The Thomas’ Cove Coastal Reserve Hiking trails are located on the inner shores of the Bay of Fundy in Economy NS and offer a wonderful glimpse into the unique landscape of the area. There are two 4km looped trails that take you through some mixed forest, over an estuary and along the coast. There are several wooden boardwalks and no steep hills to climb. A short 1km loop can also be accessed from the trail head which gives you a sample of the longer loops if you are tight for time.
Back in October, 2008 we did the Economy Trail loop. In June of 2009, we did the Headlands Trail loop. I haven’t decided which one I like best so I highly recommend you hike them both. Without rushing, each one will take you about an hour and a half to complete and each will offer a variety of features.
One of the interesting places you come across on the Economy Trail loop is a huge graveyard of driftwood. You also have an opportunity to get down on the red sandstone shoreline and get a firsthand view of the geology here. Although we didn’t see one, we knew there was a moose in the area due to the moose droppings we happened upon in the middle of the pathway. If you know about mainland moose at all, you will also know it is a rare thing to see one - so keep your eyes open. There is also some look-off points around this loop where you get nice views of the Bay of Fundy.
The Headlands Trail loop is really nice too - but it’s actually two small loops joined together (see photo map). You start off near the shore at the end of an estuary where a small brook empties into the Bay. At high tide, this same brook swells with seawater and is a good example of the famous Bay of Fundy muddy river banks. The trail takes you along the open estuary as it gradually narrows into the surrounding forest where you then cross a small bridge and double back on the other side. After you hike through a wooded area, you emerge once again to the coastline. As you continue around the loop, there are several branch-off paths that take you to lookouts at the edges of cliffs and each one offers a new vantage point. The remainder of the trail takes you through a mature spruce tree forest where you eventually end up back at the estuary and continue out to the trail head.
The Thomas’ Cove Coastal Reserve Hiking Trails is a perfect place to spend the afternoon. It is also a very special wilderness area where you have some interesting things to see along the way - like the hairy moss dangling from resident spruce trees. Consider topping your day off with a picnic in the protected cove which is within steps of the parking lot. You might have already guessed this place is a photographer’s heaven so don’t forget to pack your camera too.
From the Town of Truro, head West on Hwy 104. Take Exit 12 at Masstown. When you drive over the overpass, Masstown Market will be in front of you (the freshly baked goods there are divine). Take a right here (This is Hwy #4). A couple of kms up the road you will turn left onto Hwy #2 (follow the signs for Parrsboro, Economy, Five Islands, etc.).You’ll be driving beside the shore of the inner Bay of Fundy on Hwy #2 for about 20 minutes when you’ll start seeing the Economy signs. Take a left onto Economy Point Rd. and drive to the end. Here there is a bit of a fork in the road – stay to the right. Drive about one km and you will reach the parking lot of the trail head.
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