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The Fundy Shore Ecotour, a scenic drive which encircles the Bay of Fundy, starting in Brooklyn Hants County to Amherst and follows the shores of Chegnecto Bay, Minas Basin and Cobequid Bay. We only covered a small portion but there was so much to see it took us the day! Any of the places we visited could have been a day themselves if we had more time to explore.
Our first stop was Fox Point Lookout. There is a short hike, but we didn’t take it but did find a spot for a great shot of the Digby Split across the water.
The Age of Sail Heritage Center Museum located along Highway 209, Port Greville, is a must see, operated by the Greville Bay Shipbuilding Museum Society. The society is a charitable organization dedicated to the preservation and conservation of the lumbering and shipbuilding history of the Parrsboro Shore.
The Museum building itself and the history of the non-profit organization is an interesting story. There is a lot to see, helpful and friendly volunteers and we didn’t give ourselves enough time to really do the museum justice. The site includes cafe/gift shop, a boat shed, a blacksmith shop and a band saw shed. Several walking trails lead from the museum to historic and natural features along the river and home to the Lighthouse. Inside the centre are artifacts, exhibits and photos of the era.
Further off the beaten path is Spencer’s Island, located at the western end of Greville Bay on the Bay of Fundy. With a history of important shipbuilding, the island now includes Old Shipyard Beach Campground, café, beautiful beach and a historic lighthouse dating to 1904 recently been granted permission by the Canadian Coast Guard to turn the light back on.
The Spencer’s Island Lighthouse had a central role in the sea-faring history of Cumberland County, and is an important community landmark. The rugged terrain in this part of Nova Scotia made land travel difficult. Communities in this are relied heavily on shipbuilding and shipping for its economic growth. The Spencer’s Island Lighthouse is a “secondary lighthouse:” its light beam was used in conjunction with the beam of another lighthouse to signal the proper route to incoming ships.
We ended our tour with Cape d’Or Scenic Area, a rugged coastline with sea and wind where Bay of Fundy runs into the Minas Channel. Another spot along the Fundy Shore Ecotour where you could easily spend the day with views of the sea and hiking.
Where you find treacherous seas and riptides, you find a lighthouse. Cape d’Or lighthouse built in 1922, was destaffed in 1989. The Advocate District Development Association preserved the site and its structures in 1995. This organization repaired and converted the lightkeeper’s houses into Lightkeeper's Kitchen Restaurant where you can watch the Bay of Fundy tides. Even spend the night at The Guesthouse, a converted lighthouse keeper's residence.
There is something very awe inspiring about going as far as you can to a tip of land to the sea and North Cape is awesome in the truest sense of the word. The Northumberland Strait meets the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the result is spectacular. The longest rock reef in North America is located here and if you time it right and the tide is out you can walk the reef and view seals, seabirds, and other forms of marine life.
If the tide is in, the rush of the waters is breath-taking. Also taking your breath away is the wind created on this exposed site making it home to The Wind Energy Institute of Canada, where they do research on the development of wind energy.
Although controversial, there are huge windmills here and the grace of the windmill farm blends into the physical environment around it.
There is a lot to do here including visiting the Wind Energy Interpretive Centre, walk the Black Marsh nature trail and view the North Cape Lighthouse.
The Lighthouse, in service since 1866, is an octagonal shape and still a working lighthouse but not open to the public. An interesting fact about the lighthouse is that it has been moved six times since its construction due to erosion of North Cape.
The wind Energy Interpretive Centre is worth the visit, well laid out with information which explains some basic concepts of wind energy for those like me who now have some understanding after visiting. They also have some great personifications of wind.
As you walk the trail, look to the beach and visitors have built small cairns and they dot the rocky beach, hard to spot as they blend in and of course don’t lead anyone anywhere-too may of them haphazardly laid out to find a path.
North Cape truly is a special place. The photos give you only a hint of the magic. To truly “see” it you must hear the sea and feel the wind.
The opening panel in the wind Energy Interpretive center, marrying science with poetry is fittingly the famous poem by poet Christina Rossetti (1830-1894)
Who has seen the wind?
Neither I nor you:
But when the leaves hang trembling,
The wind is passing through.
Who has seen the wind?
Neither you nor I:
But when the trees bow down their heads,
The wind is passing by.
Being a lover of historic villages, I was interested in Orwell Corner and was pleased we took the time to visit. This used to be a busy agricultural village on the cross road to Charlottetown. It was founded in the early 19th century by Scots and settled by families from the Isle of Skye, Ireland.
Many of the people living in Orwell are descendants of the original settlers and in 1970 the Provincial Centennial Commission combined with community volunteers, restored numerous buildings on their original site back to what they were, representing life in 1895. The site opened in 1973 and is now administered by the PEI Museum and Heritage Foundation partnered with community volunteers of the Orwell Corner Pioneer Village Corporation.
The entrance building provides a lot of historical information including the written stories told on a serious of boards complete with photos of people who lived the life of the village as well as examples of actual machinery of the era. This leads to the village complete with a school, church, well stocked general store, dressmakers shop, working forge and livestock barn complete with horses, lambs, hens, pigs and cats among other buildings.
Arrived at Plantation Campsite (just outside Berwick, NS) Settled into a pull through site and got out the BBQ for the first camp meal of the year. When we arrived about 3:15 the seasonal people were organized and enjoying the afternoon, but around us it was fairly empty. By about 5:00 the campsite looked full with a few stragglers arriving later in the evening. Took a stroll after dark and many folks gathered around campfires catching up for the start of the season. This morning, sunny and the kids were about playing in the campground, biking and lots of people walking their dogs.
Headed to the shore, just over the North Mountain and viewed those Bay of Fundy tides. If you have never seen those, it is well worth a visit to see the tide go in and out. Took some shots of the boats at the Harbourville wharf at low tide, they aren’t going anywhere right now!
The views of the Blomidon Peninsula are specular here and we managed to catch 2 horses in a field against the backdrop.
And as any traveller knows, it is always the unexpected that you are looking for…as we were driving a gentleman stopped us to warn us to be careful as a pair of Canada Geese and their goslings were walking up the road. We managed to spot them as they were walking from the creek to (we assume) the farm they were from.
We enjoyed the Planation Campsite, well run and certainly active with lots of events. It seems to be a family orientated campsite with lots of kids playing in the playground and riding on bikes and trikes. Drove past a washer toss game Saturday afternoon.
Also, visited the ForeverGreen Campground, just off Mountain Brow Rd. The owner told us she started the campsite with only 7 campers 15 years ago and now there are 143 campsites and they have plans to develop more sites. Driving through the campsite, busy with sites full. A kid’s playground with a large pirate boat and a pool.
Enjoyed our first camp weekend and planning the next trip.
Karen & Gary
Heritage Boat Launch - Louisbourg Nova Scotia, Canada Day 2017
We went to the visitor center to see what was going on at Fortress Louisbourg for Canada Day and the person at the tourist bureau said that there was a Heritage Boat Launch in the morning at the Louisbourg Pier. With no idea, what to expect we showed up and there at the end of a slimy boat launch was a small boat proudly flying a Canadian Flag from the stern.
Talked to a woman who knew exactly what was going on as it was her nephew who had built the boat, Darcy Harte. We walked the dogs along the Guy Hiltz Pier where the flag pole flying the flags of 100 years of confederation flew in the wind. When we saw people gathering at the building we joined them. Darcy cut the ribbon on his new boat building space with a second boat already inside waiting to be restored.
But today was about his first boat and the ceremony was simple and elegant. First, we gathered in the courtyard of the building with people in costume, including Darcy himself. After a few speeches, a procession led by a drummer who escorted everyone to the boat. Lindsay Marshall blessed first Darcy and then the boat performing the Mi’kmaq Smudging Ceremony.
August 11, 2013
Headed from home in pouring rain, with the hood of the truck headed toward Hideaway Campground, just outside of Dingwall, 2 K off the Cabot Trail. Enjoyed some great views that the Cabot Trail is known for on the way up. Missed the wonderful views going up Cape Smokey due to fog.
Hideaway Campground has excellent signage and is somewhat a gem, hidden back in the woods overlooking Aspy Bay. There is an easy short trail which leads from the campground to the Aspry River, a peaceful rocky beach area. Signs clearly show a longer way back if you want more of a hike. We stayed in a site with electric only, with the water supply very close to the trailer if we needed it. The sites are very large for a private campground and we were well surrounded by trees which made the site quite private. There was sun with our morning coffee but the sun left by the afternoon and one night the site was cool enough that we ate supper indoors.