We did a really neat two hour hike on the afternoon of my arrival in Nova Scotia. Its called the Barrens, its not far from Peggy's Cove and its like a world apart. It was not a difficult hike, most of it was pretty easy, and the scenes, the formations of rocks, the effects of erosion were fascinating especially when you see the shapes it has created. There was the barrenness of the scenery, punctuated with small patches of lichen covered rocks and the relentless sound of the ocean.
this is somewhat isolated, you might want to make sure you don't go alone, just in case
To get to the Barrens you need to take the St Margaret’s Bay Rd (#333, turns into Prospect Rd) and turn left onto Prospect Bay Rd (towards Upper Prospect) until you almost reach the end, and then turn right on to Indian Point Rd. It's a tiny rd so keep a close eye out for it. Go to the end of that rd and park and follow the trail.
This 20 km return hike runs from Crystal Crescent Beach to Penant Point. The area is 30 km south of Halifax, on Hwy 349 through the village of Sambro. The trail head starts as you approach the beach and turn right. Along the trail, we walked on and around huge boulders and bogs. The highlight for me was walking through a skeleton forest as dark clouds were rolling in, making it all seem very surreal. Wear decent footwear as the ground can be quite uneven.
If you want to experience the magnificient Seashore head on, I recommend any of the 'traditional' coastal walks. Duncan's Cove is a good trip (ask at a local outdoor supply store or look in bookstores for a hiking guidebook). Or you could go to Crystal Crescent Beach and hike along the coastal walk to Pennant Point. BEAUTIFUL granite headlands exposed to the ocean at both places. At the Pennant Point location, you can see the remains of a forest fire in the early 1980s. The harsh sea winds have made the trees so sturdy that they still stand today, over 20 years after being burned. This is the 'dead forest' where the dead trees still stand (and seemingly as strong) as if they were still alive. (Picture from June, 2001).