Nova Scotia is the most populous of Canada’s four Atlantic provinces. It’s a popular visitor destination, especially in summer, known for its quiet fishing villages, beaches, fertile Annapolis Valley, and the spectacularly rugged Cape Breton Island. In this guide to running in Nova Scotia, we focus on some of the more popular visitor destinations, mainly along the coast. Note we have a separate guide for the Halifax metro area.
Just south of Halifax, there’s wonderful waterfront running in Blandford, Chester, Mahone Bay, and Lunenburg. On Nova Scotia’s west coast, we showcase several spots in the Annapolis Valley and the Bay of Fundy: Wolfville, Annapolis Royal, Digby, & more. Further south, some nice running in the ferry terminal town of Yarmouth. In Truro, we love running in Victoria Park. There are also good trails for running in Kejimkujik National Park. For Cape Breton Island, the commercial center of Sydney has some nice waterfront running. And although we don’t recommend running on the Cabot Trail scenic drive, there are some nice spots in Ingonish, Chéticamp, and the Celtic Shores Coastal Trail. We should also point out that there’s an extensive series of rail trails (mostly unpaved) in Nova Scotia. On the east coast, the Rum Runners Trail stretches for 110 km from Halifax to Lunenburg. On the west coast, there are several extensive multi-use trails that are great for off-road running.
Runners should take note of Nova Scotia’s weather. It rarely gets overly hot in summer. Fall is gorgeous. Winters are not as cold and snowy as the latitude suggests due to the ocean influence, but there’s a dramatic distance as you move further inland.