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The Islands


  • pg 1
   Situated at the mouth of the Roseway River on Nova Scotia’s          In coastal areas the forests are chiefly white spruce and
scenic South Shore, The Islands Provincial Park is located across    balsam fir, with maple, birch and poplar. White pine is common
the harbour from the historic town of Shelburne. The park’s          within The Islands Provincial Park.
picturesque coastal setting provides opportunities for camping,
picnicking, boating, or exploring the many local attractions.                                 WILDLIFE
                 CULTURAL HISTORY                                        While large areas of barrens and bogs in the interior of
                                                                     Shelburne County provide little productive wildlife habitat, they
    Shelburne was founded in 1783 by United Empire Loyalists         do support one of the best moose populations in western Nova
who fled the United States following the American Revolution.        Scotia.
Within three years, the town’s population reached 16,000,                The coastal areas of southwestern Nova Scotia contain many
making it one of North America’s largest settlements. After          different habitats including sand beaches, salt marsh, cobble
1787, however, the population declined rapidly due to a scarcity     beaches and intertidal muds and sands. The relatively mild
of agricultural lands and a lack of government rations. The          winters and ice-free waters make this a prime wintering area for
departure of Free Black Loyalists to the African colony of Sierra    many species of migratory waterfowl and shorebirds, including
Leone also contributed to the exodus.                                Canada geese, black duck, scaup and common goldeneye. Birds
    In 1784 a hospital and fort were established near what is now    breeding on the scattered islands include gulls, cormorants,
The Islands Provincial Park. Latter, a quarry was begun at The       Arctic and common terns, Leach’s storm petrel, osprey and great
Islands to extract the grey granite so plentiful here. The stone     blue heron. Offshore, nutrient-rich waters provide food for
was used to construct many local buildings, and to make              several different species of whales, dolphins and porpoise.
cobblestone for export to Europe. Quarrying operations
continued until the 1970s.

   The Islands Provincial Park is underlain by 350 million year
old granitic rock intruded into areas of greywacke (a type of
sandstone) by tremendous geological forces. Throughout the
region, the granite forms a hummocky terrain with few hills.
   The coastline of southwestern Nova Scotia is very indented
and divided into well-developed capes and long, narrow bays.
The latter are drowned river estuaries flooded by rising sea

   Repeated fires in the interior of Shelburne County have
replaced large areas of white pine and red oak forest with                               PARK FACILITIES
extensive barrens and semi-barrens. The depleted soils support
only a shrub cover which includes huckleberry, bearberry,               The Islands Provincial Park offers 64 campsites, flush toilets
blueberries, lambkill, and Labrador tea with scattered black         and showers, a picnic area, boat launch, beach access, a trailer
spruce. In deeper soils, white pine, white birch and poplar occur,   dump station and facilities for the disabled. Campsite reserva-
with red oak on the ridges.                                          tions may be made by contacting the park office.
             HOW TO GET TO THE PARK                                                     On Cape Sable Island, the Archelaus Smith Museum portrays
                                                                                    the island’s history, including fishing techniques and gear, the
   The Islands Provincial Park is just off Highway 103, the                         area’s many shipwrecks, Cape Island boats and the lives of
Lighthouse Route, 5 kilometres (3 miles) west of Shelburne,                         prominent sea captains.
on Nova Scotia’s South Shore. While traveling west on Highway                           The Old Meeting House Museum in Barrington, built in
103, take Exit 26 (Shelburne) onto Route 3. While traveling east                    1765, is the oldest non-conformist place of worship in Canada.
on Highway 103, take Exit 27 at Birchtown.                                          Nearby, the Woolen Mill Museum contains original machinery
                                                                                    and exhibits on South Shore sheep raising and wool processing.
                     The Islands                    26
                                                         • Shelburne                    Near Barrington, Sand Hills Provincial Park features an
                  Provincial Park
                            Birchtown      •
                                                    •                               attractive 2.4 kilometre (1.5 mile) white sand beach and picnic
       103                                                                          facilities.
                                                                                        At Port Joli Harbour, 41 kilometres (26 miles) west of
                                                                                    Shelburne, Thomas Raddall Provincial Park offers camping,
                                                                   Atlantic Ocean
                                                                                    hiking, beach access and a variety of shorelines to explore. Across
                    • Barrington                                                    the harbour, Kejimkujik National Park Seaside Adjunct features
      3                                                                             trails and coastal views. Port Joli National Migratory Bird
                                                                                    Sanctuary is located at the head of the harbour. The Port Joli
                                      Sand Hills                                    Basin Conservation Society maintains an observation site on the
                                      Provincial Park
                  Sable                                                             St. Catherines River Road in Port Joli which overlooks the
                                                                                        For more information on these and other attractions, consult
                 AREA ATTRACTIONS                                                   the Nova Scotia Travel Guide or visit the local Tourist
                                                                                    Information Centre.
    Several nearby historic sites are operated by the Nova Scotia
Museum or local historical societies. In Shelburne, the                               A SPECIAL MESSAGE TO PARK VISITORS
Ross-Thompson House and Store Museum, built by United
Empire Loyalists in 1784, is Nova Scotia’s only remaining                              Enjoy your visit to The Islands Provincial Park, but
18th century store. Next door, the Shelburne County Museum                          remember: if future generations are to enjoy their visit as you
features traveling exhibits, permanent collections and archival                     have, the park must remain unspoiled. Please help to preserve
information. Across the street at the Dory Shop Museum,                             and protect this beautiful park.
visitors can watch a dory being built on the town’s historic                           Plants, animals and rocks are an important part of the park’s
waterfront. Operating from 1880 to 1970, the shop once                              natural heritage. Please do not damage or remove them.
produced thousands of these famous small work boats for                                Remember to practice safe swimming as the beach is
Canadian and American fishing schooners.                                            unsupervised.
    The Shelburne County Museum in Shelburne contains                                  In the interests of safety, firearms are prohibited within the
exhibits on local history, highlighting the area’s rich Loyalist                    park.
heritage and the shipbuilding industry.                                                Please keep pets on a leash at all times.
    In early July, Shelburne County hosts a Lobster Festival and                       Contact park staff for further information. They will be
in mid-July Shelburne celebrates its Loyalist roots on Founders’                    pleased to help make your visit as enjoyable as possible.
Day. Events include water sports, arts and crafts, regatta, garden
party and entertainment. The Shelburne County Exhibition is
held in August.
THE ISLANDS PROVINCIAL PARK                      sew

                                                                                              Exit 26
                                                                                           Shelburne 5 km


                   Exit 2


Note: All of park not shown

            Administration Building
            Washrooms and Showers
            Picnic Area
            Boat Launch
                                                                   Scale 1:8,850
            Dumping Station
                                          Yards 200            0                   200                  400 Yards
            Park Boundary                   Metres 150         0              150               300 Metres
   For Additional Information:

   Parks and Recreation Division
   Department of Natural Resources
   R.R. #1, Belmont
   Colchester County, Nova Scotia
   B0M 1C0
   (902) 662-3030
   District Office
   Department of Natural Resources
   P.O. Box 369
   Shelburne, Nova Scotia
   B0T 1W0
   (902) 875-2501
   The Islands Provincial Park
   (902) 875-4304
   (mid-May to early September)

                                 • Truro

  • Shelburne
           The Islands
           Provincial Park

                                                      Printed on paper that
                                                      contains recycled fibre

Natural Resources                  Information Circular PKS-34 Printed 2002 10M

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