That was a question Jonathan ( my nephew) asked. Good question. Why DO they call this park of beautiful coast line that has many interesting sea caves in the cliffs, the ovens?Every summer thousands of visitors hike the spectacular trail along the cliffs to view the famous sea caves, or “Ovens” for which the park was named.
Since the first mining began in the 1860s, Gold is Nova Scotia’s hidden treasure that not many know about it. During three distinct “rushes,” gold mining brought riches to individuals, communities and companies. It affected the growth and decline of many settlements and was a factor in encouraging immigration and foreign investment to the province. As well, gold mining became the way of life for hundreds, its lure attracting many with the possibility of getting rich quick.
At the height of the gold rush, the Ovens supported a town of over a thousand miners, complete with hotels, stores, and a bank. While the buildings are gone, remnants of the mining can be found in many areas of the ovens park. There is a small gold rush museum and visitors can rent a gold pan and try their luck at panning for gold on Cunard’s Beach. Halfway along the sea caves trail, a balcony allows visitors to view the opening to Indian Cave, named after an ancient legend. Supposedly a M’Kmaq native paddled his canoe into the cave emerging near Blomidon on the other side of the province. Whoa, this is interesting? And, in another place a concrete staircase descends the cliff face and leads to a balcony inside Cannon Cave, where visitors can hear the resounding boom created as waves enter the large cavern. This was very cool. I can only imagine what it must be like on one of those really stormy, high tide days we have.
Last night, a beautiful summer evening, we visited “the Ovens” with David’s twin brother and family. We haven’t been there for many years. It was a perfect evening for a walk along the trail, stopping to enjoy the view, breathe in the delicious fresh salt air and just enjoy another beautiful spot close to home. And… we still don’t know why it’s called ” the Ovens” Maybe because all the sea caves in the side of the cliffs look like ovens?