Bras d'Or Lake, Nova Scotia - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 21 Old 05-27-2017 Thread Starter
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Bras d'Or Lake, Nova Scotia

I am curious if any body knows anything about Bras d'Or Lake?

I like to plan my vacations about a year in advance due to limited vacation time and planning requirements. This summer will be the Rideau Canal National Heritage Site, this coming winter will be Everglades National Park, next summer I have had Bras d'Or Lake running through my mind.

My problem is, I don't really understand the lake. I see there is only one major park on the lake and if I drive all the way out there I would kind of like to do some exploring. My boat is small and trailerable, and I like to get ashore at night. So how does that work?

I see numerous islands, each or most surrounded by uninhabited beaches (google earth), but I can't figure out who owns the land.

Can I just show up, beach a small sailboat and pitch a tent on any uninhabited beach?
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post #2 of 21 Old 05-27-2017
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Re: Bras d'Or Lake, Nova Scotia

No one can lay claim to land below the high high water mark in Canada.. but presumably you'd want to tent off the beach.

Been to the Bra D'or Lakes once.. more like an inland sea with the locks and north east entrance. Saw quite a few boats on the lake but don't know about marine parks or camping opportunities.

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Re: Bras d'Or Lake, Nova Scotia

Faster, good idea about high-pitched water.

Any chance you could give me a legal reference regarding the high-shigh water mark?

I did part of my college in Sydney, NS, but never sailed on the Lake. I did snow board at Ben Eoin.

My little brother mentioned the high-high water mark (he lives in Mabou N.S.) to me as well, but I (and him) are not sure how it works.

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Re: Bras d'Or Lake, Nova Scotia

Actually all waterways in Canada are federal and so the rules are the same in every province,I am pretty sure of this,and property ownership stops at the high water line and it is illegal to impedes someone's use of the beach(as Faster has said ,he just beat me to it)it makes me laugh when after many dry years lakes get higher and people want government to help pay for flooded cabins ,boathouses or fancy landscaping that was built to low...don't even get me started on people building houses( with basements even) in flood plains but I digress....good luck on your plans to see the Bras d'or lakes,should be very nice o sly better in September ..less other boats,l think it stays nice there a lot later than out west here,,never been to the maritime s but it's in the plans for someday,especially in the fall......Ralph

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Re: Bras d'Or Lake, Nova Scotia

Okay,sorry to about all that flooding you guys have had,some times my thoughts are maybe out of line,l hope your pumps hold out,......Ralph

Northern Alberta. "85" C/L 16. ,"85"S2 7.9 under repair.
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Re: Bras d'Or Lake, Nova Scotia

Arcb,

We've been there once quite a few years back. Remember going through the locks, staying at a nearby marina run by the "lions club" I think (my memory is vague but it was something like that), then anchoring in some deserted coves, then headed up to Baddeck. As we've found throughout the Canadian Maritimes, people are wonderful. My guess is that if you asked, many would let you camp on their property and probably let you borrow their car .
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Re: Bras d'Or Lake, Nova Scotia

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Originally Posted by capecodda View Post
Remember going through the locks, staying at a nearby marina run by the "lions club" I think (my memory is vague but it was something like that), then anchoring in some deserted coves, then headed up to Baddeck.
That marina would be the St Peter's Lions Club Marina. There are camp sites at the canal.

There's an RV park / campground in Ben Eoin that's right on the water. There are some other private campgrounds around the lake.

It's oriented at kayakers but this list of water trails would probably be worth working your way through.
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Re: Bras d'Or Lake, Nova Scotia

Can't help with the camping out part. We did sail the Bras d'ors some time ago. Mainly marina to marina. St Peter's, Dundee, Baddeck come to mind. I think we anchored out, but maybe just for lunch. It's been a while! I am sure there are guides on the net somewhere. Love Cape Breton.

Not in Bras d'ors, but we also did the trip from Cheticamp to Magdalens. I do recall there being a campground, not on water, but not far from the marina in Cheticamp. You could day sail from there too.
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Re: Bras d'Or Lake, Nova Scotia

Capecodda, I suspect you are right about folks letting people camp on the beach.

Interesting link ChristinaM, there must be somewhere along those kayak routes that people camp.

Towguy, I agree with you folks shouldn't be aloud to build on flood plains, we've had pretty strict zoning regulations in Ontario since the 1950's. I have heard the high high water reference in inland provinces as well. I used to hear 10' from mean high water in Ontario is public land, but I am not sure if that is accurate or not.
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Re: Bras d'Or Lake, Nova Scotia

There are various cruising guides to Nova Scotia and the Bra d'Or lakes. It sounds like you have a trailer sailer. You should have very little problem finding places to launch and camp and enjoy the lakes. They have been described as one of the premier sailing areas in the world.

All that said there are few structured amenities. I would start at St. Peter's Lions Club Marina. The Managers name escapes me but he is a wonderful fellow as are most folks. You can camp on the canal property I believe. But I would stay there a couple of days to talk to local folks and get oriented. IIRC there is a camp area near the end of the waterway leading to the lake propper. That would be a nice day trip each way with an over night stay.

Then maybe go up to Grand Narrows. There is a marina of sorts across the bridge with a launch ramp and I believe room to camp. And a little store that sells a wee bit of food and booze. Go up North a bit is McAskels harbor which is maintained as an anchorage by the Cruising Club of America - CCA.

Then not much further on is Little Narrows with another launch ramp from which you could explore that side. Near the cable ferry. North of there is the Washabuck River, a really neat hurricane hole and maintained as an anchorag by the CCA.

Baddeck has access ramps and camping.

I'm sure I've only scratched the surface. There is much more. A lot is online but you have to dig.

My cruising guides are on the boat. I like the Puffin Press - CCA guides edited by Sandy Weld best.
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