colour with the variety of hardwoods and panoramic view of farmlands and Pictou Harbour.

28 Marshy Hope
Brilliant hardwood colour lines this steep-sided valley along Hwy 104.

29 Cape George
Follow the shore road, route 337, where the reds and oranges of maple and yellows of aspen contrast with evergreens on this steep descent into Ballantyne’s Cove.

30 Pomquet
Admire the colours of Nova Scotia’s finest example of dune succession from the boardwalk. This park supports a unique type of forest ecosystem, characterized by a mixture of colourful hardwoods and softwoods.

31 Mabou Salt Marsh
At high tide, you can admire the mirrored water as it reflects golden marsh grasses, verdant farm fields and rich hardwood colours.

32 Margaree Valley
Stop amongst the Hardwoods of Fielding Road and enjoy this grand view of the Margaree Valley.

33 Cap Le Moine
Long grasses, overlooking the ocean as they sway in the breezes, turn a wheat colour in autumn, creating a memorable vista.

34 French Mountain
Located in Cape Breton Highlands National Park, a boardwalk through this bog offers you spots of colour at eye level.

35 Pleasant Bay
The Lone Shieling site is the oldest Sugar Maple forest in North America. This spectacular vista is on a pleasantly cool and easy walking trail, which circles a crofter’s cabin amidst the tall maples, birches and beeches. Carpets of moss and golden ferns complete a pristine fall interlude. Truly an autumn paradise.

36 Cape North
Colourful hardwoods on the towering arrow-straight Aspy fault line frame North Pond and Aspy Bay.

37 Cape Smokey
Consider a trip up the chair lift at Ski Cape Smokey for optimal foliage viewing, as the Cabot Trail winds hundreds of feet up through the yellows and reds of birch and maple, past fall bogs and hidden blueberry patches.

38 Kelly’s Mountain
Enjoy this panoramic view of the sparking St. Ann’s Bay, framed by hardwood hillsides, with occasional deep green softwood stands.

39 Long Island
A panoramic view creates a lovely image, with St. Andrew’s Channel and the hardwood-clad island of Boularderie in the distance.

40 Kennington Cove
Known for its raised bogs and its rare Arctic-alpine species of blueberry. This storm-etched shore line also features fens, which harbour rare sedges and tiny, elusive curly-grass fern.

41 North Side East Bay
This group of islands, framed by the Bras d’Or Lakes with hardwood hills rolling behind, is a spray of bright fall colours.

42 Irish Cove Look-Off & Provincial Park
While picnicking, enjoy this scenic look-off onto East Bay and Big Bras d’Or Lake.

43 Martinique
This scenic vista overlooks Isle Madame and Lennox Passage, offering a striking view of wetlands, water and hardwoods.

44 Dundee-West Bay
Enjoy the islands and inland hardwood hills as you walk up the hillside for a panoramic view of West Bay.

45 Marble Mountain
A spectacular view of a patchwork of islands is framed by the Bras d’Or Lake and backed by the brilliant hardwoods of Marble Mountain.

46 Salt Mountain
A short hike up this trail will lead you to a panoramic vista of Whycocomagh, the sparkling Bras d’Or Lake, hardwood-covered islands and hillsides.

47 Boylston Provincial Park
The look-off at the entrance to this park offers a wide vista of mixed wood, which reflects off the water to create a picturesque autumn image.

48 Lundy
At Lundy take the Fire Tower Road to Lundy barrens. Purples, reds of wild raisin and blueberry contrast with grey granite boulders and green of the bogs.

49 Stillwater
Hardwood slopes add drama to yellows and browns of flood-plain grasses.

50 Liscomb Mills
A trail system begins at Liscombe Lodge and crosses a hanging bridge with spectacular view of a 20-metre waterfall, accented by a canopy of evergreens, including spruce, pine, and hemlocks, often threaded with lichen.

51 Liscomb Game Sanctuary
Just above the south entrance, you will see red maples in scattered softwood at the bridge over Fifteen Mile Stream.

52 Sheet Harbour
From the boardwalk along the West River at MacPhee House Museum and Falls, enjoy the mix of hardwoods, greens and flowing water.

53 Dean
The blueberry fields of Dean turn a brilliant red at harvest time.

54 Clam Harbour Prov. Park
Ripe red cranberries are a pleasant discovery among the off-whites of Beach Grass and sand.

55 Head of Jeddore
Hardwood and spruce crown cliffs which are reflected in the Salmon River, opposite a spectacular view of Jeddore Harbour.

56 Elderbank
Put your canoe in at Elderbank Picnic Park and enjoy the colourful trees reflecting in the lazy Musquodoboit River.

57 Chezzetcook (between East & West)
Grasses of the salt marshes turn golden yellow in the fall.

58 Laurie Park
With paths manageable by even the shortest of toddler legs, this park, located on Grand Lake, features crimson Sugar Maples, sunny Yellow Birches and golden Beeches.

59 Mount Uniacke
Take in fall’s splendour along the walking trails of Uniacke Estate Museum Park as you wind through mixed wood splashed with Red Maple and along the shoreline of several lakes edged in huckleberries.

60 Halifax
Several lovely vistas scatter the city with colour! The university campuses each display an array of colourful hardwoods. Stroll through the Halifax Public Gardens, with its native and ornamental plants as well as the various parks, such as Point Pleasant, Hemlock Ravine and Shubie. On Citadel Hill, capture the city vistas in all their autumn splendour.

62 Prospect
The purple-reds of the raised bogs lead the eye into the coastal village of Prospect.

63 New Ross
Learn about the colourful trees while you enjoy a horse-and-wagon ride at Ross Farm.

64 Mahone Bay
Three churches flanked by hardwood colour, nestled in fall shades, are a photographer’s delight.

64 Blue Rocks
Blue-coloured slate rocks are accented by vibrant yellows of lichen and seaweeds, and reds of the huckleberry.

65 Wentzells lake
When the water is still, the lake mirrors the colourful spectacle of the hardwood hills.

66 Falkland ridge
The Falkland Ridge Loop, just off Hwy 10, boasts incredible vistas of hardwood colour.

67 Crescent Beach
Buff and yellow grasses grace large stretches of sand.

68 Kejimkujik National Park
Red Maple floodplains beside Kejimkujik’s visitor centre previews the stunning colour to be discovered in the park.

69 Milton
Located near the Milton Blacksmith Shop, this bridge over the Mersey River offers a picture-perfect array of fall colour.

70 Port Joli
Wheat-coloured grasses, bright yellow seaweed are foreground for great flocks of migratory birds at Port Joli Bird Sanctuary.

71 Sable River / Jordan Falls
The reds of huckleberries offer long-lasting colour.

72 Sandy Point
Yellow and buff beach grasses of Sandy Point Beach Park in the foreground, with McNutt Island in the distance, make for a soothing ocean view.

73 Barrington
View the yellowing marsh grasses and Barrington River from five-storey-Seal Island Lighthouse Museum.

74 Wedgeport Nature Trail
This 5.4-km nature trail features soft palettes of coastal forest and barrier-beach pond, contrasting with mixed-wood forest and mud flats.

Fall Foliage Guide

The colours given for the leaves are a guide only, as many factors can influence colour change.

Birch, beech, poplar, elm and Witch-hazel turn yellow

Red oak, Mountain ash, blueberry and huckleberry turn red

Red and Sugar Maples turn yellow, red, orange or purple, depending on sunlight conditions

The orange-red of the vine, Virginia Creeper, is short-lived but brilliant

Grasses turn subtle shades of golden yellow

Ferns become golden yellow-brown

You can look for the bright red berries of the Highbush-cranberry, the gentler red of the rose hips, the orange to red berries of the Mountain-ash and the reddish-purple clusters of fuzzy Staghorn Sumac berries long after the leaves have dropped.

Fallen leaves continue to give colour interest, standing out either as bright notes against contrasting back-grounds or forming a mosaic carpet of colour and texture. Frost is autumn’s icing on the cake.


Keep up to date with weekly foliage reports by calling
The Leaf Watch: 1-877-353-LEAF [5323]
or by visiting the web site: http://explore.gov.ns.ca/leaf