Chester Tourism / Experience / Ocean Paddling

Ocean Paddling

Municipality of Chester

Everyone must believe in something.

I believe I’ll go kayaking.

The waters of Mahone Bay and St Margaret’s Bay offer world class paddling opportunities. The water is relatively shallow compared to the offshore depths, and small fish are still abundant enough to attract larger predators such as bald eagles, ospreys, tuna, and harbour porpoises.

The shallowness also means that near shore swells are rarely too large, but mixed with the prevailing southwest summer winds and the tides, these factors can accumulate to pose greater challenges. Know your skill level and paddle within it. Early morning and late afternoon, when the winds are calmer, are ideal times to venture out on the water.

One of the most exciting times to paddle is at night, when on a clear evening you can see the Milky Way from horizon to horizon and the phosphorescence in the water lights up every paddle stroke.

The Municipality of Chester owns four islands. The most accessible of these is Clay Island. It has a small picnic site on the western side. (please note no camping permitted.) It is a drumlin which is characteristic of the geology of the area, it has a lovely yellow birch stand on the hill, and you can walk the sand and rocky shoreline all the way around. Watch for a few examples of mollusc fossils in some of the rocks on the southern end.

Kayak rentals and instruction are available from several outfitters in the area. Remember that all of the islands, except those noted on the map below, are privately owned and many of them have private residences.

Consult the Nova Scotia Water Trail site and the Paddle Lunenburg-Queens Guidebook for more detailed information.

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