Wednesday, October 08, 2008

The mysterious Isle Haute

There's a mysterious island out in the middle of the upper Bay of Fundy that is the subject of some curiosity around here. Isle Haute is easily seen off the coast of Advocate Harbour & Morden on the Nova Scotia side of the bay, and also from Alma on the New Brunswick side.

Here are a few intriguing facts/rumours/folklore I've heard about Isle Haute:

  1. there is buried treasure out there, dating from the 1700s. Check out an interesting article published in a local newspaper about this last month.
  2. the island is topped by a huge fresh water lake - not true according to an Acadia Univ. biologist I recently discussed this with!
  3. it was named by Samuel de Champlain (the first European adventurer - from France - who claimed to discover and settle the area in 1604). This makes sense: Isle meaning "island" in French, Haute meaning 'high'...tho' we locals tend say: "Isla Haute" for some reason...its basalt cliffs are about 320 ft high!
  4. wild potatoes have been growing there for several hundred years (and were noted by the area's first peoples: the Mi'kmaq).
  5. there are no wild animals out on the island any larger than a mouse.
  6. the island was using as a training site by the Canadian airforce during the 2nd world war.
  7. once used as a picnic location by many Fundy families, the island is now mostly just visited by researchers studying the plant life, birds, etc.
I don't have a boat that can get me safely into the one safe access point on the island (did I mention all the shipwrecks!) so I must share a couple photos I took recently from the mainland side. If any readers know of other myths about Isle Haute or, if you have photos to share from the island itself, please feel free to email me:


BipolarBunny said...

Beautiful pictures.

Jeffrey J. Boron said...

Love to hear stuff like this. Local lore is always so special.
Those squares look very good!!


Unknown said...

Hi Terry,
What a coincidence! I was just down to Cape D'oR and could see Isle Haute and found myself wondering if anyone ever went there and explored it.

It looked so "lonely" somehow sitting out in the Bay.

Great blog posts, as per usual. It's such a pleasure stopping by.

Anonymous said...

A visit to the mysterious Isle Haute, Nova Scotia, a remote island in the Bay of Fundy, 1999. A walk on quot;The Barquot; in the fog, the Snow-Low treasure pits.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the information. I didn't realize that there was a great treasure story to be told about the Isle Haut. My parents and I view it regularily from our cottage kitchen and living room window as well. I wish I would have known about this as a child. It would have made my treasure hunting on the coast even more exciting.

I remember the day that I discovered a cliff full of amethyst and just thought it was very pretty rock. I used to keep chunks of it, but my parents didn't realize this until I told them years later. The amethyst is now gone. To this day I wonder who else had discovered it and reaped the benefits?

Again, thank you. My view of the Isle Haut will be that much more meaningful.

Alison :-)

Wandering Whalen said...

Terri do you know if you need a permit or anything like that to explore the island? I'd love to spend a weekend out there photographing it. Thanks for the info.

Werner said...

You can now get to Isle Haute on a tour with Advocate Boat Tours. The information is at

Werner said...

There is now a way to get to the shores of Isle Haute, with Advocate Boat Tours out of Advocate Harbour, which you can find out about at