Nova Scotia Collecting Sites


Ramblings from a Rockhound about Old Nova Scotia

Agate, Amethyst, Copper, Jasper, Fossils, Mordenite, Mesolite, Selenite, Smoky Quartz, Thompsonite and other minerals

Source: Brian Isfeld 5/23/95
blisfeld@mars.ark.com
http://www.ark.com/subscribers/blisfeld.html
604-338-8078

The Bay of Fundy from Cape Split to Brier Island along the south Fundy shore is prolific in Zeolite minerals, fossils, Jasper, Agate, and many others, even to the point of having one of the Zeolite minerals, Mordenite, named after the town of Morden Nova Scotia.

The area is a tourist's haven, with many campsites, hotels, bed and breakfast facilities and lots of historical sights to see while collecting minerals in the area. For those interested in collecting province wide contact the Nova Scotia Tourist Bureau at 1 800 341 6096 for those calling from the USA, and 1 800 565 0000 for those calling from Canada.

My main collecting area while living in Nova Scotia for 14 years while with the Canadian Armed Forces, was along the southern shore of Fundy from Morden, then easterly along the shore to Scots Bay, Blomidon, and Cape split.

Let us assume you have arrived in Nova Scotia via road through Maine in your truck or camper. Having arrived in St John New Brunswick, you take the ferry across the bay to Digby NS. With Map in hand you look, and the options are many. Let's assume you want to travel some of the areas and sites I frequented when I lived in NS. We will take the OLD number 1 Hwy. east towards Halifax. Stop in Historic Annapolis Royal for a look at Fort St. Anne, and some of the other sights and ask a few questions there of the storekeepers and shops about ROCKS. Maybe some will know, Maybe not, but if they talk to you about rocks at all my bet is they will talk about Amethyst, Blomidon, and Scots Bay. They may even have a few pieces to show you.

After lunch in Annapolis Royal cross the causeway, remaining on the old number 1 hwy (though the adventurous can find many exciting nooks and crannies by turning left off the highway toward the Bay at almost any small road,) travelling east through Granville Ferry, Granville Center,( and numerous other small country settlements, which are not towns but rather historic places that denote the areas of the province many of the early settlers gave their names to,) and on to the town of Bridgetown. This village bears a little exploring also, but do not expect to find too many rocks just yet. Continue east through Paradise and Lawrencetown to Middleton NS. and on to Kingston NS. At the east end of Kingston, just before the motel, turn left off the highway toward the Bay and follow the dirt road directly down to the Bay, to Connor's Brook; and you will find no signs to this one, down the hill to the grassy flats by the bay. A word of caution at this time. WATCH THE TIDES! With a rise and fall within 6 hours in some places of over fifty feet, it can be fateful anywhere along the shore to the uninitiated. Once there, look to the small brook running along the side of the hill to the left, search diligently among the rocks about twenty feet from the high tide line and you will find inscribed in the rock face at brook level 1755. A long ago memento of the Acadians, who camped on these shores in the winter under many privations during the expulsion. Walk along the shore to the left just around the corner along the cliff and you will see a cave. In this cave remnants of prospecting for Copper may be found, with seams and specks of the water polished metal visible. A search of the talus along the cliffs either left or right of the entry point of the brook into the Bay may net you some curious and very cuttable specimens with these seams or specks.

After your brief look at Connor's brook, backtrack to either the "new" highway , or all the way to Kingston, head east for a few miles and take the road left to the town of MORDEN. Here you will find the "French Cross". Park by the cross, take to the shore directly in front of the cross and you will see some agate embedded in the Basalt, and along the shore mainly to the left of the cross will find specimens of bluish - white banded and "Straw" agate among the many beach stones. A good search of this area will also find the traveller many Zeolite minerals in the cliff faces, Thompsonite, Mordenite, Mesolite etc. Once again, I can not impress too deeply upon you, WATCH THE TIDES! Your best time to search the shore anywhere along the Bay is about one to two hours after the tide has started to subside, which will give you many hours of safe roaming, and time enough to return to your point of origin.

After leaving Morden, travel east along the shore, stopping at Hall's Harbour, Baxter Harbour, Ross creek or any where you can reach access to the Bay, and you will find many interesting rocks, minerals, and gems. Amethyst at Baxter Harbour, and Giant areas of Red Jasper at Ross Creek, with many small areas of fortification banding throughout, and Smoky Quartz and Amethyst lined "pipes" with crystals up to one half inch across.

By now you should have a few specimens in your vehicle, and you should have also become aware of the difficulty of sometimes spotting your treasures among the many beach cobbles and stones. But this will prepare you for the most rewarding part of your journey, that of searching the Gravels and beaches of Scots Bay, and later while walking the beach at Blomidon you will be more than amply rewarded for diligence.

So, let us get on to Scots Bay. The avenues of approach are many; back roads, highway, shore line road, etc. But the best and most direct is to go to the town of Canning situated upon the North Mountain and from there follow the signs to "the Look Off" and on to Scots Bay. Once at Scots Bay, stop at the little store opposite the crescent shaped beach and ask some questions as to where to access the beach, or follow the road just past the store to a sign that says "beach" and turn to the left, drive about 300 yards down and park.. Once you are on the beach keep your head down and search among the small gravels, look among the large boulders, and be sure to check the gravels on the other side of the high water line along the marshy areas opposite the shore side of the piled up driftwood. Plan on spending some time here and enquire about obtaining passage with one of the local boat owners to the very tip of Cape Split, which will net you Moss agate, Banded agate and many other gems in an area not easily accessible to the average person, therefore your chances of finding some "Super Gem" are even better!

After you have had your fill of Scots Bay, enquire about the shortcut to Blomidon from the store or local people. At Blomidon, close by the selenite filled red cliffs there is a provincial campsite. Once situated at Blomidon, take a drive up the hill to Glooscap Mountain, enjoy the view overlooking the head of the Bay of Fundy, and just think that under your feet and for miles up the beach lay tons and tons of agates and beautiful amethyst waiting to be released by the relentless forces of nature. A walk along the beach towards The tip of Cape Split, one, two, or even three miles along the shore past Amethyst cove will net you unbelievable variety and beauty.

WATCH THE TIDES! WATCH THE TIDES! WATCH THE TIDES! WATCH THE TIDES!

This short and fragmented account will be updated from time to time; The fossil beds of Joggins, The gypsum mines of Windsor and Hants, The gold mines of Lawrencetown, Moose river and Rawdon, The area along the north shore of Fundy around Parrsboro where there is a mineral museum of significance, Five Islands and many other abundant collecting sites; and as memory brings back some event of significance to mind, but in the meantime there is enough information, and I hope incentive, to the travelling rockhound and mineral collector to seriously contemplate a visit to Nova Scotia, and the shores of "Fundy".

Rocks from Brian Isfeld's Collection


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bkeller@rockhounds.com 7/16/95