Blomidon Provincial Park (Nova Scotia)

Last updated Jun 24 2024

After an abrupt schedule change last year, we made it to Blomidon Provincial Park this year for some camping with the kids & friends.

My family thus far has favoured camping in fresh water campgrounds, where there's typically a beach and lake to swim in. We did not have any real exceptions for Blomidon. I understood the camp ground is on an (actively eroding!) cliff, there's no beach like you would find in a lake-front camp site, and had no concept of amenities, trails, playgrounds. Going with the flow!

The drive to Blomidon is roughly 1 1/2 hours from Halifax, passing near Wolfville, Port Williams, Canning, and the town of Blomidon before burning some fuel to climb the hill into the camp ground. Port Williams is a family favourite for yearly apple picking, we've of course seen Wolfville, but never made it up to Canning or Blomidon. The region is scenic, with so many farms, independent retailers, aromas, and a few more details I'll go over in this post!

First, the camp ground. As mentioned, no expectations. We were camping with friends who were slightly more familiar (having gone once a few years ago), but not experts of the space. We decided to book sites 86/87, which were one of the few "Open Field" sites. Our logic was the kids could run around, play ball, fly a kite, much more easily.

Upon arrival, seeing our site, we were actually concerned! It felt .. too open? Our sites were far apart, the field was large, and there was absolutely no shade. My friend and I toured the rest of the site in our vehicle and went to the front desk to see if there was availability in a few other sites near the playground. Alas, no luck.

However, the space grew on us quickly. The sun was not a concern and the site was a 2 minute walk (or run for the kids) up to the new and lovely playground. The comfort station adjacent to that, and trails just off to our right. The open field offered a constant and cooling breeze which felt so nice, regardless of time of day or mood. This as well removed bugs from the picture, only having to deal with those during the trails. Finally, there was a privacy benefit due to the size of the sites. The only campers we heard well were the rambunctious 20-somethings up the hill near the playground. Louder than our neighbours!

Prior to setting up camp, we reviewed the grounds as a family. Kids understood where the playground was (just up and down the hill), and before we could set up our tent they were off. For many parts of the day, I did not see my older child. Off with his friend either at the playground, poking around the bushes, or in their tent chatting away. Our youngest was able to join the older kid fun on a regular, but of course required more attention. Overall, the space offered an independence to the older kids which is an excellent outcome.

When I book again, I may aim for sites closer to playground, perhaps 80-82. However, the privacy was nice and I may regret losing that. Alternatively, 74/75 as those looked to have great views of the Minas Basin (our site had tree cover disallowing views)

On the first morning, I went out for a run. The Jodrey Trail cut through our camp site, starting (literally) below the entrance to the park and continuing until reaching a terminus near a look-off. The loop from our camp site was just over 6.5km, with the trail itself being a single track combination of roots, rocks, and minor slopes. The trail itself was in good shape but lacked interesting features. Towards the look-off I passed two carved out sections where you can get views of the basin, and the look-off itself was a great destination. Later that afternoon we headed down the Jodrey Trail towards the (low tide) ocean and this was much more interesting. Wildflowers, steep slopes, curves, and wonderful views of the ocean as you traverse.

The trail connects directly to a well maintained access point to the ocean. The tide was rising from low now, and we were able to walk along the ocean floor. It's an experience like no other, to walk towards the line where the ocean meets earth. The kids immediately noticed the ocean (tide) was "creeping" up towards them at a constant pace. These being the largest tides on Earth, it is apparent how quickly it came up! The kids did all sorts of experiments, like trying to build a dam to prevent the water and standing in place for 10 minutes and examining how much higher the water was (ankles to past the knees, for the record).

We spent a good hour, if not more, on the ocean floor. As the tide continued to come in we went closer to shore, finding a fresh water fall which the kids managed to climb without issue, further enhancing their understanding of the space.

We finished in this space by returning up the Jodrey Trail. Due to the climb, it was much more of a significant effort but everyone did great, with only one water stop along the way. After some time the trail dumps you out into an open field picnic area. To work through this part of the trail (as it lacked the same interesting features of the rest of it), we identified wild strawberries along the floor, picking and eating some of the more lovely ones.

After the hike, we had some down time and a few of the family members napped. Once rested, we headed (in car) to "Look and Lick Ice Cream", at the Blomidon Look-Off. This was a 15 minute drive from the camp site, and well worth it! The views were magical, as we attempted to parse the features of each farm plot. But I think the highlight (especially for me), was the ice cream. Scoops were large, staff were friendly, and service was efficient. Not too often do I see a "Small" (two large scoops) cone for $3 these days, so this felt like a time machine.

As the sun lowered, the wind picked up and the families had several rounds of the "Just One" card game before calling it a night. The wind rustled our tent around before calming down near 10pm, capping the night off with a light rain fall.

I was incredibly pleased with my trip to Blomidon, and I now understand the joys of ocean-adjacent camping. It's a different vibe, one which offered many opportunities for relaxation. The kids had a great time and I appreciated the independence which thrived for them during this trip. I will no doubt be back.