Port Williams is a small village that doesn’t know it’s small. According to Wikipedia,the population hovers around 1,100. The area was initially populated by Mi’kmaq, Acadians, and Planters-the Acadian influence evident by the nearby dykes.
The village perches on the northern shore of the Cornwallis River-named after Edward Cornwallis, first governor of Nova Scotia. In the days of sail, the Cornwallis served as a very busy waterway, bringing ships into the port to be loaded with local goods destined for faraway places such as Great Britain. In fact,the village website proclaims Port Williams to be” The Biggest Little Port in the World”.
I recently spend an afternoon exploring and it really wasn’t enough time. Although Port Williams has parks and dykes and churches and museums and cycling routes to explore, I must confess..on this day, I visited none of those places.
I came to eat and drink.
Fox Hill Cheese House is a 6th generation family farm which started out delivering milk door to door by horse and wagon.Now the operation produces many fine products including Jalapeno Gouda (which I recommend) and gelato.I had heard so many good things about Fox Hill Cheese’s Gelato-well,what could I do, but stop in and try some.
So, I did.
O.MG. No point of reference, because it was my first ever gelato-but it this chocolate stuff was delicious!
We all know that 2017 has been one big year long celebration thus far.
The party continues.
Recently I went on a Red Bench bus tour hosted by the Municipality of the County of Kings-the last of 4 that were spread out over the summer and fall. The brain child of Mayor Peter Muttart and his councilors, the tour was designed to visit each of the 5 permanently installed benches throughout Kings County as the municipality’s contribution to Canada’s big 150 birthday.
Our guide for the tour was David Poole, now retired and formerly with the municipality’s planning department. He did a great job, spicing his dialogue with little stories about the area and his life.
Here’s the great thing-you can do this tour in your car. Course you may not get all the dirt, err, information we got, but it would be fun just the same. It was a daylong trip for us, but you may want to spread it out over a weekend. Grab a map of the itinerary here
Red Bench #1 Aylesford Lake.
The gate to the beach is locked this time of year, but you don’t mind a little stroll in from the road,do you? Aylesford Lake is the only one in Kings County with lifeguards on staff during the summer months. It’s also fully accessible including the canteen, toilets and picnic areas. It’s part of the Gaspereau Watershed.
There’s a new game in town.In Kentville, that is and it will be spreading soon to nearby areas.
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)
60 Things To Do When it Rains in the Annapolis Valley
Windsor to Annapolis Royal
It’s raining, it’s pouring, the old man is snoring. Maybe that’s the only thing you think there is to do on a weekend in the Annapolis Valley when it’s raining. I know, I know. We’re hardy folk and think nothing of hiking, swimming and even golfing in the rain.
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.
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.
Well, 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.
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.
To all the visitors who asked me about Cape Split at the Visitor Centre.
It’s much more hilly then I remembered.
Last weekend, a friend and I hiked Cape Split.
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.
Ok, I admit it. I don’t like eating smelts. Yuck. However, it’s fun to fish for them. They are dip netted and jigged, and one of the best locations is the Gaspereau River by the bridge near Reid’s Meats. By this time (April 20th) they’ve been running for a good week Drive by on the incoming time and you’ll see the bank lined with eager fisher-folk of all ages.