Cow Bay, Nova Scotia Canada

Discover Cow Bay, Nova Scotia: A Blend of History and Natural Beauty

Nestled within the Halifax Regional Municipality on the Eastern Shore, Cow Bay is an unincorporated rural community that offers a unique blend of history and natural beauty. This community, located on Route 322 along the Marine Drive scenic route, is a must-visit destination for those seeking a tranquil escape.

Demographics of Cow Bay, Nova Scotia

According to the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, Cow Bay is home to 1,224 residents living in 455 of its 474 total private dwellings. This represents a slight decrease of -2.6% from its 2016 population of 1,257. With a land area of 5.79 km2 (2.24 sq mi), Cow Bay had a population density of 211.4/km2 (547.5/sq mi) in 2021.

Geography and Attractions in Cow Bay, Nova Scotia

Cow Bay is not just an ocean community. It also boasts three lakes: Bissett Lake, Cow Bay Lake, and Car Wash Lake. The Cow Bay River, with its small waterfalls, cuts through the community before entering Cow Bay Lake.

The community is famous for its jogging, walking, and bicycle trails, including the Salt Marsh Trail and Shearwater Flyer trail, which follow an abandoned rail line known as the Dartmouth Eastern Railway.

Horses are a common sight in Cow Bay due to the significant number of farms in the area. Wildlife sightings, including pheasants, deer, bobcats, rabbits, and bears, are a daily occurrence.

Cow Bay's motto is "Cow Bay Attracting Visitors Since 1773". A large concrete moose statue, constructed by Winston Bronnum in 1959, remains a landmark. The community also hosts the annual 25 km "Moose Run", a part of a running series in Nova Scotia that attracts a growing number of participants due to the scenic views it offers.

The Historical Significance of Silver Sands Beach in Cow Bay, Nova Scotia

Silver Sands Beach, known as Cow Bay Beach until the early 1920s, has been an integral landmark for many generations. It was once touted as one of the Halifax area's most popular beaches.

The beach was known for its fine white sand, tree-lined picnic area, and various amenities, including an open concept pavilion in the early decades of the 20th century. By mid-century, it was equipped with modern-style beach canteens and a dancehall.

The 'Hewitt Histories,' written by H.W Hewitt, paint an even earlier historical portrait of the area, particularly the early recreational activity at Cow Bay.

Beaches in Cow Bay, Nova Scotia

Cow Bay is home to two popular beaches, Rainbow Haven Beach and Silver Sands Beach. Both are internationally known surfing and kayaking locations.

Rainbow Haven Beach is a provincial park popular with families. It offers supervised swimming with lifeguards in the summer, boardwalks, change houses, and showers for public use.

Silver Sands Beach, owned by the municipality, is accessible via a public easement over private property.

The History of Cow Bay, Nova Scotia

Cow Bay was named after Robert Cowie, who, along with Roger Hill, received a land grant in the area in 1763. The latest known ancestors of Cow Bay are the Myers and the Moshers from the 1840s.

The beach, which extends for a kilometer and a half, was a popular destination for people from the Dartmouth area by 1850. In the 1930s, a dance hall and canteen were built.

Over time, the Silver Sands Beach was destroyed by the removal of sand for construction of the container piers in Halifax Harbour and to build the runway at CFB Shearwater Airport. The Nova Scotia Government eventually passed legislation to protect sand from beaches from being removed, halting further erosion.