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Ruins Walk


265 Park Service Road

902-733-3552


Overview

The Ruins Walk invites you to visit the original foundations of 18th-century homes and fortifications not featured in the reconstruction of the Fortress of Louisbourg. This meandering 2.3-kilometre coastal walk is an authentic experience of history and nature connecting in an unforgettable way. Some notable ruins include the 100-bed hospital, the convent of the congregation of Notre-Dame, and the executioner’s house. You will also visit centuries-old burying grounds.

Beautiful and remarkable views of the harbour opening and the Louisbourg Lighthouse are signature features of the walk. This scenic coastal area is a perfect place to watch for seagulls as you stroll alongside cobblestone beaches and places where angelica and moss have magnificently invaded the landscape. On a typical day, a strong sea-breeze, low-hanging fog, and white-capped waves remind you that you are on the unforgiving coast of the Atlantic Ocean, and from your vantage point the next port of call is La Rochelle, France.

It is easy to let the past come to life and imagine challenges and adventures you would have faced had you arrived on these shores 300 years ago. While the ruins have remained untouched by modern construction, the area has been affected by the forces of nature. Using period records we have determined that climate change has seen the sea level in this area rise one metre since the 18th century. The area has also been severely affected by coastal erosion and increased storm activity. In some areas the coastline has retreated as much as 32 metres. When 18th-century features come naturally to the surface, rescue archaeology takes place to capture the important historical resources before they disappear into the sea. The area is also the site of an annual bioarchaeology field school in August, hosted in partnership with the University of New Brunswick.

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