Pollett’s Cove is a 8.2 mile out and back trail located near Red River, Nova Scotia, Canada that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, fishing, and backpacking and is best used from May until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Length8.2 miElevation gain2,723 ftRoute typeOut & back
BackpackingCampingFishingHikingPaddle sportsBeachDog friendlyForestRiverViewsWildlifeBlowdownOver grownRocky
Description
Waypoints (0)

The only access to the cove is via boat or a narrow trail. It is owned by a local lottery winner who generously makes it available for public use. The hike starts near Gampo Abbey, a Buddist monastery in Pleasant Bay. The trail mostly follows the coast line. It starts with a steep climb until you reach a stretch that is briefly flat along a cliff edge. It is followed by 3 knolls and then a steep decline into the cove valley. The trail is narrow throughout, and often traverses near vertical slopes and cliffs, often rough with loose rocks. Do not hike this in wet weather as it would be very treacherous. The latter part of the hike has a couple of stretches through deep wild roses and other 6 ft tall vegetation. The cove was outstanding consisting of a valley with a mountain stream draining to the ocean and populated by at least 11 wild horses who are very tame and curious about campsites - a beautiful place truly in the wilderness.

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Reviews (99)
Photos (87)
Recordings (65)
Completed (176)
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Sam Collette
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Deanne Meredith
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Hiking
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Deanne Meredith
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Hiking
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John Britton
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HikingGreat!

Believe the hype. This place is absolutely breathtaking and worth every second of pain to get there. We are moderately experienced and average fitness, and this was a real challenge. It took 2.5 hours in, and 3 hours out. The terrain/elevation graph on here is well worth examining so you can get a sense of what lies ahead; there are many stretches that are unrelentingly steep with loose and uneven footing so knowing just how much longer you have to go on any particular stretch was a sanity-saver for me. Be aware that the trail is also one-person wide pretty much all the way, with steep hillside on one side. Tread carefully! On the outward journey, halfway in you descend into a river valley and this is a good place to rest, and refill water if you have filtration. Things to take: hiking poles (or a good stick) are essential - trust me, you will need them. And take more water than you ever think you’ll need; my three-litre camel pack ran dry with about 40 mins return to go. And food, whether a packed lunch or a bunch of energy snacks, is a good idea. As for the Cove itself - absolutely STUNNING. Meadowlands, hillside, beach, forest, rocky headlands, with a river estuary splitting the beach in two. We spent 2 hours here and easily could’ve spent six more. Next time, we will definitely pack (lightly!) for an overnight. It would be magical! The horses were the highlight. Friendly and inquisitive, we spent some time saying hi. A little later when we settled in for lunch the whole herd came running over in the hopes of food - not aggressive, at all, but a group of 1000 KG+ curious horses can be pretty intimidating! We had to move aside and watch as they trampled our stuff and ate what they could; at one point, I had to wrestle my day-pack from one of them who had it in its mouth! Fun, but be ready for them. The return is a killer, no bones about it. The descents on the outward route become the ascents of your return, and they can be brutal. By far the hardest part is the final return peak; that river valley I mentioned earlier? Yeah, you gotta climb out of that on your way back. It’s the last 90 minutes and after that climb the trail undulates steeply until the final descent to the trailhead. I imagine most people will be pushed hard by this part; us included! Pack well, allow plenty of time if you think you need to take it slowly/take multiple rest breaks, and you will be rewarded with one of the best hikes in Cape Breton

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Sam Loney
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Hiking
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David Lysecki
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Hiking

awsome

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Karen Toews
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HikingGreat!

Hiked this trail today - loved it! Challenging, the views are spectacular, no concerns with losing the trail. The horses were not here for us to see but that didn't spoil the hike at all. Walking poles are a must. Didn't camp overnight; hiking in and out was very doable.

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Trev Bungay
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HikingGreat!Rocky

Just completed this trail last week. Absolutely loved it for numerous reasons. Challenge, beauty, length all 5 stars. It could be cleaned up a little but the destination is most certainly worth everything this trail throws at you. BRING WALKING POLLS or find a good stick BEFORE you leave. There are some that previous hikers leave but I would never take the chance again. We left ours in the truck and decided to walk without. BAD CHOICE! The horses make it all perfect.

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Shawn Anesty
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HikingGreat!

awesome challenging trail. its actually 18km in and back

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Devon Thorpe
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Devon Thorpe
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Angus Hood
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HikingOver grownPrivate propertyRocky

Narrow, treacherous in spots,lots of up and down . Needs some grooming and hikers need to help keep trail cleaner. Moved to many ankle breakers and trip hazards going in and out .Don't walk over it ,move it if it looks sketchy . If you go down it's gonna be bad getting out. Great hike ,not for the faint of heart. Pollets is a treasure.

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Blondadventurer .
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 4, 2020
Backpacking

I was a little worried about this trail since reviews really said how challenging it was. However, I found it much easier than they said. Took less than 5 hours round trip to do. We camped up in the trees as the wind was insane that night. No horses either :(

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Devon Thorpe
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BackpackingGreat!

Challenging hike but worth every minute. Unreal views, wildlife and camping area. My favorite hike to date in NS. Some tricky footing, have good footwear. Water available at several points along the trail.

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Cathy James
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CampingGreat!

We hiked Polletts in July (in and out the same day), took us just over 6 hours.. Fell in love with this place, I have been on a lot of hikes, and this by far is my favorite... We loved it so much we went back this week , and stayed over night..It was awesome. The hike is definitely challenging at times, but totally worth it.

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Aidan Bailey
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CampingGreat!

Was there two weeks ago for the first time and went back a week later. Absolutely magical place. Definitely a bit challenging at times but worth it at the end. Great camping and hiking. Will be back for a third time and probably more

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Jacob Wilson
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Jessie Sanford
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Renée Le Lièvre
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BackpackingPrivate property

Great hike with lots of up and down hill and some water crossings. Private property so it is disheartening to see dozens of selfish hikers/campers leaving trash behind.

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Kevin User
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Hiking
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Colleen Frellick
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BackpackingOver grownRockyScramble

Loved this hike! Pollett’s Cove is paradise. I can’t wait to go back again and stay two nights instead of one. The hike can be tricky at times with very steep drops. Having a walking stick really helped with the inclines and declines. I would not suggest doing this if it has rained or is calling for rain because it would be treacherous.

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Bryan Fryday
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HikingGreat!
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James Brunt
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HikingGreat!Over grownRocky

Awesome hike, one of the best I have experienced in NS to date. Going into the hike, my wife and I underestimated the amount of up and down hill. If you are planning to stay overnight - pack light! Also found that the distance is more like 7.5 to 8.0 km each way from the parking lot to the beach. Trail is narrow and rocky in places, but easily passable. Some areas overgrown, but only in a few spots. The majority of the hike is through wooded areas and relatively clear trails. The views and beach at the end were spectacular. Horses make it a pretty unique spot!

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