Norse Cove

I love to meet mission-driven people.

Kim and Werner Venter are building a unique wilderness campground in Norse Cove on the Eastern Shore of Nova Scotia. They believe in the area, have a vision for a different kind of outdoor experience, and have landed an exquisite piece of property – Norse Cove – about an hour east and north of Halifax, Nova Scotia. (We learned that even their acquisition of this priceless piece of property took ingenuity and luck – winning it in a tax auction where they were the only bidders.)

Norse Cove was a little challenging to find, and we were among the first guests, but oh my god it was worth the trip.

Werner has an analysis of the Maritime economy, post 2008, that feeds his vision of a different set of opportunities for the Eastern Shore, particularly for young people. It is an eco-outdoors-activist vision. He believes the Eastern Shore’s greatest asset is its remarkable natural resources, and the big challenge is to market to and attract a new generation of outdoor enthusiasts and environmentalists to the area.

We had an experience in one of the big Nova Scotia tourist offices that gave us a window into the difficulty of this marketing challenge, even within Nova Scotia. When we inquired about the Eastern Shore of Nova Scotia, we were asked, “Why would you want to go there?” It turns out that the Eastern Shore was our favorite section of the Atlantic Maritimes, even besting well-known and iconic regions like the Cabot Trail on Cape Breton in the north.

The Eastern Shore presents unparalleled coastline, too many “postcard” fishing harbors to count; plenty of places to fish, boat, and bike; and little distraction from tourist services and amenities.

Norse Cove typified the best of this region. It is hand-built and personally managed. We have never experienced the attention and care we received from them during our stay. The work and commitment to their park is extraordinary.

This park is decidedly not an “RV park.” No electricity at the sites, no sewage hookups, just simple tent platforms and sleeping cabins with breathtaking views of the ocean and resident wildlife. We did not have the good luck to see the sea lions, otters, and mink that hang out there, but we did see eagles and the resident heron up close. Our heron neighbor put on a show stalking and eating … right up close.

It does not get any better than Norse Cove.


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