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


Protected Areas


Canso Coastal Barrens Wilderness Area

painting by Alice ReedCanso Coastal Barrens Wilderness Area protects one of Nova Scotia's wildest and most beautiful stretches of Atlantic coast. The rugged, indented coast consists of a mix of islands, inlets, bays, small salt marshes, peninsulas, harbours, lagoons, headlands, and small beaches. Exposed, granite bedrock barrens and patches of mature coastal coniferous forest form an extensive and scenic barren complex.

Rare, arctic-alpine plants, numerous sea and land birds, and seals and whales contribute to the diversity of this stunning area. Climate is tempered by the Atlantic Ocean, which moderates summer temperatures and can create moody, foggy conditions.

The exposed and dramatic coastline provides ideal opportunities for coastal hiking, or exploration from the water by small boat or kayak.

A small portion of the wilderness area coincides with the Walsh or Wilkins Lake Protected Water Area. For more information on the Walsh or Wilkins Lake Protected Water Area contact the Municipality of Guysborough.