Government of Nova Scotia Government of Nova Scotia Nova Scotia, Canada


Protected Areas


Bonnet Lake Barrens Wilderness Area

painting by Alice ReedBonnet Lake Barrens Wilderness Area is a scenic, near-coastal wilderness dominated by rugged, wind-swept granite barrens, semi-barrens and coastal spruce-fir forest. Ancient bedrock faulting and the effects of glaciation define the overall character and mosaic of the landscape.

This wilderness area includes large, ecologically sensitive raised bogs; rare plants; and an array of lakes and waterways, including ponds, still-waters and streams. Bonnet Lake contains unique, crescent shaped beaches, originally formed from glacial debris. A 3 km section of Cole Harbour River passes through the wilderness area. Climate is tempered by the adjacent Atlantic Ocean, which moderates summer temperatures and can create moody, foggy conditions.

Situated in the heart of the Canso Peninsula, this wilderness area is used for angling, hunting, canoeing, and hiking along old footpaths and cart tracks that once joined coastal communities.

A 4 km section of the old Queensport Road is managed by the All-terrain Vehicle Association of Nova Scotia (ATVANS) under an agreement with Nova Scotia Environment. Bicycle use is also permitted on this route.