Cindy Kimber

Located just east of the bridgehead of the Confederation Bridge in Nova Scotia is the Cape Jourimain Nature Center. On the grounds accompanying the nature center building are three nature trails for hikers. The trails are rated easy and range from 2 km to 6 km in length.

 Cape Journmain’s wetlands were cut off from the strait during the highway’s construction in the 1960s, creating this diverse wildlife habitat. The Nature Center features this wildlife of birds, plants, mammals and insects in its exhibit hall “A Tale of Two Islands.” A gift shop featuring works by local artisans and a café round out this eco-friendly center. Parking is free, as is entry to the nature center.

We started with the 2 km loop hike to the historic lighthouse — great views of the bridge and Northumberland Strait along the way. The Gunning Trail was next to be hiked. This 2.5 km trail passes under the first arch of the bridge, leading to Jourimain’s rugged and wind-battered western point. We walked past the site of a former lobster canning plant and on to a brackish marsh. 

The last trail, Trenholm Trail, takes you through the saltwater marshes on a 6 km loop. The prospect of encounters of the close kind with mosquitoes and horseflies dissuaded us from taking on this last trail. 

Instead, the gift shop and cafe took on a luring appeal and captured us.