Donahue Lake Paddle Route

From the village of Guysborough, follow route 16 approximately 2 km to the Larrys River turn off. At this intersection turn right, traveling this road for 7 km to a sign labeled Donahue Lake. Approximately 1.5 km from this sign you will come upon a road on your left leading to a grassy boat launch area.

Special Features:

Donahue Lake borders the western edge of the 10,380 hectare Bonnett Lake Barrens Wilderness Area. This lake was once much smaller, but expanded in size when a dam was constructed to supply energy to the Dickies Brook Power Station. Today, this large and pristine lake can be explored by boat, offering a fantastic view of the windswept granite barrens that surround it.

Length: 14 km loop
Time: Full day
Type: Freshwater lake
Facilities: none
Nearby: Larry’s River, Village of Guysbrough
Rating: Novice


Visit Guysborough: Donahue LakeLaunching your boat at the northwest edge of Donahue Lake, you will proceed in a southerly direction along the shoreline. This lake is long and narrow in shape, and the best views are achieved closest to the shore. The colour of the lake, is typical of most fresh water lakes in Nova Scotia, and can be murky at times. Against the lightness of the granite boulders, the liquid will resemble brewed tea, while foam found near the lake’s edges demonstrate the notorious “softness” of our waters. Caution should be used, as there are some well-hidden rocks and boulders. Continuing south, you will arrive at the end of a long, deep inlet. This area tends to be grassy and shallow with underwater obstacles. Traveling northwest out of this inlet you will round a point of land. Through a narrow passageway you will encounter several other small inlets and coves. This section of the route feels very remote and secluded surrounded by the Bonnet Lake barrens. The landscape includes coastal spruce, fir, evidence of glaciation, raised bogs and rare plants. At the furthest end of this inlet you will reach Big Cove. You will notice a beautiful crushed stone beach, that is a perfect spot to land your boat for a respite, or to explore the wilderness area around you. On the opposite side of the beach is another smaller lake that could be explored at your leisure. Following the barren coast you will make your return trip north along the eastern edge of the lake. Caution should be used during times of inclement weather due to the large size of Donahue Lake. Windy weather in particular can make this difficult paddle.

  • You can generate a QR CODE linking to this listing (right-click and select Save image as ...
  • You can share this listing on Facebook.