Trout Point Lodge of Nova Scotia
- Free WiFi
- Parking On Site
You’ll be in Kemptville (East Kemptville) with a stay at Trout Point Lodge of Nova Scotia.
Stay in one of 13 guestrooms featuring flat-screen televisions. Complimentary wireless Internet access is available to keep you connected. Bathrooms have complimentary toiletries and hair dryers. Conveniences include desks and complimentary bottled water, and housekeeping is provided daily.
Spa, Wellness & Premium Amenities
Don’t miss out on the many recreational opportunities, including a lazy river, a spa tub, and a sauna. Additional amenities at this lodge include complimentary wireless Internet access, concierge services, and gift shops/newsstands.
Food & Drink
Satisfy your appetite at the lodge’s restaurant, which serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, or stay in and take advantage of room service (during limited hours). Quench your thirst with your favorite drink at a bar/lounge.
Business & Travel Amenities
Featured amenities include express check-out, dry cleaning/laundry services, and a 24-hour front desk. Event facilities at this lodge consist of conference space and meeting rooms. Free self parking is available onsite.
How to Get There
I was blessed to have had the opportunity to visit TPL just before the end of their season. The timing was perfect because the fall colours were stunning and the weather was still mild enough to enjoy the hot tub and many walking trails. The service, organised activities (particularly the star gazing) and food were phenomenal. 3 nights was great, wish i had time to squeeze in 4. Cant wait to return.
Trout Point Lodge is a little slice of Canadian heaven. I flew into Halifax to meet a friend and the highlight of our trip was spending 3 nights at this beautiful wilderness lodge.
We visited mid-October and the autumn colours were spectacular, and made for a stunning backdrop, whether we were walking in the forest or soaking in the outdoor, wood-fired hot tub that sits alongside the river.
The fine dining experience was a real highlight - fresh ingredients, great menu, perfectly prepared and great service. And a great wine list. We were fortunate to have a cool but clear night to do stargazing.
We also did the forest bathing, which was a unique experience that is grounding and meditative. A great way to slow down, let go of life's stresses, and connect with nature. This was followed by a glass of Chardonnay by the fire. Bliss.
The owners, Pam and Patrick are the best hosts and the staff are top notch.
This place is a real gem. Can't wait to visit in Spring or Summer.
Location: bordering the Tobeatic Wilderness (the largest remaining track of wilderness in the Maritimes), the lodge is accessed via Trout Point Road, unmade but suitable for most vehicles.
Check-in: friendly and fast. A brief introduction to the main lodge is offered at check-in along with a complementary glass of wine.
Three properties: the Main Lodge, Beaver Hall and Bear Cottage, in decreasing order of size. The Main Lodge, constructed from giant Eastern spruce logs, granite and sandstone (in the style of the Great Camps built on the eastern seaboard in the early 20th century) on the banks of the Tusket River (which was very low but still very scenic), is by far the most characterful. It comes with three floors of guest suites, two bars, a mezzanine library, and a Great Room (with huge fireplace, adjoining balcony and very often a musician) inside and a fire pit, boardwalk leading to the river past the wood fired hot tub, sauna and rack of kayaks, outside. Beaver Hall, where cooking classes are held and where you can pick up DVDs, is newer and therefore less characterful, but still boasts a riverside location, cathedral ceilings, common room and communal balcony. Access to the Main Lodge is via the dusty road or a boardwalk. Despite its lookout over the river, I wouldn’t stay here as it was a touch impersonal (and I definitely wouldn’t have wanted a ground floor room). We opted for Bear Cottage, some 5 minutes from the main lodge down its own (dusty) drive (no boardwalk back to the lodge), located on its own beside the water.
Bear Cottage: spacious but dated interior but infinitely more attractive exterior with its weathered silver shingles. No keys (in keeping with the lodge’s key-less concept), but cottage can be locked from the inside. Downstairs is an open-plan, double height living room with wood fire (wood provided), dining room and fully equipped kitchen (no colander but the essentials in terms of spices as well as token drinks in the fridge) and adjoining summer room (large windows) and en-suite master bedroom (double bed, slippers and dressing gowns) and upstairs comes with a huge en-suite bedroom (two small doubles) with water views. Wifi slowish and no cell phone or TV coverage. There is a neighbouring property but it hasn’t been occupied for years apparently, as well as more cabins along the river which were thankfully unoccupied. You hear the occasional distant rumble from the road, but mostly it’s just the crickets and wind in the trees and when night falls it’s so quiet you can actually hear the beavers munching down in the water. The setting is lovely and it’s outside that the cottage really scored with us. A boardwalk meanders down to the water’s edge where three Adirondacks and a fire basket await (wood provided)… just perfect for an evening with a glass of wine.
Food: all meals are extra. Breakfast is served between 8.00 and 10.00; lunch is either sit-down (reservation only) with just one seating at 1.00 or take-away gourmet picnics; dinner between 18.30 and 20.00, consists of organic dishes served either indoors or out on the more romantic terrace of the Main Lodge, as well as in the Chez La Fôret Restaurant in Beaver Hall (by reservation). Room service menus are also available, though we didn’t try as we’d purchased our own food.
Resort/Cottage amenities: wifi (slow); BBQ; TV (satellite in lodge but no channels in Bear) and DVDs (some in cottage but more in Beaver Hall); library (Main Lodge); complementary coffee, tea and soft drinks as well as tea-time cakes and pastries (lemon slices were sublime) and homemade hot chocolate (Main Lodge); mountain bikes and kayaks available on a first-come, first-served basis; barrel sauna; and wood fired cedar hot tub right beside the river (all around the Main Lodge).
Staff: lovely, accommodating and helpful. Nothing was too much to ask of them. The owners too were very friendly and hands on.
Activities: abutting the Tobeatic Wilderness (1103,78 hectares) the lodge is well placed for all manner of activities, at least on paper. In house activities include stargazing (guided at 22.30 each night, alternatives such as astronomy lessons in the library are proposed in case of bad weather); hiking; forest bathing (water surprisingly warm, the Main Lodge has a pontoon which could do with some reinforcing as well as a diving platform); self as well as guided kayaking including apparently moonlight paddling (restricted because of low water level) and mountain biking. Options further afield include guided cycling in Indian Fields Provincial Park; guided hikes in other parks/seashores; fly fishing casting or tying lessons as well as guided fishing; yoga and massage. All but the self-guided activities require advance booking and are extra.
So why the average?
Bear Cottage: the fridge was incredibly loud at times; the bug netting on some windows was loose; the cold water at the sink had virtually no pressure (not comfortable to wash up); the first night the fire alarm went off twice despite not having lit the fire or cooked inside; breakfast provisions included already opened soya and almond milk cartons as well as salt and pepper in mugs covered with cellophane (not very classy!); no recycling box, so our cans and bottles accumulated on the side and weren’t removed the second day; beds noisy. Bear really is dated. It is also away from the Main Lodge and all it has to offer and with no dedicated path, you need to drive there and back (shame) or risk walking down the overgrown and dusty road. Turn-down (which apparently counts towards the 18% resort fee) consisted of a slip of paper announcing the morrow’s weather left on the table. On the second night we didn’t even get that. If there was a safe we couldn’t locate it (there should be one if you can’t lock the doors).
Limited activities: the low water levels (admittedly not the lodge’s fault) meant that the kayaking and trout fishing (which were what drew us to Trout Point) were severely restricted. Fishing was mostly for bass, perch and pike offered at a location away from the lodge. Trout fishing, which we wanted to do, wasn’t available. The kayaks and their gear were somewhat unkempt and kept upriver (no pontoon so harder to get in and out) and downriver (pontoon) of the Main Lodge. I made it to George’s Lake downriver but had to portage six times, while upriver was even more restricted though more scenic (less cabins). The cycling was also disappointing. Bikes come with just the one gear and no suspension. Neither are there any dedicated cycle tracks. Guests can chose between the dirt (bumpy and dusty) Trout Point Road or at the end of that, the main 203 which undulates up and down and is mostly straight and featureless and stretches for 30 km through trees to Upper Ohio. Granted there isn’t much traffic, but the two cars that crossed us on Trout Point Road didn’t slow down and therefore covered us in dust. Not enjoyable or memorable. We were expecting an extensive hiking network, but there are just three ambles around the property and one longer hike. The smallest Orange trail heads out over a bridge to a modest circular track in forest; Yellow winds through mostly waist-high grass, past the star gazing platform (it’s not very well maintained in places) and joins the Red trail which passes Beaver Hall and continues to E Branch Road and the trailhead of the longest hike to Billy’s Hill. The Billy’s Hill hike is the only real hike and took us a total of 3.5 hours of leisurely walking (with picnic lunch) through mostly forest to the eponymous rustic cabin. Despite the name, the walk is neither strenuous nor steep and unfortunately there are no views, other than the section from the lodge along the river (Red trail) and it’s all much of a muchness and not a loop (you retrace your steps). Neither did we see any wildlife, not just because of the dense vegetation but because the rustic cabin atop Billy’s Hill doubles as a hunting cabin and the entire Tobeatic wilderness is dotted with hides.
Access: Trout Point Road is dusty which means you need to drive to and from the various lodge buildings or risk walking and being covered in grit. The 203 heading East towards Ohio is terrible with plentiful potholes and sunken ruts. Don’t attempt it at night, especially in a non 4x4.
Resort fee: apart from the usual 15% tax there’s also an 18% resort fee to add to your bill on check-out. If the resort fee includes turndown, then turndown needs to be consistent. If it covers amenities, then these need to be first class too. They weren’t (bikes and kayaks somewhat derelict and wifi very slow). Moreover, the activities were disappointing both because of the limited hiking trails and lack of dedicated cycling paths but also because of the low water conditions (not the lodge’s fault, but it would nice to have been warned beforehand).
Considerations: Bear Cottage isn’t for everyone. It can’t be locked and half the windows lack curtains. It might be too close to nature for some and inside lacks the old world charm of the lodge, but for those seeking a secluded, self-catering (or not, dinner can be taken at the lodge) all mod cons cabin in the woods this place is hard to beat. The lodge by contrast serves up the best of both worlds: luxurious pampering in a wilderness setting, though rooms aren’t equipped with kitchens so self-catering is out. Apart from breakfast and complementary hot drinks and tea-time cakes, as well as the self-guided kayaks and bikes, all other food and activities are extra... and add up fast... on to which you need to add the 15% tax and 18% resort fee. Salty!
Note to owner: the fridge really is loud which is a shame as you can’t enjoy the muffled silence and the cottage could generally do with some updating and fixing (radiator covers detached, bug netting doesn’t always fit, furniture dated, beds might be characterful but they are noisy).
Verdict: some lovely features and a unique location but resort in general looks tired and Bear Cottage especially so, at least inside. We were attracted by the trout fishing and kayaking, both of which were restricted by the low water conditions, so couldn’t enjoy either, but the limited cycling, hiking and wildlife sighting were also disappointing. Had the weather been bad, I don’t know what we would have done (with limited wifi and TV coverage) for the duration of our stay (3 nights). I doubt we’ll return but if we did, we’d stay in the main lodge which is the most characterful of the three properties and comes with the most amenities.
As others have implied, Trout Point Lodge is a treasure--something that I would attribute to the lodge itself, the beautiful riverside setting, the excellent staff and notably, the focus of the extremely personable owners, Patrick and Pamela, on ensuring that every guest is enjoying their experience. The main lodge is a beautiful rustic lodge structure, with a very comfortable and inviting common area and bar. The building is incredibly well-crafted and a joy to explore. We stayed in the Granite Suite on the lower level for two nights which was great, although I'm sure all of the room choices are excellent. The food is superb and the staff were great in accommodating a food allergy/dietary restriction. Breakfasts included lots of interesting and delicious choices but dinner is where the kitchen and service really shine. I've eaten at some of the best restaurants in the world and I walked away from dinner smiling and impressed. Very creative cuisine, beautifully executed and presented. The owners and chefs have much to be proud of. The food is further enhanced by the service--which makes dinner such an enjoyable experience. Special thanks to Stefanie, Sofia and Alex. The property is beautiful. We enjoyed the hot tub next to the river and some of the trails. Unfortunately, we had hoped to hike more but some of the trails were too wet due to recent rains. Nevertheless, it was a great time. Thanks Patrick and Pamela for your gracious hospitality. We hope to see you again.
Fine dining, star gazing , forest walking , cooking class and kayaking. That was just the first night and morning. Everything we had hoped for even with a rainy morning. Great hosts and accommodations are top notch. We feel lucky to have found this beautiful lodge in the Nova Scotia hills. Could make this place a habit!!