Polly’s Cove is situated 2km away from the entrance to world-famous Peggy’s Cove, or just after West Dover on the left side of the road if coming from Halifax. It is easy to miss, since there are no signs, and there is only a dirt parking area big enough for a couple of cars. The only indication of the trailhead may be the other cars already parked or pulled over there.
Most people when they head out to this way only visit Peggy’s Cove, but I would highly recommend also visiting the nearby Polly’s Cove. You have plenty of room to explore, while also getting great expansive coastal views. Polly’s Cove is much less well known than Peggy’s Cove, so it’s not crowded with tourists and has lots of space to quietly enjoy the unique landscape. It’s a great area to explore by rock scampering, but take care not to disrupt the fragile eco-system found here in the granite coastal barrens. There can be soggy areas, so be sure to wear waterproof hikers preferably with ankle support due to the uneven nature of the granite.
While the trails are not difficult, they may not be for the inexperienced hiker as they are unmarked, include a number of obstacles, and at times involve climbing, uneven terrain, dangerously slippery rocks and getting your feet wet. Conditions can often be foggy and windy even compared to nearby areas.
Polly Cove Trail also features beautiful wild flowers. The trail is rated as moderate and primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash. The trail is fairly easy to follow and visitors are encouraged to stay on path so as not to disrupt the sensitive surrounding flora and fauna. The trail can be followed all the way to Peggy’s Cove and is suitable for year round use, however caution should be taken in the winter when snowfall levels are high and along the coastal edge.
This is by far the most breathtakingly beautiful trail along the coast that I have experienced. I could sit and listen to the surf for hours. I have gone quite a few times and hardly anyone else has ever been in the area.
This quiet spot offers the same rock-hopping opportunities and view of the Atlantic, but with none of the camera-toting tourists. Its boulder-strewn hills are largely barren of trees, and though some may describe this landscape as bleak, its feel of wildness and isolation offers a great escape. Take some time to sit by the water here and get mesmerized by the swaying seaweed.
The surrounding area is otherworldly, a mixture of peat, black spruce, boulders, and hardy plant life such as juniper, crowberry and pitcher plants. Boulders can be seen to be resting on hilltops, on other rocks, or in the middle of a peat field, where an ice field dropped them about 20,000 years ago. Lichen grows on stone surfaces, adding colour to the shades of grey of the granite.