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  • Gary Crallé

Climb the Light

Updated: Aug 24, 2022

If it sounds like a sneeze, you’re in the right place. Cape Forchu lighthouse is the pinnacle of Nova Scotian beacons. In 1604 Samuel de Champlain named this craggy jut of rock Cap Forchu which means forked cape. Nova Scotians tend to run the 2 words together and say them quickly. A mysterious stone hints at the possibility that Vikings came here long before Champlain. North Atlantic winds that brought Europeans here endure, and the current 1962 lighthouse is an ingenious apple core design allowing gale force winds to go around instead of against it.

I was fortunate to visit twice during our Yarmouth convention. Some people say it was for the tasty Keeper’s Kitchen lobster rolls at the site. Our guides for the tower climb ranged from tall to petite, but on no account should you challenge any of them to a leg wrestling match. Hiking 77 steps up and down several times a day enables guides to bend anchors with their ankles.

Just 12 km / 7.5 miles outside of Yarmouth, the lighthouse is easily reachable by bike or car. You could be the first person not to photograph or video a chromatic explosion of colourful buoys you’ll find on the way. Uptop lighthouse views aside, you can scramble over the rocks, walk the Leif Ericson Trail or indulge in a snack on the 19-acre groomed surroundings of this distinctive icon. There are photo opportunities aplenty.

Photos and text

© Gary Crallé 2022

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