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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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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Those Hidden Gems-Black Rock Trails and Lighthouse

 

Black Rock TrailsRecently we all hopped in the car- husband, dog and me- and set off for a Sunday drive. Now you may know me well enough by now to know I am not a sit in the car and drive around type of gal, but more of a let’s see what we can get into, err, I mean do, woman.  This may or may not cause ‘heated’ in-car discussion. Not with the dog-she always wants to do things. Nuff said.

That Sunday was no different.  We headed up Middle Dyke Road off the 101 and then west on the 221, swinging up the North Mountain towards Black Road, thinking we may find a good place to get to  the beach.

Black Rock Trails

But upon entered the community, a small a sign invited us to  enjoy the trails.

Woah-what trails were these, now?

We found out a few kms down the  road at the Black Rock Community Hall.  Seems like there is a series of trails  hidden behind the hall-but not secret-everyone apparently knew about these Black Rock Trails.Everybody  but me.
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Revisiting Evangeline Cafe

 

Evangeline Cafe

When I was a wee slip of a girl of 16, my best friend and I used to  pretend to be adults by walking up across the dyke from North Grand Pre and having toast at this little restaurant on the corner of highway one and Grand Pre Road.

During the decades, yes decades, that have passed since I last had toast at the Evangeline Inn Cafe, it’s popularity has boomed. It’s hard to even find  a place to park. And while a good part of that infamy is the pie (proclaimed as one of  Nova Scotia’s 10 Signature Dishes in May of 2015 by Bill Spurr of the Chronicle Herald),pie is not what we are after.

Nope.It’s breakfast. Still and always.Breakfast. Breakfast-And more than just toast.
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For Provincial Parks Day, I’m Sharing My Top Five!

July 15th is Provincial Parks Day, so I decided to share with you my top five favorite camping parks in the province. Click the very short video below to see which ones they are and feel free to comment with your favorites-or why you disagree with mine. Happy Parks Day!

#5. Caribou Island  Provincial Park-Pictou,Northumberland Shore-If you love white, sandy beaches-this is  for you/

#4- Blomindon Provincial Park-Blomindon, Annapolis Valley-  A selection of great trails with varying degrees of difficulty.

#3-Five Islands Provincial Park Five Islands,NS-Beautiful views of the Bay of Fundy and of Nova Scotia’s ‘flowerpots’.

#2 Rissers Beach- Port Medway, South Shore another white sand beach-supervised with a nice boardwalk.

And,

# 1 Graves Island Provincial Park,Chester,South Shore -trails, fishing, one of my favorite places to fire up the BBQ.

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Guided Meanderings on Oak Island

Oak Island WanderingsI have a secret. Please don’t throw tomatoes at the computer, but….I don’t watch ‘the Curse of Oak Island.’ There, I’ve said it.

Which made the tour I took today a bit awkward.

Who was that nondescript bespectacled man signing autographs? Turns out he was our tour guide and beloved character on the Curse of Oak Island  series, Charles Barkhouse.
Oops.

Old Island Wanderlust

 

There’s a good chance I was the only person on the tour that hadn’t watched  a entire episode of the show, and that’s including my entire family-who seem to be rabid fans. Who knew.

Both the ‘Official Website  of Oak Island, Nova Scotia’  and the ‘Friends of Oak Island Society’  website were (and are) suspiciously bereft of information regarding ticket sales, but my sister managed to get 6 tickets for the  tour-and man, tickets are not easy to get.Private tours are about $300 for 10 people, while the public tour was a deal at $30. Both tours were sold out in less than an hour. You need to be on your toes to get these tickets, people!

We booked the public tour-I’d say there were about 25 people, making it easy get close enough to snap pictures and to hear the tour clearly. Charles was such a wealth of information that my scant knowledge of the island didn’t  matter.  By tours end, I knew about Borehole 10X  (looked down into it actually), the so tragic  deaths of  Robert Restall, his son Bobby, Karl Graeser and Cyril Hiltz. and the cabbage farmer who  shipped his produce across the way to Tancook Island.
Charles is an exceptional storyteller and seems genuinely passionate about the Island, it’s history and of course the treasure that may be lurking beneath. How can I tell he loves doing this? Charles didn’t disappear immediately after the tour,good-naturedly fielding the constant bombardment of questions and requests for pictures and autographs (yes,I got one)

And this was his 3rd 2 hour tour of the day.

Oak Island Meandering
Oak Island is home to the longest running and most famous treasure hunt in the world. The treasure hunt began in 1795 with the accidental discovery of the “Money Pit“.

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Biking for the Lazy Susan -Kentville to Wolfville Rails to Trails

Rails to Trails Valley Wide!

Soon to be officially opened, Harvest Moon Trailway  will span 117 kms though the Annapolis Valley, connecting the UNESCO World Heritage Site  of Grand Pre with the charming town of Annapolis Royal. The Grand Opening of the Tupperville-to Annapolis Royal section is scheduled for July 8, while August 19 marks the official opening of the Wolfville to Grand Pre  portion. I’ve made it my mandate to commute via trail at least once a week this summer.

Rails to TrailsWell, lazy is kind of unfair. It’s just that Nova Scotia is soooo  blasted hilly, these  Rails to Trails sections are a treat.

Kentville Rails to Trails

I hopped on my bike after work and headed down behind Memorial Park to connect with the trail going east towards Wolfville. The trail is pavement or crushed rock ,and Kentville Rec.keeps it trimmed and groomed pretty much year round.

The trail does require touring a bit of downtown Kentville, from behind the post office along Webster St. to Station Lane, and along Justice way to reconnect with the actual trail.

Interesting tidbit. There  are two stations along the Kentville section of the trail that have tools in case your bike needs a repair-flat tire or some such minor annoyance. I love that idea although I am not sure I would be able to service my bike even with tools.

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Delaps Cove Wilderness Trails-The Bohaker Trail

Delaps Cove

It”s been years since I’ve done the Bohaker Trail in Delaps Cove in Annapolis County . I remembered it was  a fairly short hike and that there was a point along the trail where one could see the Bay of Fundy and a waterfall at the same time. The trail was indeed short-just over 2 km, and that includes a careful decent to the bottom of the falls.

Once again, a perfect day. No bugs. No rain. No blistering heat. The rainfall the day before left some wet and mucky sections, but nothing we couldn’t get past.
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Check out Nova Scotia’s National Treasures This Year

On Canada’s 150th  birthday, why not take advantage of the free National Park  Pass and visit as many of these National Parks & Historic Sites in Nova Scotia as you can? Some have special events happening that I wouldn’t mind attending, in fact, I’m putting some of these on my calendar right now.

Cape Breton Island

Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site, Baddeck, Cabot Trail – Plan at least 3 hours to visit. The kid in you may want to take part in Tetrahedral Kite Workshop . $9.60 per kite. May 19 to October 30.


Cape Breton Highlands National Park
-hiking, camping, special events and weekly activities. One event that takes my eye is Learn to Lobster Boil  Wednesdays  from June 21 to the end of Aug. $44 per person. I hope you plan on several days to enjoy this beautiful park.  For access times for the Visitor Centre, click here

Marconi National Historic Site Glace Bay. Plan an hour or so to view the exhibits. Beware the steep cliffs. July 1 to September 4

Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site–  There are tons of daily activities, so -at least an entire day, please….19 and older? You may enjoy  Rum: The Spirit of Louisbourg . Drink, er, I mean taste rum daily from June 1st -Oct 15th $10.80 per person. Open daily from May 22 to October 15. Celebrate Canada"s birthday!

 

 


St. Peters Canal National Historic Site
–  Pack a picnic and enjoy the scenery and interpretive trails at this site. Bring your camera. Allow a couple hours on a pleasant day. Battery Provincial Park is nearby if you’d like to spend a night or two camping. Hours of operation differ according to season-check them here.

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We Hiked Cape Split-and Lived to Tell About It.

To all the visitors who asked me about Cape Split at the Visitor Centre.
I lied.
It’s much more hilly then I remembered.
Last weekend, a friend and I hiked Cape Split.

Hiked Camp Split
Personal art

Cape Split Provincial Park Reserve is a 447-hectare with a 12.5 km  trail rimming its northern edge. There are signs at the beginning and all over the web that insist this trail is 16 km..but I measured the sucker with my Tom Tom  and it was just over 6 km each way. I hobbled the trail with my arthritic knee -believe me, I would warn you if it were longer.  I am guesstimating it took us about 5 hours..but we dawdled . We climbed trees. We took pictures. We tried to break into a locked washroom. (Shh). We were slow hiking up the hills- there was mutinous mutterings coming from behind me- and just as slow coming back down them. To my credit, I didn’t take a header or land on my backside.
It was a perfect day. The threatened 5 mm of rain did not appear.

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