The Nova Scotia Nature Trust says it has protected a "strategic" 56-hectare corridor at the headwaters of the Tangier River that will connect a large inland wilderness to its 100 Wild Islands coastal archipelago on the Eastern Shore.

The corridor comprises the western side of the Tangier River from the Atlantic Ocean up to Tangier Lake, gateway to the 16,000-hectare Tangier Grand Lake Wilderness Area. It includes a kilometre of coastline at Pleasant Harbour, salt marshes and forest.

"The wilderness area has been difficult to access. You can't easily get there," said Bonnie Sutherland, executive director of the Nova Scotia Nature Trust.

"This means we could have a hiking trail that runs from the highway at the ocean, back into this really fantastic wilderness."

Sutherland told CBC News the group secured the land from American owners intrigued by the huge island assembly underway nearby as a part of the Nova Scotia Nature Trust's 100 Wild Islands campaign.

The size of a national park, the archipelago includes 282 islands and 2,800 hectares of coastline stretching 30 kilometres.

Its islands include unspoiled clear blue lagoons and beaches.

A natural corridor

"The corridor is being called the Tangier River Conservation lands," Sutherland said, noting it is not part of the archipelago project.

"This property is incredible in its own right. But when we looked at it we realized this is a natural corridor between the two. So its really a phenomenal opportunity."

The acquisition of the Tangier headwaters was announced at the organizations annual dinner in Halifax.

The group also announced it had received a $50,000 donation from Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia hiking and clothing stores.

Chouinard and his wife Malinda made the donation to the 100 Wild Islands campaign, which has protected about 70 per cent of the islands so far.

The Nova Scotia Nature Trust said it has also received an anonymous gift of $250,000 — bringing it $350,000 shy of its $7-million fundraising goal.