Great Vacation Discoveries

What stands out about your stay at Gladee's?

Our guests say.. the natural surroundings can't be beat. The walk to the end of Hirtle's Beach and the hike through the woods on Gaff Point will always have a special place in their memories

I recently walked to the point with my wife, Suzanne, and her sister. It was a lovely afternoon, perfect for taking lots of photos.

We start the day by parking the car, then making our way down the volunteer-built boardwalk. We're welcomed by hundreds of names carved on the pathway of planks. They applaud the efforts of those who donated time or money towards protecting this well-loved beach.

boardwalk on hirtles beach

At the end of the boardwalk, we come to the lovely natural lake called Romkey's Pond. Swimmers and waders of all ages find enjoyment there. It has a nice sandy bottom, there's a shoal on one end for the kids and a deep area farther out for swimmers.

From there, we walk over round, smooth rocks to the beach's edge. The lake and ocean are so close together, many follow a cool, refreshing dip in the ocean with a jump into the warmer lake waters.

Nova Scotia beach

We continue along Hirtle's Beach. The tide is out, with only a scattering of smooth, round pebbles marking the way. The water is so clear and the two mile stretch of sand feels good on our bare feet.

We head out towards Gaff Point, a pristine, protected, wilderness park accessible by foot. No driving here! That's what makes it such a special destination, you have to work for it as part of your relaxing day at the beach. It is almost a mile to Gaff Point, but it is a lovely walk.

By the sea

On our approach to Gaff, we see enormous mounds of rocks. Over time, they're polished to a smooth, round finish by the incredible surf.I climb up the high bank and view the remarkable seascape.

beach rocks

After surveying the area, I slide down the rolling stones to the sandy beach.

Traveling onward, we come to the end of Hirtle's Beach. Here we are at our destination... Gaff Point...

hike to Gaff

There is a wealth of wildlife to see. Upon our arrival, we spy a Great Blue Heron standing in the gentle rolling surf, trying his luck at piercing an unsuspecting fish with his long sharp beak.

We press on, climb the bank....

Hirtles beach

.... and look back at the marvelous distant view of Hirtle's beach. We turn and starting walk through the woods ....

wildlife trail

.....a path leads us farther into Gaff Point's beauty. The smell of weathered spruce trees,ferns, low bush blueberries and under-brush mingles with the sea's salty, moist air, releasing a wonderful mixed scent which brings to mind many other happy days.


The walk though the woods opens up to another breathtaking bay and view of Hirtle's. We delight in watching sea ducks with their young paddling among the waves below....

Unspoiled bay at Gaff Point

The next part of our journey is for the adventurer in us all. Most of us yearn for that sense of discovery. The changing viewscape of Gladee's and the area offers much that is memorable to locals and visitors alike. Even Gaff holds some secrets in its midst -- ones that are told to our guests. Rest assured, for most, if not all, it was a highlight of their trip! One group traveled back again and again. Perhaps one day you will have tales of Gaff Point to tell as well.

And so, we end our day fully refreshed, satisfied with the knowledge of time well spent. It is great to be a local. I can enjoy this every week if I have the inclination -- and the time! Gaff never fails to give me the thrill and excitement of discovery, like a traveler going to a foreign land for the first time. I think this area is that wonderful and all our guests agree.

The other day, from Gladee's kitchen window, we saw whales close to shore feeding on a school of herring. It hardly ever happens, but it's a glorious sight when it does.

There were 30 plus deer in the fields last spring. They stayed there for weeks and were out almost every day. One was even spotted on the dunes between Hirtle's Beach and Gladee's lake. Deer sightings are common all year round, especially at dawn and dusk.

Our community is a great place to see wildlife and experience that rare moment when something special comes your way. Join us for a wonderful time of discovery. I'm sure you'll uncover a secret or two yourself!!

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