Experience Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley

Mount Uniacke

The highway between Halifax and Windsor was the Old Post Road, a popular trail since pioneer days leading to the famed Annapolis Valley and the Bay of Fundy. Completed in 1815, Uniacke House Museum is one of Canada’s finest examples of colonial architecture. Visitors get a vivid glimpse of 19th-century life among Nova Scotia’s gentry.  Open for public viewing from June through October.  The surrounding grounds provide seven walking trails for the outdoor enthusiast year-round. These trails wind along the shores of unspoiled lakes and through a largely pristine forest of huge white pine and towering red spruce trees.

  • The Union Church & Cemetery ca 1830, and Holy Spirit Church & Cemetery ca 1845 are prominent heritage sites within this village.
  • The barrier-free boardwalk on the Shore of Murphy Lake provides easy access for sport fishing during the entire inland sport-fishing season.
  • Annual fishing derbies for mentally and physically challenged groups and the weekend Family fishing derby attracts participants from throughout Central Nova Scotia.
  • Murphy Lake Trail provides a year-round link between the Village Core to the Uniacke Estate trails for hiking, skiing, and exploration of nature.
  • Bell Park provides nearly three kilometers of well-maintained trails among natural forest and along lakeshores.
  • A community Street Map with insets for the Business Park and walking trails is displayed on a large billboard in the village core.
  • [email protected] facility is available in the Uniacke Library.
  • Ardent anglers will find speckled trout in most lakes. Pentz Lake is stocked with salmon and is accessible from a public landing. Most lakes provide excellent protected waters for swimming, canoeing, dinghy sailing, and kayaking.
  • The Uniacke Gold District, located two miles off the Uniacke Mines road, was a prosperous mining community and now the remnants of these mines provide adventurous day trips for recreational prospectors. One of the original homesteads has been relocated to the village center.
  • 2012 Mount Uniacke Firefighters’ Parade and Fair take place on June 22 & 23rd, 2012.  The Fair begins at 6 PM with rides, games and a canteen. Friday evening fireworks at dusk.  This fireworks display can rival any fireworks anywhere. Saturday at 11 AM the parade runs from the Uniacke School to the Fire Hall.  There is always a theme for the parade and floats are judged at the school starting at 9:30 AM. If you have any questions about the parade or would like to secure a spot, contact the Uniacke and District Fire Department. There are rides and a canteen which are open at noon as soon as the parade is completed. There are plenty of rides, a dunk tank, rides for young and old, and a pleasant time for one and all. There will be bingo and dinner in the hall during the day and once the rides are over at 6 PM there will be a dance from 9 PM – 1 AM in the hall.

Aylesford – The Home of Nova Scotia’s Only Zoo

Agricultural lands and beef, dairy and poultry farms surround this quiet village on the Aylesford plain. It is, however, the exotic and unusual animals at the Oaklawn Farm Zoo that create the most interest. Each evening at the zoo, Rutledge, the world’s largest living lion and his pride, along with all the other big and little cats are hand-fed daily by the zookeepers. Call 902-847-9790 for feeding times. Follow the signs and visit all of these unique animals, experience a petting zoo, pony rides, and enjoy the relaxing picnic area.

  • Morden’s French Cross, commemorating the hardships of the Acadian Expulsion, stands in Morden on the Bay of Fundy shore.
  • Just to the west of the village is St. Mary’s Church, the second Protestant church to be consecrated in British North America
  • East of Aylesford are Cranberry Acres and Johnston’s Cranberry Marsh
  • Aylesford Beach at Lake Aylesford to the south provides swimming and picnicking each summer
  • Lake George Provincial Park is another great recreational area
  • Berwick Heights Golf and Country Club to the north of the village is an 18 hole course

Windsor – The Birthplace of Hockey

The great game of hockey can trace its evolution from Windsor, circa 1800, when the students of King’s, Canada’s oldest independent school, began playing hurley on “the long pond of ice”. Windsor is also famous for its giant pumpkins. The first world champion pumpkins were grown by Windsor’s Howard Dill, who started an international craze. The community celebrates its love of pumpkins with the annual Pumpkin Weigh-off and Pumpkin Regatta. Steeped in history, Windsor was first settled by the Acadians in 1685 and became a permanent English settlement in 1749. Today Windsor is a thriving community that embraces its history. A stroll through Windsor will lead you to discover the waterfront, seven historical murals, unique shops and dining experiences.

  • Dating from 1750, Fort Edward National Historic Site is the oldest original military structure in North America.
  • Haliburton House Museum was the home of Thomas Handler Haliburton, the first author of American humor.
  • Shand House Museum represents a late 19th century home and furnishings.
  • West Hants Historical Society Museum houses genealogical records, photos, and artifacts for Windsor and area.
  • Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia is an internationally acclaimed touring theatre for family audiences.
  • Heritage Centre displays photos, artifacts and equipment from the formative years of hockey.
  • Cradle of Hockey, at the Dill Family Farm, is the scenic site of the earliest recorded evidence of hockey.
  • King’s-Edgehill School, founded in 1788 is Canada’s oldest school. Hensley Memorial Chapel and Convocation Hall date from the 19th century.
  • Trecothic Creek and Windsor Railway offer passenger rides on miniature steam/coal-fired trains.

Lawrencetown

Nestled between the North and South Mountains of the fertile Annapolis Valley, this picturesque village on the banks of the Annapolis River, was settled by Europeans in 1760 and named after Charles Lawrence, Governor of Nova Scotia, from 1753-1760. Lawrencetown is home to the world-renowned Nova Scotia Community College, Centre of Geographic Sciences.

  • Annapolis Valley Exhibition, mid-August, is a week-long event celebrating all things agricultural
  • Genealogical Records can be accessed at the county records office on Main St.
  • Eden Golf and Country Club is an 18 hole course to the west and south of the village
  • Moonlight concert mid-August, bring your own chair and blanket for an evening of outdoor entertainment

Middleton

Embraced by rich agricultural land, forests, the Annapolis River and the Bay of Fundy, Middleton is known as the “Heart of the Valley”. With its peaceful streets and picturesque surroundings, Middleton is an ideal location to take a walking tour and enjoy the history and the architecture of a small-town community. Middleton prides itself on being a “Communities in Bloom” participant.

  • The Macdonald Museum offers a look at how schools used to be and have the largest collection of clocks in Nova Scotia
  • Memory Lane Railway Museum acknowledges the importance of rail to the growth of the valley
  • Canoe the Annapolis River from the launching point at the only heart-shaped park in North America
  • Chimney Swifts appear each evening at dusk
  • Water clock at the town hall is the only working water clock in the province
  • Old Holy Trinity Church, built in 1789 is the oldest church still in use in Canada
  • Margretsville Artist Circle Studio on the shore of the Bay of Fundy is open all summer
  • Cottage Cove Picnic Park provides a different picnic choice for the family

Wolfville

The Town of Wolfville, home of Acadia University, offers spectacular views of the Minas Basin, Blomidon and the 17th-century Acadian dykelands. Wolfville, the academic and cultural hub of the Annapolis Valley, is an environment rich in the arts, food and dining, history and heritage, festivals, and events. Wolfville is home to some of the most appealing collections of accommodations in eastern Canada. Historic Inns and Bed and Breakfasts provide guests with unique experiences and outstanding services on meticulously maintained properties.

  • Stroll pedestrian-friendly shopping environment in this small university town
  • Fine dining is the hallmark of the town with many award-winning outlets
  • Waterfront Park and interpretive signage is accessible from Water St.
  • World’s smallest harbor can be viewed from the park
  • Millennium Trail offers the hiker views of the Minas Basin and Blomidon
  • Atlantic Theatre Festival at Acadia University has a complete lineup of great plays
  • Deep Roots Festival celebrates the music of the area as well as that from away
  • Dickens Christmas offers the shopper an opportunity to bask in the glow of yesteryear
  • Acadia and Harvest Art Galleries offer the discerning art buyer an opportunity to own a piece of culture

Grand Pré – The Acadian ‘Great Meadow

Adjacent to the Town of Wolfville is Grand Pré or “Great Meadow” which stretches east from the Acadian dykes that exclude the tides of the Minas Basin. The first Acadian settlers traveled east from the original French settlement in Port Royal in 1680. This group of industrious farmers engineered the complex system of dykes along the shore of the Minas Basin and nurtured what would become the agricultural heartland of Nova Scotia. Today, Grand Pré is the home of a number of artisans, a winery, restaurants, shops and accommodations and a campground.

  • Grand Pré National Historic Site, operated by the Societé Promotion Grand Pré, fully explains the events surrounding the expulsion of the Acadian peoples
  • Church of St. Charles des Mines houses the names and murals depicting the events of July 28, 1755
  • The Evangeline statue is a bronze representation of the Longfellow poem heroine on the grounds of the Historic Site
  • Evangeline Beach at North Grand Pré has wonderful views of Cape Blomidon, the home of the first Mi’kmaq, Glooscap.
  • Semi-palmated Sandpiper migration during the first 2-3 weeks in August covers the mudflats of the Minas Basin with over 3 million birds
  • Covenanter Church built-in 1790 is one of the oldest churches in North America
  • Domaine de Grand Pré Winery was the first winery to establish itself in the Annapolis Valley and offers tasting, tours, and fine dining.

Hantsport – The Haven of Hospitality

View the world’s highest tides, one of nature’s most extraordinary spectacles in Hantsport, a picturesque town, steeped in marine heritage. The fifth-largest wooden shipbuilding center in the world from 1850 to 1880, the Bay of Fundy tides, which rise to 50 feet, have given Hantsport one of the few natural dry-docks in the world. Enjoy a stroll to the waterfront parks for terrific views of Cape Blomidon and the Minas Basin. During your visit, plan a side trip to Blue Beach. Its name reflects the color of the stone that composes the beach. The rich variety of fossils includes footprints of the oldest amphibians ever found.

  • Churchill House and Marine Memorial Room – 1860’s Architecture and marine heritage
  • Blue Beach site and Fossil Museum with displays of exciting geological finds.
  • Fossil tours
  • “Just Us” Chocolate factory- tours, café
  • Cairn of William Hall – first African Canadian and first Nova Scotian to win the Victoria Cross for valor during the “Relief of Kucknow” in 1857
  • Avonport Lighthouse

Greenwood – The Valley’s Hidden Jewel

Nestled between the North and South Mountain is the Village of Greenwood, an urban community in a rural environment. Located on Route 201, just 4 kilometers off Highway 101 at exit 17 this community was first established as a commercial destination in the early 1800s. United Empire Loyalists and New England Planters first arrived in the 1770s and settled along the banks of the Fales and Annapolis Rivers. With the building of the air force base in the 1940s, the community was rejuvenated and Greenwood was incorporated as a village in 1961.

  • July 1st Canada Day celebrations on the village office grounds culminate in the evening with fireworks
  • 14 Wing Greenwood Golf Course is open to the public
  • Roo’s Playhouse and Family Adventure space in the Greenwood mall is unique in the valley
  • Western Kings “World’s Fair” in Tremont, Saturday of Labour Day is the oldest agricultural fair in Nova Scotia

Kingston

The Village of Kingston is located approximately halfway between Halifax and Yarmouth, making Kingston an ideal location from which to take day trips. Kingston is steeped in history, settled by United Empire Loyalists in the 1790s. It is surrounded by rich farmland and fruit orchards and was once one of the largest apple-producing centers in Nova Scotia.

  • The Kingston Steer BBQ and Village Fair takes place the second Saturday in July
  • Family Fitness Trail at Stronach Park offers a quick and easy recreational activity for all the members of the family
  • Hiking and/or biking the old rail bed to the east or west of the village moves you through some of the best agricultural lands in Canada
  • Paragon Golf and Country Club is an 18 hole challenging course to the west of the village
  • Clairmont Provincial Park offers picnic and rest areas for the traveler
  • Centennial Park bandstand across from the Kingston Arena has occasional concerts during the summer months

Hall’s Harbour

On the Bay of Fundy, just 15 minutes north of Kentville on Highway 359, Hall’s Harbour is a fishing port that works to the ever-changing rhythm of the 40 foot Fundy tides. Snugly settled in its picturesque cove, and guarded on each side by tall basalt cliffs, the harbor’s inner basin fills twice a day to the top of the towering wharves. Six hours later the water recedes far out into the Bay of Fundy leaving the colorful fleet of vessels dry on the harbor floor.  See the Hall’s Harbour Webcam to see what level the tide is at!

  • Fish House Museum explores the heritage of the harbor and area
  • Fresh seafood cooked wharf-side at the lobster pound is a dining experience
  • The eco-trail, starting from the back of the harbor, rises through dense pine forests to fields from which the Bay of Fundy can be viewed
  • Explore the beach, please be aware of the rising tide, and collect shells and stones for your memory cache
  • Folk Art, antiques, handicrafts and souvenirs are available at studios and galleries in the community
  • School House Museum celebrates the history and personalities that have made Hall’s Harbour famous
  • Huntington Point Charles MacDonald concrete cottages to the west of the community are a colorful iconic sight

Harbourville

Discover Harbourville, the best-kept secret on the Bay of Fundy. It is considered by many to be the crowning jewel among the working fishing villages on this side of the Bay. Its natural harbor provides sanctuary to a fleet of colorful boats and is homeport to generations of fishermen and their families. A photographer’s “el dorado” begins with the breathtaking scene coming into Harbourville from high above on Hwy 360. Picturesque colorful homes and springtime rows of lupines welcome you.

  • Ghost Schooners make port on the first new moon of every equinox whenever the fog arrives quickly and unexpectedly
  • This active fishing village is the hub of the Bay of Fundy dogfishery
  • High Tide Festival in August celebrates the life and spirit of the community
  • Watch Isle Haute move around the Bay, an optical illusion made possible by the trickery of light

Port Williams

The residents of Port Williams are fortunate to live in a thriving agricultural community with state-of-the-art schools, continuous residential growth, business opportunities, fine recreational facilities, easy access to all amenities, all surrounded by the beauty of Minas Basin tides and dyke lands. Its history is rich with the legacy of the Mi’kmaq, Acadians, and Planters. Its future is bright with the promise of those who choose to live, work and raise their families here.

  • Minas Basin tides can be viewed from the interpretive site just to the south of the village.
  • Dyke pathways are a great experience for the hiker
  • Library located at the village office offers a wide variety of books
  • [email protected] site at the library is available to all to check email or surf the net
  • New England Planter legacy is seen at the monument on Starr’s Point Rd
  • Numerous U-pick venues in the area offer fruit and vegetables in season

Bridgetown

Incorporated in 1897, Bridgetown is a quiet, picturesque community nestled along the banks of the Annapolis River. The Bridgetown area has a wide variety of accommodations, including bed & breakfasts, campgrounds, motels, cabins and chalets on the mountain.

Centrally located, visitors can take day trips to Annapolis and Digby in one direction and Middleton to Wolfville in the other direction. Bridgetown has always been a very sports-oriented community offering a swimming pool, arena, tennis courts, ball fields, soccer fields, curling club and even a lawn bowling club. Jubilee Park offers a picnic area and a boat launch, where visitors can canoe or kayak the beautiful Annapolis River.

  • Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Park – 232 Granville Street, Bridgetown: A beautiful waterfront park on the Annapolis River. The park is home to Bridgetown’s Visitor Information Centre and hosts many festivals and events. There are picnic tables, washrooms, a bandstand and a boat launch. Kayak lessons and rentals are available on site.
  • Historic Cyprus Walk – take a self-guided tour and enjoy the beauty and history of this little town while following our “blue line”. Guidebooks are available at the Visitor Information Center located in Jubilee Park and the Town Hall.
  • James House Museum – open during the summer months, this museum features many exhibits of the local area and its history.
  • Valleyview Provincial Park – this provincial park, located on top of the North Mountain overlooking the valley and the town, offers beautiful wooded lots, hiking trails and picnic grounds.
  • Hampton Lighthouse – just minutes from Bridgetown to the Bay of Fundy to view the tides and see the lighthouse.

Berwick – Nova Scotia’s Apple Capital

Berwick, Nova Scotia’s Apple Capital, is one of the friendliest towns you will visit in Nova Scotia. This pretty town boasts majestic, elm-lined streets, stately older homes and proud, friendly folk, who always have time to chat and share the many treasures of their hometown. Berwick is pleased to offer comfortable and affordable accommodations, as well as a variety of great places to eat.

  • Berwick Sports Hall of Fame celebrates local sports heroes
  • Apple Capital Museum on Main St. also houses the Visitor Information Centre
  • Centennial Park free concerts most Sunday evenings in the summer
  • Muriel’s Doll Museum has over one thousand dolls
  • Berwick Art Gallery, open seasonally
  • Berwick United Church Campgrounds has hosted youth and church groups for over one hundred years

Annapolis Royal

In 1605, Samuel de Champlain and Sieur de Mons sailed into the Annapolis Basin and established Port Royal. They built the Habitation and Port Royal became the first permanent European settlement north of Florida, two years before the English settled Jamestown, Virginia, three years before the founding of Quebec and fifteen years before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth, Massachusetts. Annapolis Royal reflects our unique place in Canadian history. Idyllically situated between mountain and sea, Annapolis Royal offers a stunning waterfront shopping area, an enviable selection of restaurants, and world-class accommodations plus a streetscape designated a National Historic District.

Annapolis Royal 
Annapolis Royal , Nova Scotia
  • Fort Anne, O’Dell House Museum, Sinclair Inn, Port Royal, North Hills Museum, Melanson Settlement and Computer Museum.
  • World-class historic gardens, rated by Trip Advisory as one of the top attractions in Nova Scotia: including a 2000 bush rose collection
  • Canoeing or kayaking over 22 scenic waterways and miles of coastline
  • Over 14 artists’ studios
  • Atlantic Canada’s premier theme and adventure parks in Upper Clements
  • Whale and bird watching
  • Hiking and backpacking.
  • Live performance or movie at King’s Theatre
  • Candlelight Graveyard, Acadian Heritage, National Historic District and Candlelight Acadian tours with costumed interpreters.
  • North America’s only tidal power plant
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