My favourite places in At­lantic Canada

The Compass - - EDITORIAL - Rus­sell Wanger­sky Rus­sell Wanger­sky is TC Media’s At­lantic re­gional colum­nist. He can be reached at rus­sell.wanger­sky@tc.tc Twit­ter: @Wanger­sky.

As va­ca­tion plans loom, here are 10 of my favourite spots around the At­lantic re­gion, in no par­tic­u­lar or­der but all worth see­ing.

1. Ad­vo­cate Har­bour, N.S. — With the tide out and look­ing to­wards the fat bulk of Cape d’Or loom­ing in the dis­tance, there are few vis­tas that match this one for me. Get­ting there is also well worth it: the steep curves and hills of N.S. Route 209 head­ing from Parrs­boro and the flat plains of cul­ti­vated blue­berry farms are gorgeous, es­pe­cially if it’s the fall, post-frost, and the berry plants are cycling through their chang­ing colours

2. Rat­tling Brook Falls, on New­found­land’s Route 391 past King’s Point in western New­found­land — The falls are 800 feet high, and you can make your way up the front of them on a trail and a flight of stairs. For the more en­ter­pris­ing, there is a route (good luck) to the top of the falls on a par- tially marked trail that leaves an es­tab­lished snow­mo­bile trail above homes in the town. Ex­haust­ing climb, well worth the ef­fort.

3. Blo­mi­don, N.S. on the Pereau Road — There’s a fine red-sand beach that, at low tide, stretches for im­pos­si­ble miles to­wards the hori­zon. Its tide­pools, fine muck and sea life cry out for kids and buck­ets, and it’s a beach­comber’s de­light, too, stretch­ing for eas­ily walk­a­ble miles around cliffs with cliff swal­low bur­rows along the top edge. Nearby Scott’s Bay is a rock­hound’s de­light.

4. The beach at Jac­ques Cartier Pro­vin­cial Park on Route 12 north of Al­ber­ton, P.E.I. — Heck, a whole bunch of Route 12 run­ning north. There are plenty of beaches in P.E.I., but this beach boasts ev­ery­thing from fine sand to sweeps of shells that few small hands have yet gone through, back­ing onto quiet fields. A great spot for think­ing.

5. The bar­rens on Route 10 on New­found­land’s Avalon Penin­sula, head­ing for Por­tu­gal Cove South — Dot­ted with small ponds and wa­ter­courses, there’s lit­tle in the way of veg­e­ta­tion higher than about two feet tall, ex­cept for tress on the edges of rivers that have cut their way down through solid rock. A lit­tle foot ex­plo­ration can find wa­ter­falls, some­times cari­bou, and lit­er­ally not one other sin­gle hu­man be­ing.

6. All of P.E.I. Route 321, from the area of Cardross to the edge of Morell — It’s non-beach P.E.I. en­cap­su­lated in a short drive: mod­er­ate speeds, fields, farms, grass shoul­ders. I drive it ev­ery time I can, prefer­ably in sum­mer, win­dows down.

7. Grates Cove — a small fish­ing town on New­found­land’s Route 70, right at the top of the Avalon Penin­sula. Find the right spot on the Back Road, and you can look down at the gar­den lands where res­i­dents have walled in patch­works of plots us­ing mounds of stone pulled out of the cul­ti­vated ground. It’s a town nes­tled into a nat­u­ral break in the hills — and windswept is the per­fect de­scrip­tion.

8. At North­east Mar­ga­ree on Nova Sco­tia’s Cabot Trail — There is one spot, one brief spot, where the Mar­ga­ree River comes out of the hills to the east and turns right along the high­way, clear brown wa­ter cut­ting down through the pink­ish stone. The kind of place where you can sit and just watch the wa­ter. Around the next cor­ner, a vast river­ine grass­land val­ley. Gorgeous.

9. — Rush­ton’s Beach Pro­vin­cial Park, at Marshville on N.S. Route 6 — Near River John, the park and board­walk are a quiet respite on the way to a slightly more stony, but lovely, arc­ing beach, plus, you’re close to the Blue Sea Beach pro­vin­cial park, Tatamagouche and the Brule Shore’s fos­sils. It’s a great area to ex­plore.

10. And the last choice? An ob­vi­ous one, but at a not-ob­vi­ous time — The huge Stan­hope Beach in Prince Ed­ward Is­land, but not in sum­mer, when it’s filled with va­ca­tion­ers. No, I like it best in win­ter, the Na­tional Park shut down, the beach vast and empty and windswept, fine snow mix­ing with fine sand. A trea­sure. Your own choices? I’d love to hear about them.

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