Irwin Lake Chalets – Truro, NS

Every year, Jane Hutchinson would block off the month of October and travel from Cole Harbour to Irwin Lake Chalets. She started coming in 2001, the year the six-cabin retreat in Truro opened. She stayed five nights on that first trip and fell in love with Irwin Lake Chalets immediately.


“The owners always said they wouldn’t sell it and I said, ‘Never say never,’” Jane says. In 2007 the original owners had a change in circumstance and the Hutchinson family bought controlling interest in the business. Jane finally got to call Irwin Lake Chalets home.


And home is what it feels like when I arrive at the rustic cabins hidden in the woods outside of Truro. Three, two-level cottages, and as many one-level, cottages sit side by side along the 1 km long lake.

Irwin Lake is a great place to get away from it all. There is no Internet connection or television reception but each chalet is equipped with a TV & DVD with movie rentals at the office. Board games are provided, but slowing down and reconnecting is the focus.


“We have peace, quiet and tranquility here,” Jane says. “Nothing but the sound of the loons, woodpeckers, mourning doves and bard owls.”

She’s right. As I sit on the shore of Irwin Lake writing, there’s a whole orchestra of birds to serenade me.


Irwin Lake is a popular year round destination for those who know of it. The cottages book well in advance, making it difficult to get a room on a whim.

“You used to be able to book two to three weeks in advance, now it’s 3-4 months,” Jane says. With 12 acres of property there is room to expand, but Jane says they probably won’t add more cabins.

“We’re a small family business, and guests always tell us they feel like they’re home. We don’t want to lose that feeling.”


Plus, all that land isn’t going to waste. There is a roughly defined trail that winds past the lake through the property along with several kilometers of roads that are perfect for snowshoeing. The lake is stocked with trout on occasion, so guests can try their hand at fishing.

There are canoes, paddle boats, row boats and kayaks to rent during the warmer months, and wood fire stoves to stay cozy come fall. Two of the chalets also have private outdoor hot tubs. It’s the perfect vantage point to play I Spy for the eagles and deer that frequent the property.


I can see why Jane fell in love with this space. Driving away, I feel reluctant to leave what Jane so aptly describes as “life at Mother Nature’s pace”.

680 Loch Haven Lane
Old Barns, Nova Scotia

Season: Open Year Round


This trip is part of our #NSJoyRide series. We went on an epic road trip along Nova Scotia’s Bay of Fundy thanks to the fine folks at Nova Scotia Tourism. They covered the costs of our week-long road trip.  We hope you love following our tidal adventures. Check out more in this series here:

Five Islands Provincial Park
BlackRock Bistro
Catch of the Bay (Masstown Market)
Driftwood Park Retreat
Joggins UNESCO World Heritage Site
Irwin Lake Chalets
Cape D’Or
Tidal Bore Rafting
That Dutchman’s Cheese Farm (and nature paradise)

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About the author

The Local Traveler

Two travellers' tales of finding adventure on the East Coast. This blog is dedicated to the best parts of travel, and to discovering, celebrating and promoting things to do in our corner of the world, and sometimes beyond. We especially love craft beer, day trips, romantic escapes, local food & hidden gems. Join our community on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and share tips and photos of your favourite East Coast adventures.

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