The starry nights at Cape Forchu's historic lighthouse are incredible.

Where to go stargazing in Nova Scotia

From Kejimikujik to that other famous lighthouse, here are great places to take in the beauty of the night sky.

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Did you know that Nova Scotia has some of the darkest skies in North America? That’s because the province is home to two official stargazing reserves, where the night sky shines in full glory because pesky artificial light pollution is limited. These destinations are a bit of a road trip out from Halifax, but are totally worth it for the unparalleled views of the galaxy. So if you’re looking to lie under a blanket of stars, ponder the wonders of the universe and maybe even wish on a shooting star, here’s our guide to the best stargazing in Nova Scotia.

Kejimikujik National Park

Kejimikujik is famous for hiking and camping, but it’s also the only Dark Sky Preserve in the province designated by the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada. You can rent a dark sky kit and explore on your own, or join a guided experience. Wilde Ride night bike tours take place on Wednesdays through August, and Stories of the Stars talks happen on Fridays and Sundays. Make sure to catch the 13th annual Kejimkujik Dark Sky Weekend from August 19-21.

Yarmouth and Acadian Shores

Encompassing the municipalities of Argyle, Clare and Yarmouth, Acadian Skies and Mi’maq Lands was the first place in North America designated as a Starlight Reserve by the International Starlight Foundation. It’s also a trending astrotourism destination, which yes, is a thing. Within the region, there are many places to enjoy the unspoiled night sky:

Deep Sky Eye Observatory
Get a tour of the night sky from Tim Doucette at the Nocturnal Sky Theatre, and stay the night in a cabin or sky bubble.

Cape Forchu Lighthouse
Built in 1839, this lighthouse—also known as the Yarmouth Light—is said to be the *second* most photographed in the province, behind Peggy’s Cove. The 2019 film starring Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe, The Lighthouse, was filmed at the Cape, but the on-screen structure is just a set. Visit the historic lighthouse at night and the backdrop of stars will make a one-in-a-million view, and a great photo.

Ellenwood Lake Provincial Park
Go for the camping, canoeing, kayaking and fishing, stay for the incredible stargazing.

Wedgeport Nature Trail
Walk along this beautiful 5.4km loop at night and take in the views of the Milky Way. The trail includes a wheelchair-accessible starlight viewing platform.

Peninsula Halifax

Although it's not exactly lying under the stars in an idyllic remote location, there is a great stargazing option amazingly close to downtown Halifax: Saint Mary’s University’s Burke-Gaffney Observatory. The SMU observatory holds free public open houses about once a month. You can take a look at the moon and planets with the big indoor telescope, and constellations from the observation deck with small telescopes.

About The Author

Kaija Jussinoja

Kaija Jussinoja is a news reporter at The Coast, where she covers the stories that make Halifax the weird and wonderful place we call home. She is originally from North Vancouver, BC and graduated from the University of King’s College in 2022. Jussinoja joined The Coast in May 2022 after interning at The Chronicle...

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