Point Prim Lighthouse
The current Prim Point Lighthouse is the fourth in a succession of lights built on this location that date back to 1804. The 1804 light lasted just four years before burning in 1808, and it wasn't until 1817 that its replacement was built. The second Prim Point Lighthouse was a square dwelling, painted white with red vertical stripes on its northern and two adjoining sides. The third Prim Point Lighthouse, built in 1874, was a square wooden tower with sloping sides built into the northern end of one-and-a-half-story dwelling with a gabled roof. Red vertical stripes adorned the tower to continue the station’s daymark. The fourth lighthouse on Prim Point was built in the familiar form of a square tower rising from one corner of a one-story, flat-roofed building. (Taken from novascotiawebcams.com. Check out the view from the Webcam on the lighthouse!) (http://www.novascotiawebcams.com/bay-of-fundy/point-prim-lighthouse.html)
Follow signs toward the Ferry but at the intersection of Racquette Road and Victoria Street, go uphill (toward the Digby Pines Golf Course) and make your first quick right turn. That is Lighthouse Road and will take you through a subdivision and straight to Point Prim Lighthouse. Enjoy the great view of Digby Gut, Victoria Beach and the Bay of Fundy.
Travel time: about 20-25 minutes each way. It’s not a great road.
Taken from www.novatrails.com:
The Balancing Rock Trail travels through the woods on a mostly level path with boardwalks provided for the boggy areas. The trail climbs as you get closer to the coast, but once there it quickly descends down a well-built staircase to the water’s edge.
The platform here provides a beautiful view of St. Marys Bay in front of you and Balancing Rock to your right. For thousands of years this rock has stood teetering on the edge of the ocean, providing quite a sight for all visitors to the trail.
From Digby take Highway 217 to Digby Neck. Take the ferry from East Ferry to Tiverton on Long Island. Continue on Highway 217 until you see the parking lot on the left.
Travel time: about 1- 1.5 hours each way. The hike is 1.25 km into the Rock from the road. The ferry is $5.25 per vehicle but if there is a group, inquire about a punch card, especially if you’re continuing on to Brier Island as there is a second ferry ride. The return ferry ride is no charge.
If you’re going to the Balancing Rock, consider taking in a whale watching trip while you’re out that way!
NOTE: A guided tour to Brier Island is offered on Sunday and includes the ferry fees. This tour leaves at 10 am from the big Tim Horton’s on the corner of Warwick and Victoria but please register ahead of time either online here (link) or at the 2nd Canadian Army Veterans’ tent on Admiral’s Walk so we know how many guides and how many ferry tickets we need. These tours don’t stop at the Balancing Rock or offer enough time to take a whale watching cruise. There is time for lunch on Brier Island but the cost of lunch is borne by participants.
At exit 25 on Highway 101, you’ll find Bear River, a tidal village of 800 straddling the dynamic Bear River. (www.bearriver.ca)
The original peoples of Bear River are the Mi’kmaq who lived here for thousands of years before the arrival of Europeans. Now Bear River is also home to many artisans from far and wide, drawn by the beauty and uniqueness of the area. (www.bearriverfirstnation.ca)
Travel time: about 15 minutes each way.
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 that has been designated a National Historic District. Important heritage sites, an exciting arts community and theatre, and exceptional dining opportunities make a visit to Annapolis Royal a must for Wharf Rat Rally attendees! (www.annapolisroyal.com)
- Fort Anne
Annapolis Royal and area play a special and unique role in Canadian history. Fort Anne and its grounds reflect the French and English periods of domination in Annapolis Royal. Features include well-preserved earthwork fortifications, an early 18th century French gunpowder magazine and 1797 British officers' quarters. An impressive Heritage Tapestry (8 ft by 18 ft) depicts 400 years of history. Minimal fee applies. (http://www.pc.gc.ca/eng/lhn-nhs/ns/fortanne/visit.aspx)
Ph: (902) 532-2397
- Historic Gardens
In a beautiful setting overlooking a tidal river valley, the Historic Gardens is a premiere Nova Scotia attraction showcasing gardening methods, designs and materials representing more than four hundred years of local history. (www.historicgardens.com)
And the Historic Gardens is part of the Wharf Rat Rally too! From Bike Photo Opps (yes, you heard right!) in the Gardens, to creative motorcycle-inspired displays, to special discounts for Rally participants, staff and volunteers at the Gardens are rolling out the red carpet to welcome riders!
In 2009, staff at the Historic Gardens thought it would be an “off the wall” idea to allow Wharf Rats to roll into the grounds for the greatest photo opp ever! The Courtyard area took on a cycle theme, and groups of riders had a ball posing with their bikes amongst the flowers! The event created quite a buzz, so the Gardens is once again offering the opportunity to go ‘Hawg Wild in the Gardens’.
- Port Royal
The first permanent European settlement in North America north of St. Augustine, Florida, was established at Port Royal in 1605. Visit a reconstruction of the original Port Royal Habitation, a French fur-trading post built by the company of Sieur de Mons and Samuel Champlain on the Annapolis Basin. Costumed interpreters bring Port Royal to life with demonstrations of life in the fort offered regularly. Minimal fee applies. (http://www.pc.gc.ca/eng/lhn-nhs/ns/portroyal/visit.aspx)
NOTE: A guided tour to Annapolis Royal and Port Royal is offered on Sunday. This no-charge tour leaves at 10 am from the big Tim Horton’s on the corner of Warwick and Victoria but please register ahead of time either online here (link) or at the 2nd Canadian Army Veterans’ tent on Admiral’s Walk so we know how many guides we need. This tour stops in the downtown area of Annapolis Royal for shopping and lunch and allows time to visit the Historic Gardens for Hawg Wild in the Gardens where you are invited to take your motorcycle amongst the shrubs and flowers for unique photo opportunities. This tour also passes directly by the Annapolis Leather Barn and Lequille Country Store. On your way back, a quick jaunt will take you to Action Jax Fun Park (http://www.action-jax.com/) for Go Karts and outdoor fun.
- Sinclair Inn Historic Site
The year 2013 marks the 275th Anniversary of Free Masonry in Canada and the first Lodge was in Annapolis Royal. The Sinclair Inn, built in 1710, is the oldest surviving example of Acadian construction techniques open to the public. In 1738, the building was used by Erasmus Phillips as the first meeting hall of the Masonic Lodge in Canada. The site offers a fascinating insight into construction techniques spanning nearly three centuries, from the Acadian clay walls to modern wood paneling. 232 St. George Street; Ph: (902) 532-7754 (http://www.annapolisheritagesociety.com/museums.html)
- Shops and Restaurants
- Annapolis Leather Barn – on your way into Annapolis Royal from exit 22 off Highway 101, watch for the Annapolis Leather Barn on your left-hand side. Stop in to meet Veronica and see everything you could possibly want for your bike and yourself! (http://www.annapolisleatherbarn.com/)
- Lequille Country Store– right next door to the Annapolis Leather Barn, the Lequille Country Store offers everything from cold drinks and popsicles to camping gear and hunting supplies. Stop in! (http://lequillecountrystore.com/)
The Acadian Shore
- St. Mary’s Church – Located on the shore of St. Mary’s Bay in Church Point, St. Mary’s Church is the largest wooden church in North America. Be sure to drop in to check out the depiction that some people call the Biker Jesus on the ceiling. (http://www.museeeglisesaintemariemuseum.ca/)
- Rendez-vous de la Baie – On the campus of Nova Scotia’s only totally French-speaking university, Université Sainte-Anne, Rendez-vous de la Baie is a cultural centre and a tourism destination that introduces visitors to the rich culture and heritage of the Acadians of Clare. The Acadian Interpretive Centre, a state-of-the-art museum featuring bilingual display panels, rich artifacts and interactive multimedia exhibitions allows visitors to experience the fascinating history and culture of the Acadians of Clare/Baie Sainte-Marie. (http://rendezvousdelabaie.ca/?lang=en)
- Acadian Shore Poker Run – The best way to immerse yourself in the culture, history and heritage of Nova Scotia’s Acadians is to take part in the Acadian Shore Poker Run! Head into the Welcome Centre for your first card and to pick up your map.
- Musique de la Baie - Yarmouth & Acadian Shores is renowned for its vibrant and unique music. Many famous Canadian musicians come from this area, and musical expression is seen as a cornerstone of local culture. Maritimers are known for fiddles romancing us with soft melodies and then exploding into jigs and reels that shake up the desire to dance, sing, or pick up an instrument and join in the fun. In fact, Acadians have their own special word for this--a good party with lots of music is referred to as a "tyme."
Yarmouth & Acadian Shores wants to cherish and nurture our musical culture and heritage. That's why, during July, August and September, local musicians perform nightly in participating restaurants throughout the area.
At a Musique de la Baie kitchen party, expect just that--a kitchen party. Informal performances and interactions with the audience are key, and you might even be invited to join in. The traditional and original compositions make for wonderfully diverse repertoires, which in tur keep the performances fresh and entertaining. Entertainment will take place in both French and/or English, depending upon which local community you are in.
- Yarmouth and Acadian Shores Wharf Rat Run
The wharves of southwest Nova Scotia are very important to both our history and our people. The best way to learn about the wharves is to take part in the Yarmouth and Acadian Shores Wharf Rat Run. Visit the wharves, smell the ocean air, learn all about the industry and the people and maybe win some great prizes along the way. More information to follow.
Wineries and Cuisine
- Very close
- Annapolis Highland Vineyards (http://novascotiawines.com/)
Located at 2865 Clementsvale Road in nearby Bear River, Annapolis Highland Vineyards is an award-winning producer of a variety of wines. Join Karen for a tour of the vineyards and a complimentary taste testing. New *** the Nova Scotia government now allows wines to be shipped out of the province so you can have Karen package your wine and send it out, so it’ll be waiting for you when you arrive home.
- Bear River Winery (http://www.wine.travel/)
Perched on Chute Road on the shore of the Bear River, this winery offers magnificent views of the town below. Dating to 1883, the ambiance of the building mirrors its wines. Stop in at any time for a complete tour: learn the art of wine making and discover the power of the sun.
- On the ride in
- Vineyards in the Valley
Nova Scotia is becoming more and more well known for award-winning wines. In the Windsor/Falmouth area, visit Sainte Famillie Wines Ltd and Avondale Sky Winery. Nestled around Wolfville, choose a number of wineries located nearby (Map HERE) or Muir Murray Estate Winery. There’s a possibility the Magic Winery Bus will operate on Wednesday and Thursday of Wharf Rat Rally week out of Old Orchard Inn – for a flat fee, hop on and hop off as the bus winds its way through the wineries of the eastern Valley.
- Also of interest:
- Wines of Nova Scotia (http://winesofnovascotia.ca/)
- Taste of Nova Scotia (http://www.tasteofnovascotia.com/about/)