|The Brier Island Coastal Trail crosses 4 km of gently rolling seaside meadows and wide open beach within the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s Brier Island Nature Reserve.
One end of the trail starts at the picturesque red and white striped Western Light at Western Point – aptly named when you consider it the most westerly point of land in Nova Scotia.
Western Light is at 720 Lighthouse Road. The Pond Cove end of the trail is at 538 Gull Rock Road.
The trail offers spectacular coastal scenery, lots of wildflowers and fantastic bird watching in season. Seals are a regular sight along this shore and whales can often be seen spouting in the distance.
The beach at Little Pond Cove is pebbly rock and Big Pond Cove is fine white sand.
The NCC established the Brier Island Nature Reserve in 1988 and in total protects 1,200 acres (485 hectares) along the western side of Brier Island. The island is located on the Atlantic Flyway and more than 300 species of birds have been recorded here. NCC and local groups hold regular beach cleanups to keep the reserve clean of marine debris that might harm shorebirds.
The reserve includes the Big Meadow Bog, to the north east of this trail. The Brier Island Trail Society is working on a new trail into the bog from Westport. The bog is a rich habitat for many birds and several rare plants, such as the eastern mountain avens, a globally rare plant, found in only two regions of the world: on Brier and nearby islands, and in New Hampshire. To help conserve the avens, NCC and other conservation partners are undertaking a bog restoration project to reverse impacts caused by attempts to turn the bog into farmland many years ago.
The Nature Conservancy of Canada is a national non-profit land conservation organization, and they ask that you enjoy the nature reserve but be respectful of its protected status.