The Enchanted Land

Driving through the Heart

Just inland from Digby is the village of Bear River, which bills itself as the"Switzerland of Nova Scotia." It's a pleasant place inhabited by a quirky mixture of artists, indigenous people, and farmers. However, only in a land with not one real mountain could anyone believe that these local hills resemble Switzerland.

From there, we take the "road less traveled" south through dense pine and spruce forests across the heart of the province. Reaching the South Shore, we drive along the scenic bank of LaHave River to the point at which it flows into the Atlantic. It was there that the French adventurer Champlain dropped anchor in 1604 and proclaimed the existence of "New France."

Soon afterward, Isaac deRazilly founded a French colony nearby. Since explorers who had landed earlier elsewhere along the coast of the New World had not established settlements, the place now known as Fort Point is believed to have been the first permanent settlement in North America.

A few minutes drive up the coast brings us through Mahone Bay, home of the famous "Wooden Boat Festival," to the port of Lunenburg, one of the stars of the South Shore.

Brightly painted Victorian homes rise up the hillside behind a bustling waterfront. Boat builders and ship chandlers still actively ply their trades.

Published: 30 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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