The Beautiful Cabot Trail, Cape Breton

Sunset on the Cabot Trail

 

Personally, I think the best time to tour the Cabot Trail is once the leaves turn color, but recently we took the opportunity to introduce some friends from Holland to it’s beauty.

We were only joining them for part of the trip,so we picked up the RV they had booked at CanaDream in Waverly, and headed out.

Day One

We only made it to Port Hood-and only stopped there because it was the closest thing we could find for a camping spot. We drove into Sunset Sands RV Park at around 8pm.No one was around to help us so we helped ourselves to a site. A telephone number posted on the door led to a voicemail. It was easy to see the park catered to mostly seasonal people, but I was disappointed at the work involved in trying to connect with someone-anyone- so we could sort out payment and such.

It was waterfront and windy-but it’s Cape Breton after all.

Port Hood, Cabot Trail
Port Hood, Cabot Trail

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6 Great Ways to View The Fall Colors

Kejimkujik in the fall

I love fall-everything is  brighter and crisper. No humidity. No mosquitoes. It makes me feel like actually DOING something. Not work. No. I mean fun things.

And there are a lot of choices. Hikes. Kayaking. Just a drive with a stop for a quick fall picnic.

This year, the leaves are  a little late turning. But give it another week or so and everything will be gor-ge-ous.

So, here we go

Drive this Fall

If you are out for a Sunday drive, a beautiful spot -even without the reds and yellows of fall is the drive along White Rock Road in Kings County.

Grape vines line the southerly slopes of the hill and the Gaspereau River snakes though the valley at the bottom. There aren’t really good pull of spots along there so take care when getting out to get  a photo.  If you’re heading to Benjamin Bridge Winery,the driveway to winery is a great place to snap a picture .

How to get there.

At Exit 10 on Highway 101, and continue into the town of Wolfville. +Turn up Gaspereau Avenue ( across from Tim Horton’s ) and continue along that (about 3.5 km) until you see Gaspereau Vineyards on your right, Turn right there-you are on White Rock Road. Drive along about 8km, until  just before the crossroads, you will see Ridge Rd on your right.Travel back east along that for more fall beauty and a stunning view of Port Williams , Greenwich and  the Minas Basin.

Fall snapshops of vineyards on White Rock Rd.
Fall snapshots of vineyards on White Rock Rd.Just a teeny bit of color so far…. Susan Carey Photo

Church Street, Port Williams to the Look Off
Apple Orchards, Wineries, Cheese, farm and dyke land, topped off by this view below. Stop at Fox Hill Cheese for some gelato.

How to Get There:

Take Exit 11 and go down to the set of lights  and go straight through them-after they turn green of course,that is Hwy 358. Once into the village of  Port Williams, turn right on Church Street and just follow that around the loopuntil it connects back to Hwy 358, then head north to the Look Off

Fall Colors at the Look Off
Fall Colors at the Look Off

 

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Whale Watching on Brier Island

Whale flipping it's tail on Brier Island Whale Cruise

Brier Island Whale and Seabird Tours

Briar Island is a smallish basalt  island off the coast of southwest Nova Scotia, only 7.5 km long and 2.5 km wide. The economy runs on  fishing and seasonally on  ecotourism-mainly whale and bird watching tours.In fact, some lobster fishermen set their traps from the last Monday in  November and pull them for the season on May 31st,clean the boat,then captain these ecotours during the summer season.

Whale season runs from about mid June to Mid October. Then they all stream back to the Caribbean and its warm waters for the winter months. Humpbacks are preceded to the Bay of Fundy by Finback Whales, Minke Whales and Harbour Porpoises. Right Whales return in July. In fact, as many as 12 different species of whale make the Bay of Fundy their summer home,feasting on  the squid, krill and fish.
Whales usually have their babies here and return seasonally for years with growing youngun’ in tow.
( Whale babies can gain 100 per day!)

Mama & Baby Humpback side by side Brier Island Whale Tour
Mama & Baby Humpback side by side Brier Island Whale Tour Photo Credit Brier Island Whale & Seabird Tours

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Corn Maze Terror and 6 Corn Mazes for You to Try

Corn maze

Who had the bright idea of a corn maze anyhow?

The history of mazes( aka labyrinths) goes back thousands of years, but ones made from corn-not so very long ago.  At Lebanon Valley College in Pennsylvania,Don Frantz and Adrian Fisher designed and built the first corn maze in the US in 1993.  Mr. Fisher of Dorset, England is considered the world’s top maze designer, with 6 Guinness World Records, and numerous other awards- so, no slouch to corn maze patterns.

 

Corn Maze

Corn mazes are all the rage for fall. Get the family outside in the fresh air, good clean fun for all,yada,yada, yada.
Still, don’t knock it until you’ve tried it,right?

I’ve ‘enjoyed’ a corn maze trek  with a twist-Zombies!
Davison’s Farm in Falmouth, NS  host’s a Corn Maze every fall beginning in early September, and although I am not  a fan of being in a situation when I don’t know where the exit is-I decided to try out.
View the video below to see if I did find the exit.

And then, you can check the accompanying list of corn mazes to try one for yourself near you! Always CALL before you go to ensure the property is open.

Central Nova Scotia Corn Mazes 

Fresh Family Fun Corn Maze & Fear Farm
RiverBreeze Farms
Admission to Corn Maze
Admission to Fear Farm
Find It: 660 Onslow Road, Truro, NS
Phone: (902) 895-6541

Annapolis Valley Corn Mazes

Noggins Corner Corn Maze 
Noggins Corner Farm Market
Admission
Wednesday – Friday: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
Saturday -Sunday, Holiday Mondays (September 4th and October 9th): 10:00 am – 7:00 pm
Find It: 100089 Hwy #1
Greenwich,NS
Phone: (902)542-5515

Evans Family Corn Maze
Admission
Open Daily 10-7pm
Haunted Mazes-Oct 22 & 29,6pm
Trick or Treat Maze Oct 30 5-7pm
Find it: 13808 Hwy 1, Wilmot,NS
Phone: 902-825-3878

Willowbank Farm Corn Maze
Willowbank Farm
Admission
Open Daily
Find It: 110 Starr’s Point Loop
( Exit 11 off 101 hwy )
Port Williams, NS
Phone: (902) 542-9153

Davison’s Corn Maze
Davison’s Farm
Admission
Open from noon -dusk Saturday & Sunday
Find It: 1119 Falmouth Dyke Road, Falmouth,NS
Phone: 902-798-0283

Cape Breton Corn Mazes

Hanks Farm Market Corn Maze
Hanks Farm Market
$4 pp
Find IT: 581 King Grove Rd
Sydney,NS
Phone:(902) 674-2646

Stay tuned for more frightful activities I’ll blog about during the month of October.
Have your own gory favorites?? Comment with the informations below!

The Mighty Bay of Fundy

Medford Beach, Bay of Fundy

Nova Scotia’s Mighty Bay of Fundy: Part 1 of a 8 Part Series: Nova Scotia, My Heart and My Home

Medford Beach, Bay of Fundy
Medford Beach, Bay of Fundy

 

Years ago, as a newly wed, my husband was offered an interview with a company in British Columbia. That interview hinted at wonderful opportunities and a good life.

How did I take this exciting news?

I cried. I cried for days at the very thought of moving from Nova Scotia.

Finally, my husband cancelled the interview.

 

And, after all this time, I still wouldn’t want to live anywhere but this beautiful province. Why would I? As a child, there wasn’t much opportunity to explore. As an adult, I am sure as hell making up for that. Even so, I could never experience all I wanted to do, see, taste and smell in one lifetime in Nova Scotia.

Every shore is different. Every shore is a natural playground all its own. I love being so accessible to rivers, lakes, the Atlantic and my personal favorite-the mighty Bay of Fundy. After all, it was practically on my front door step.

As a child,I learned to swim in the rust colored water of the Avon River.

I walked the ocean floor before it became a THING, and  sunk in red mud up to my shins, scraped my toes on barnacles and ruined white tee shirts that will never again be even close to white.

Of course, many flock to the Bay of Fundy solely to witness its amazing tides, which can reach as high as a then 5 story building, and come in as fast as a running horse. Tidal bores, flowerpots, fishing boats resting on a bed of mud. It’s all good.

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Find Yourself a Romantic Fall Getaway in Nova Scotia

Romantic Getaway

Those long, lazy days are summer are gone. Gone.  All gone.

Although it’s not officially fall, the cooler days make me feel so much more energetic.  Time for routine! Time to get back at it-whatever ‘it’ may be.

Autumn need not be all work and no play, however.How could it be? All those crisp, cool mornings, wooly  sweaters, colorful pumpkins and the smell of wood smoke…sorta make a body want to cuddle up and eat  pie, you know.
I don’t know about the pie,but I do know that when it’s fall in Nova Scotia,the time is ripe for a cozy romantic getaway. I’ve listed a few for you to think about below, and the ones that are *recommended properties are ones I have personally visited and truly enjoyed.

Have at ‘er. If you have favorites of your own,list them in the comments below-and if you do go to any this fall-write and send pictures!

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TrailQuest is the New Game in Town

 

There’s a new game in town.In Kentville, that is and it will be spreading soon to nearby areas.

Trail Quest
The Quest begins!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That game is TrailQuest, a historic scavenger hunt created by young Daniel Duke of Port Williams. Duke recently spent time with his family living in the UK where such  hunts are beloved  by the masses.

I was given an opportunity to test drive Kentville’s version before it hit the market. Naturally, heat hater that I am, I choose the hottest, stickiest day of the summer and set out. From my rough calculations and the help of Map My Run, I figured it was over a 3 km walk to complete all the required walking for the scavenger hunt. So wear some good footwear.

Nope. I won’t give away any of the clues. But I will tell you that it is a great way to discover some historic facts about Kentville which I sure didn’t know. It’s a nice walk, and since it’s self guided, your pace is only dictated by the pace of your fellow hunters (it’s great for families, couples, whatever) and your own gait. (mine is slow) It took me about 2 hours to complete the route. But then again I needed to backtrack one section. (nope, not saying where)

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Malagash’s Blue Sea Beach Provincial Park

Blue Sea Beach Park

Blue Sea Beach

My plan was to go to the  beach.Malagash’s Blue Sea Beach specifically. That was my plan. And I got there, although not to laze around on the sand in the sun.

It wasn’t that kind of day. It was  a day for exploring. Everyday is a day for exploring, isn’t it? Rain,wind snow, everyday lends itself to some kind of unknown adventure, be it low key or thrilling.

Today was low key.

What was once privately owned farmland,Malagash’s Blue Sea Beach lies almost at the very eastern tip of the peninsula about halfway between Tatamagouche and Wallace,along the Sunrise Trail. The beach kisses the infamous Northumberland Strait (infamous because the water is the warmest there in Nova Scotia, and if you’ve ever stuck your toes in the Atlantic or the Bay of Fundy, you’d understand)

Blue Sea beach

It   is practically deserted much of the time-who knows why.It’s perfect for sunbathing and long walks along the shoreline.  There are picnic tables, change rooms and outdoor pit toilets (Privvy rating B-)

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Stepping Back in Time-Ross Farm Museum

Ross Faem

New Ross is a small community nestled in the heart of southwestern Nova Scotia,  between the Annapolis Valley and South Shore. If you live near here, perhaps you know it- walked a trail, attended one of their Christmas Fairs, or enjoyed a community supper. There’s a very good chance you’ve taken the kiddies to Ross Farm Museum or just stopped in yourself. Even if you’ve been to Ross Farm before, there’s always some event happening, be it a Pumpkin Planting or a Lunenburg County Pudding & Sausage Making Demo, so there is a good reason to drop by Ross Farm. As if you need one.

We didn’t need a reason when we stopped in there recently on our way to Oak Island.

Ross Farm

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