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7 Amazing ways to explore the Northumberland Strait from Pictou’s doorstep.

Updated: Apr 7

The Northumberland Strait is a tidal body of water between Prince Edward Island and the coast of northern Nova Scotia. The Strait's shallow depths lend to warm water and is reportedly home to the warmest ocean water north of the Carolinas. For locals, the Strait is a way of life and home to a thriving commercial fishery during spring and fall. Come summer, locals flock to its sandy beaches, sail to its picturesque coves, and sport fish for mackerel and striped bass from local wharfs and shorelines.  Here’s seven amazing ways you can enjoy the Northumberland Strait right from Pictou’s doorstep. 




Go Beach Hopping. Take your pick from almost a dozen easily accessed Northumberland shore beaches within 30 minutes of Pictou. Provincial park beaches include Caribou/Munroes Island, Melmerby Beach, and Waterside Beach. Don’t forget to explore beaches off the beaten path like Lighthouse Beach located in the community of Pictou Landing First Nation, and Cove Road Beach in scenic Cape John.




Paddle or Pedal Pictou Harbour. Rent an inflatable kayak or pedal boat and explore the Pictou Harbour shoreline. The staff at the Hector Quay Visitors Marina will provide you a safety briefing, tutorial, life vest and a map for a safe voyage.




Discover The Strait on a Lobster Boat. At the end of fishing season, lobster fishermen transform their boats into family pleasure crafts, and spend summer days sailing to sandy coves for swimming, mackerel fishing, sand bar exploring, picnics, and beach walks. They welcome you to become apart of their traditions on a Discover The Strait boat tour.




Fish for Stripers at Sunset.

Experience guided fishing for for Atlantic Striped Bass on the beautiful beaches and shorelines of the Northumberland Strait. Whether you're a first timer or an experienced angler, there is no bad day of Striped Bass fishing with Stripers of The Strait. Sunrise and sunset are preferred times to get the bigger stripers who feed at night. 



Meet the Seals.

Hop aboard Captain Chris’s pontoon boat for a 90 minute cruise and an up-close and personal experience with harbour seals in their natural setting.  Along the way, Chris will share local history and stunning scenery. Book a tour with Nova Scotia Family Fun Boat Tours.




Cruise or Stroll the Jitney Trail.

Located on the Pictou waterfront, walkers and cyclists can enjoy a 3 km trail that leads to the site where the ship Hector made its historic landing in 1773.  Cruiser bikes are available for rent at the Hector Quay Visitors Marina, just steps away from the trail head.




Take a Ferry to Pictou Island For over 100 years, the Pictou Island Ferry has transported islanders and visitors across the 7.5 km crossing from Caribou Wharf on the mainland to Pictou Island.  Visitors to Pictou Island can enjoy unpopulated beaches, hiking trails, wildlife, and stunning views.  There are very few vehicles on the island, but rentable cruiser bikes on the island will get you where you want to go.  Take a day trip,  camp or stay in a bed and breakfast. Book your ferry crossing with Pictou Island Charters.


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