Fourchu Coast Wilderness Area protects exceptional coastal lands on Cape Breton’s southeast coast, with almost 20 km of shoreline. It is Nova Scotia’s largest new coastal protected area.
The diverse coast includes sand and barrier beaches and dunes, small islands, tidal flats, saltmarsh, lagoons, brackish lakes, and low shoreline cliffs. These habitats provide staging and nesting sites for shorebirds, waterfowl and seabirds. Away from the coast, much of the area consists of humid spruce/fir rainforest, windswept coastal barrens, and sprawling wetlands that support rare coastal plain plants.
This wilderness area offers outstanding nature tourism and outdoor recreation opportunities, such as hiking, beachcombing, bird watching, sea kayaking, canoeing, angling and hunting. An exceptional paddling route between Framboise River and Belfry Lake weaves through interconnected lagoons and brackish lakes, sheltered from the open ocean by barrier beaches and headlands. Another highlight for wilderness adventure is the beach at Capelin Cove and surrounding coastal barrens and shoreline. No managed hiking or portage trails currently exist.