A Blustery Autumn Hike at Polly Cove Trail

It was a windy, grey Wednesday, just a few short days into freedom after 14 days of quarantine. If you’re not in the Atlantic Bubble, you may not know that anyone coming into the Atlantic provinces has to quarantine for 14 days before doing anything. I am appreciative of the rule and the security it brings, but 14 days sure are long. And because of that, one of my daydreams during quarantine was to run freely by the ocean. So as soon as we could, that’s exactly what we did.

Screenshot from Google Maps to show Polly Cove in relation to Halifax.

On that windy, grey Wednesday, Nick and I got in the car and headed to Polly Cove hiking trail for the first time. The hike is located 30-40 minutes outside of Halifax, on highway 333. Just 2km from Peggy’s Cove! If you go at a quiet time, parking will sneak up on you because it’s just a small gravel pit on the ocean side of the road. Once you’re there, there is an unmarked, overgrown path that you’ll walk to get onto the “main” trail. And once you emerge, it’s beautiful.

The landscape at Polly Cove is rugged and otherworldly.

When we emerged from the path, my breath was taken away by the view. The landscape at Polly Cove feels like that from another planet, or the moon. I love the ruggedness, the weird rock formations and how barren it feels. Especially if no one else is on the trail. When Nick and I were there, everything was shrouded in a thick fog, but not so thick that we couldn’t see the crashing waves.

A foggy but beautiful view of the ocean.

The Polly Cove trail loop is somewhere between 2.5-3km; however, it does not feel like a loop. There is a lot of freedom to explore many paths and frolic across the rocks in any direction. It is not the easiest trail, due to the varying terrain, but it’s good if you’re up for a challenge. We were there for just over an hour, but only because the wicked weather cut us short.

Despite milder weather conditions at home, the wind and rain were strong coming off the ocean at Polly Cove. We definitely were not dressed for a proper seaside hike in mid September. A word of advice: bring waterproof shoes, rain coats, extra socks and warm sweaters if you’re hiking Polly Cove in the fall… and no ballcaps! Nick had to hold onto his hat the entire hike (clearly we’re not yet accustomed to living back on the east coast).

Nick had to hold his hat the entire time to keep it from blowing off.

And I can’t confirm if this was a high or a low point for us during the hike, but we may have had to take shelter from the intense rain behind a rock, several times. Thankful for Polly Cove’s odd rock placements all over the trail!

Hiding from the wind and the rain! It actually helped.

Regardless of the occasionally harsh conditions, Polly Cove is a beautiful trail that you should visit if you want an adventure. Use your imagination to explore and don’t stick to any one path. Breathe in the ocean air, and let yourself be blown around by the wind. Just wear the right clothes and be open to anything, and I promise you’ll have a great time.

P.S. Have any awesome hike recommendations on the east coast? Let me know and I’ll add it to my list of trails to explore and write about.

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