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Oak Island, Nova Scotia

History of Oak Island’s Treasure

For over 200 years, Oak Island, Nova Scotia has enthralled, delighted and frustrated those who have dug in its famous Money Pit looking for the renowned Oak Island Treasure.

Oak Island is one of over 350 islands that dot picturesque Mahone Bay. This unassuming dot of land was paid little attention until 1795, when a teenaged boy discovered a circular depression in the ground and started digging. As he and his friends dug, they discovered layers of logs and what were believed to be pick scrapings along the walls of the pit. Soon after, another group of treasure seekers took over, convinced that the so-called ‘Money Pit’ was the site of long-lost buried treasure, possibly belonging to Captain Kidd or Blackbeard. They even claimed to have found a flagstone etched with symbols that, according to an amateur cryptologist, translated into “forty feet below, two million pounds lie buried”. However, persistent flooding forced the group to abandon their search.

Over the past 200 years, despite the difficulties and risks (six men have died while digging), there have been many determined efforts to find Oak Island’s treasure, even attracting the interest of US President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Today, the island is privately owned and visitation is only through guided tours but the search for treasure continues and likely won’t stop until the mystery of the Money Pit is solved.

Oak Island Accommodations

There are numerous accommodations near Oak Island and its surrounding area, including various bed and breakfasts and a full service hotel. Further down the road, in the towns of Mahone Bay and Lunenburg, you’ll find even more accommodation options, including some in houses that date almost as far back as the early excavations of Oak Island.

Places to Eat near Oak Island

All along the shore of Mahone Bay and especially in Lunenburg, you’ll find plenty of places to eat. You can visit world-class seafood restaurants and fine dining establishments, or keep it simple by visiting a local pub or even a roadside fish and chips stand.

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Must-see Attractions near Oak Island

Needless to say, the must-see attraction at Oak Island is the island itself. However, you must be part of a guided tour to access the island. The Friends of Oak Island Society offers two-hour tours of the island throughout the summer and early fall, giving visitors the opportunity to see for themselves the source of so many dreams of treasure.

Things to do near Oak Island

Aside from taking a guided tour of the island, the coastline of Mahone Bay is a great place to explore on foot. Western Shore’s public wharf and Wild Rose Park offer visitors easy strolls along the waterfront. Borgel’s Point is another gentle walk, not far from Chester Basin. Throughout the area, you’ll find opportunities to walk some of the most beautiful beaches in Nova Scotia, enjoy a picnic or simply watch the waves roll in.