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Climb the Light: New attraction this season at Cape Forchu Lighthouse in Yarmouth County


Online bookings will be taken for those who want to climb to the top inside the lighthouse

YARMOUTH, N.S. —

Visitors to the Cape Forchu Lighthouse in Yarmouth County will be able to book a new experience online before they arrive this season. 

The Cape Forchu lighthouse as viewed from the Leif Erikson trail. - Carla Allen
The Cape Forchu lighthouse as viewed from the Leif Erikson trail. - Carla Allen

For a nominal fee, they will be able to climb the spiral stairs inside the lighthouse to the top of the tower to take in the spectacular views.

Visitors to the Cape Forchu lighthouse will be able to pre-book a climb in the tower for a nominal fee this season. - Carla Allen
Visitors to the Cape Forchu lighthouse will be able to pre-book a climb in the tower for a nominal fee this season. - Carla Allen

The popular tourist attraction, which stands 125 feet above sea level and has a unique apple core shape, was built in 1962 to replace the original lighthouse that began operation in 1839.

Watching the surf from the end of the Leif Erikson trail. - Carla Allen
Watching the surf from the end of the Leif Erikson trail. - Carla Allen

The Cape Forchu lighthouse site is tentatively set to open in May. Visitors who have not been able to book the climb online will be able to participate if space is available. A maximum of four people can take the tour at one time with the guide, and a waiver must be signed prior to the climb. 

Sensational views whichever way you turn at the top of the Cape Forchu Lighthouse in Yarmouth County. - Carla Allen
Sensational views whichever way you turn at the top of the Cape Forchu Lighthouse in Yarmouth County. - Carla Allen

As of early March the fee had not yet been determined. Those who were invited for a "soft launch" of the experience in late February are being asked to fill in a feedback form with suggestions. Summer staff is being trained to guide the experience. Site manager Jennifer Wilkins says they are expecting to take people up hourly. 

Jennifer Wilkins, site manager for the Cape Forchu Lighthouse. - Carla Allen
Jennifer Wilkins, site manager for the Cape Forchu Lighthouse. - Carla Allen

"If you have any issue that would prevent you from climbing up and down on your own, it's best not to try it," she says. "There is also a weight limit of 250 pounds (per person)."

No other lighthouse in Nova Scotia officially provides the Climb the Light experience, adds Wilkins.

Beautiful views from the top of the Cape Forchu Lighthouse. - Carla Allen
Beautiful views from the top of the Cape Forchu Lighthouse. - Carla Allen

The Climb the Light experience is the first item on a six-phase $4-million comprehensive master plan for Cape Forchu that was approved by the Municipality of Yarmouth – the owners of the property – last year.

Read More: Masterplan for Cape Forchu a guide for $4 million improvements in future at Yarmouth County location

Other items in the plan include the construction of a look-off atop the fog alarm building, a salt marsh in the centre of the Leif Erikson trail to attract migratory birds and other waterfowl; a rocky ridge walk to connect the lightstation directly with Leif Erikson Park; an expanded parking lot, new restaurant and gift shop (leased to private operators); an immersive experience in the lightkeepers house and more.

Cape Forchu site manager Jennifer Wilkins and Municipality of Yarmouth Economic Development officer Mark Blinn stand by a new sign advertising the lighthouse tour that will be available during this tourism season. - Carla Allen
Cape Forchu site manager Jennifer Wilkins and Municipality of Yarmouth Economic Development officer Mark Blinn stand by a new sign advertising the lighthouse tour that will be available during this tourism season. - Carla Allen

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