Big Tancook Island Adventure
The rustic and gentle charm of Big Tancook Island is only a passenger ferry ride away from the mainland. The 8 km (1 hour) trip across the water from Chester is free and provides a step back in time and a step closer to nature. Shaped like a fish hook and named after the Mi’kmaq word for “facing the open sea”, Big Tancook Island is only 3 miles long and 1.5 miles at the widest point. With only 150 year-round residents, it’s true island life, Nova Scotia-style.
Choose the ferry schedule that best suits your adventure and enjoy the amazing ocean views of Chester Harbour and some of the 350 islands in Mahone Bay. The first ferry stop drops off local residents to Small Tancook Island. While equally beautiful, it has less amenities to day tourists. Your second stop will be Big Tancook Island. Discover the island’s pathways by foot or by bike, inhaling the sea air, enjoying a picnic in the pristine natural surroundings and gaining a sense of the history and spirit of a hardy fishing community.
See one of Nova Scotia’s last single room schoolhouse where all island children grades pre-primary to five get their education. Follow along the road to find The Wishing Stone Gallery and Museum where you will find local art such as photography, painting, rug hooking and more. Take a break and relax at The Southwest Cove Municipal Day Park, it’s a great place for a picnic or to dip your feet in the water. During the summer months the Recreation Centre is open to tourists for a place to stop for local information, washroom facilities, or a place to take a break from the sun.
After a homemade feast at Patrick’s Restaurant or Carolyn’s Café and Crafts, both serving local cuisine and icecream, you may decide you’re not quite ready to head back to the “real-world”.