Digby holds plenty of natural wonders. In fact, it sits right at the entrance of the Bay of Fundy, which is one of North America’s seven natural wonders. There’s plenty to do in and around the Bay, and when you’re done there you can branch out to the rest of the Digby county, where you’ll find plenty of beautiful places to explore.
** Make sure you are aware of all health regulations and other travel-related information before travelling. Some places might be closed due to various reasons including the current pandemic**
Go into the Valley of Trails
Acacia Valley has trails for everyone. The trail out to Aunt Sarah’s Brook is wheelchair accessible, with a platform where you can fish from. There are also some single-track trails that go through the woods, showing off a variety of trees and water “features”. Then there’s trails that lead to logging roads that you can use for hiking, driving ATVs, and cross-country skiing. Rain or shine, summer or winter, you’ll find your place on the Acacia Valley trails.
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#fallingfordigby some fall colour from this morning's hike to Tuppers Deadwater on the Acacia Valley trails – share your Digby fall colours with hashtag #fallingfordigby or tag me (@digby_trails ) – so I can gather up a collection – please – oh and #get outdoors #go @hikenovascotia #hiking #nsleafwatch
Address: Mill Road (see site for full driving instructions)
Watch a Rock Defy Gravity
What you have to understand is that this object is indeed balancing, but I don’t know if I’d call it a rock, per se. It’s 20 tonnes of basalt that’s 20 feet high, so I guess it’s a giant rock or maybe a tiny mountain. Whatever you call it, it’s definitely worth the 1.7 km hike out to the rock through the woods and a bog. The end of the trail is 235 stairs to climb up and get the best possible view, so be ready to take a break or two before you take pictures.
Address: Highway 217 (outside Tiverton)
Find the Art Town
Bear River is a small community on…well, the Bear River, which is a tidal river off the Bay of Fundy. With 800 residents, it’s a tiny charming village full of character. The arts community thrives here across different art forms, and there are events and galleries to enjoy the fruits of their labours. You’ll also enjoy the scenery of the place, which is as varied as the seasons, or you can just wander around this village on stilts.
Address: Bear River, Nova Scotia
Visit the Place of Grapes and Figs
These vineyards are just outside of Bear River proper, and they draw on the power of the local terroir to make unique wines. It’s eleven acres of vines as well as a greenhouse, which has a gorgeous 20-year-old fig tree. You can come for tastings, explore the property, and even stay in in the guest room! All their wines look interesting, but one I’ll recommend is their Rosé, which is called Rose eh.
Address: 133 Chute Road, Bear River
See the Park With Billingual Names
This park is also known as Parc Joseph et Marie Dugas (Joseph and Marie Dugas Park), so you’ll find discussions of both online. There’s plenty to explore in this park, starting with a 5km trail that loops. You’ll also find shingle beaches, salt marshes, and even places to dig for clams! In the summer there are other events like lobster suppers and Farmers’ Markets, so keep an eye out when you’re planning your trip!
Address: 3239 Highway 1, Belliveau Cove
See an Early Lighthouse
When you get to the coastline, odds are you’ll see a lighthouse. The Boars Head Lighthouse stands on Long Island (same island as the Balancing Rock), and it’s protected as a Heritage Lighthouse. The first lighthouse on this site was built in 1864, and then it was replaced with the current one in 1957. When you visit, you can also see a memorial to all the keepers who kept the light burning at this historic site.
Address: Tiverton on Long Island, Boars Head Road
Stay on the Island at the Edge of the Bay
Brier island is right at the entrance of the Bay of Fundy, and offers multiple ways to enjoy nature. You can hike the trails of the island, go birdwatching and rock collecting, or just sit and watch the tides change. You’ll also be able to observe seals at Seal Cove, and you might see a whale from way up on the cliffs. The Brier Island Lodge is a great base if you’re staying for a while in Digby, as you can just relax and live at the island’s pace, the rhythm moving with the tides.
Address: Brier Island
Golf Among the Pines
Digby Pines is a beautiful resort in…well, Digby, and in addition to great rooms and great food, they also have an awesome golf course. It was designed by Stanley Thompson, who has designed golf courses across Canada. It’s 18 holes surrounded by brooks, ponds, and pine trees (hence the name). You can golf there whether you’re a resort guest or simply a visitor, and there are special rates for kids and for “twilight” (after 2pm Sunday-Thursday).
Address: 103 Shore Road, Digby
See the Bay of Fundy
If you want the best view of the Bay of Fundy, this is the trail for you! It’s 1.3 km long that goes over a grassy ridge to see not just the Bay, but Freeport, Grand Passage, and part of Brier Island. There are lots of places to stop and sit at benches and bridges, so you can still enjoy it on a hot day. Once you get to the end of this trail you can continue onto Beautiful Cove or Fisherman’s Point.
Address: Highway 217, beside the Island History Museum
Make Memories at the Memorial Park
This park is right on the water, a fitting memorial for Digby County fishermen lost at sea. It can be a solemn place, especially with the memorial inscribed with the names of the lost. However, it’s also a peaceful place to enjoy with your family. There’s a play area and lots of places to sit down and have a picnic. The idea of memorials is often to make the past present, and making new happy memories is a great way to do so.
Address: 6 Maiden Lane, Digby
Tour Sea and Shore
When you visit Digby, you’ll be faced with a tough choice—do you want to focus on the water or the land? With Gael Tours, you can do both. They have two different tours, and both of them incorporate elements of both. The Plankton, Periwinkles and Predators tour takes you into the tidal pools of the Bay of Fundy and includes a walk along the rocky shores to get there. The second tour is Stones, Steeples, Ships & Seafood, which takes you through the Town of Digby from the Trinity Anglican Church down to the harbour. If you haven’t quite gotten your fill, they also have a package for a full-day experience called Whales, Trails, and Periwinkle Tales, which sums up the experience nicely.
Address: Meeting place for all tours is by the Digby Town Tourist Bureau, 110 Montague Row
Find Gulliver’s Trails
In Gulliver’s Cove there are a few trails that let you explore the area. The Gulliver’s Head Trail is fairly level and is 1.2 km long, and it leads to a look-off at the High Cliffs. The Gulliver’s Cove High Cliffs Trails is shorter at 800m, and you go through fields and some woods. You’ll likely see peregrine falcons that nest amongst the cliffs, and you’ll see a bunch of other birds and maybe some seals and porpoises far below. There are trails above these two that aren’t fully complete, but they’re in the works and you’re welcome to explore along the paths already laid.
Address: 703 Gulliver’s Cove Road, Digby
Have an Aquatic Adventure by Sissiboo
If you want to take a tour by kayak or canoe, Hinterland Adventures is happy to help! Their main coverage area is the Sissiboo River and St. Mary’s Bay. You can join up with one of their tours, which can be ½ or full days, sunset or nighttime, or even with a large group. If you’d rather go on your own, you can rent gear and boats from them, and they’ll come and pick you up at the end of your route. The prices are incredibly reasonable, and it’s a great way to explore a lesser-known aquatic area of Digby.
Cost: Tour rates depend on the tour, rentals are 10$ an hour or 35$ a day.
Address: 54 Gate’s Lane, Weymouth
Phone: 902-837-4092 or 1-800-378-8177
Go to a Park in the Middle
This park is an interesting place because it’s in between Digby and another county, so it’s midway, get it? Lake Midway gives you access to a freshwater swimming and fishing experience. You can also bring a canoe or a kayak, or just bring a picnic and watch other people do that! It’s 29km west of Digby, so it’s a short drive if it’s too hot to think and too cold to swim in the ocean.
Address: 7600 Highway 217
Make Memories of Maud Lewis
You never forget your first experience of Maud Lewis’ art. Her paintings are cheerful, colourful, and exude innocent, pure joy. Her art is mainly in the Nova Scotia Art Gallery (which is also where her house is now), but she lived in Digby, and that’s where the Memorial Park is. There’s a beautiful garden, picnic tables, and panels explaining Maud Lewis’ history. There’s also a steel memorial for Maud and her husband Everett. Maud Lewis’ life wasn’t always beautiful, but that didn’t stop her from creating beauty in the world, and this place reflects that spirit perfectly.
Address: Maud Lewis Lane, Digby
Get Help from Mullenbrooktrout
Need a guide service for fishing? Based at Weymouth, Mullenbrooktrout take you into the Tobeatic near Trout Point Lodge (the Tobeatic crosses 5 counties) to fly fish. They’ll take you out for either a half- or full day, and provide gear for two. The fly fishing in this area is well-known for trout, so this is a great opportunity to get some local insight, and maybe even to pick up a new sport if you’re new to fly-fishing.
Cost: 175$ for half day (for two), 250$ for full day (for two)
Address: 514 Riverdale Road, Digby
Find a Prim Lighthouse
Only ten minutes outside Digby, this lighthouse is certainly beautiful, but it looks a bit too wild to be ‘prim’ to me. It’s a relatively easy walk out to the point, and there are different trails to give you different vantage points on the bay. There’s also a park with picnic tables, paths down to the tide pools, and if you’re tired and you just want to relax somewhere beautiful, you can just sit down and watch the birds, try to spot seals, and maybe if you’re lucky you’ll see a whale!
Address: 1417 Lighthouse Road
Enjoy a Sandy Beachy Cove
While there are many beaches in Nova Scotia, the fact is that a lot of them aren’t sandy—many are quite rocky, and ones that are sandy are often quite short or…I guess thin? Not a lot of distance from shore to water, I guess. Sandy Cove Beach is different; they have plenty of sand and the water is great! It’s secluded enough that it won’t be packed, so you’re free to wander and look for seaglass and shells, or just walk and enjoy the sunset!
Hunt for Treasure
You’ll find Savary Park overlooking St. Mary’s Bay, not far from Sissiboo. This provincial park was once a shipbuilding site, but now it’s a beautiful park. Beachcombing is highly encouraged, and there’s a gorgeous birch canopy to wander under. There are also apparently some geocaching sites in the park, so if you’re up for a treasure hunt with a GPS, take a look around!
Address: 7401 Highway 1, Plympton
Explore the Cove
Smith’s Cove is a destination that is perfect for pictures. You’ll find beautiful views of the Annapolis Basin and the Digby Gut from multiple vantage points around the cove, and there are hills and beaches perfect for frolicking. Sometimes you just want to wander in beauty, not do anything specific, and Smith’s Cove is the perfect place to do that, especially if you stay at one of the inns or cottages.
Address: Smith’s Cove
Find the Twisting Trails
Van Tassel Lake trails lead you to several places. You can get to the lake itself, a reservoir and dam, and even wind turbines. The terrain is mixed, as the trail network is partly access roads and partly wilderness walking trails. If you take the wilderness trail around the lake, there are two ‘spurs’ to explore—one leads to a lookoff, and the other is a surprise (a fun one, I promise).
Address: 859 Culloden Road, Mount Pleasant
Take a Storied Trail
This is a perfect trail if you happen to have a bookworm like me in your family, who demands stories with their nature. You’ll learn about the five founding cultures of the area along the trail through interpretive panels; these are the Acadians, the Mi’kmaq, the Black Loyalists, the United Empire Loyalists and the New France Settlers. It’s 500m long so it’s perfect for a family walk, and it also has play equipment, picnic tables, and a gazebo! If you’re keen to learn more about the five founding cultures, Sissiboo Landing is close by, which is a cultural centre focused on these stories of the past.
Address: 4623 Highway 1, Weymouth
Go Looking for Whales
I’ve gone on a whale watching tour with my family in Digby, so I can tell you first-hand that the whale sightings are incredible. There are several different kinds of whales in the Bay of Fundy at different times of the season, as well as porpoises, seals, dolphins, and even Basking Sharks! There are a few options for tour companies, so you’re sure to find a seat. Don’t forget to bring ginger Gravol if you get seasick, you won’t want to miss a minute!
Address: See website link for links to the four member organizations and their information
Look off to the Future
Most of the entries in this article are listed in alphabetical order by place name, but I had to make an exception for this one. Why? Well, the Provincial Annapolis Basin Lookoff lookoff actually looks off over the next county to be covered! It’s still technically within Digby bounds, but you can see across the way to Annapolis as you have a nice picnic. It’s a great place to reflect on the county you’ve been enjoying, and look forward to the county to come.
Address: 260 Shore Road, Digby