STAYCATION: A Few Valley Picks!

This is the summer to celebrate what’s on offer in the Valley. It is, for sure, a summer like no other, but we’re all in this together, so let’s safely get out and about while we can. Have fun, stay safe, support our local businesses, wear masks where physical distancing may be hard to ensure, re-connect with our community, and enjoy the summer sun!

The Windsor/West Hants Parks and Rec are offering stand-up paddle board rentals for free! Loans are available for up to 4 days and they must be pre-booked. There are two adult and two youth boards available. Contact Bekah at 902-790-9647 or for more info.

And if you’re in West Hants, check out for the best spot to stretch your legs and take a hike.

The Port Williams Park, located on Highway 358 across from Centennial Drive, is a hidden gem. The park includes a fantastic playground, a basketball court, picnic tables, a shelter, and plenty of space to run-around.

For a little history, and a beautiful view, check out the Wellington Dyke located along Wellington Dyke Road between Starr’s Point and Lower Canard. Built by local farmers between 1817 and 1825, this dyke protects more than 3000 acres of farmland.

Grand-Pré National Historic Site is reopen with limited visitor services. Parks Canada interpreters will be roaming on site to answer questions, and indoor bathrooms will be available. By July 30, additional aspects of the park will open: the Visitor Information Centre and exhibit, the Memorial Church, and the Forge.

While you’re in the area, be sure to take the time to visit Evangeline Beach. With stunning views of Blomidon, it’s perfect for a walk at low tide or a swim at high tide.

The Wolfville Farmers’ Market is back on Saturday mornings, now as the Safe Summertime Outdoor Market. Every Saturday 9am to noon, visitors can grab their goods directly from vendors, just like old times. Fresh vegetables, local meet, seafood, craft beer, jewelry, soap, grab-and-go meals, chocolate, and baked goods — it’s all back and in-person!

The Kentville Family Zone is bringing lawn games, sports equipment, and craft supplies to parks twice a week to encourage families to get outside and have some fun. Mondays 6pm to 8pm at Memorial Park on Soccer Field #2, and Wednesdays from 2pm to 4pm at Oakdene Park.

The Halls Harbour Lobster Pound and Restaurant has undergone big renovations and they are now providing dine-in service in the lower dining room and on the lower deck. Take-out will still be available and there are several picnic tables on site. The beach is also, as always, worth a stroll, and who doesn’t love to check out the boats in the harbour?

The splash pad in Rainforth Park is open! Right next to a playground and tennis courts and with lots of picnic tables in shady spots, it’s easy to pack a picnic and spend the day — or better yet, check out some of Berwick’s fantastic restaurants.

Oaklawn Zoo is open! The zoo has made lots of updates to accommodate opening for this season — new pathways make space for social distancing and the zoo is touch-free this year, with no pony rides or petting — but it still feels like the same special spot for folks to spend a pleasant afternoon.

Did you know that Aylesford Lake has free kayak rentals? On Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10am till 2pm, by reservation only, one-hour kayak loans are available. Call 902-690-6124 to make your reservation, as walk-in rentals will not be available.

Check out the new accessible boardwalk at the new Accessible Boardwalk at the Margaretsville Shore Park! It the perfect spot to enjoy some take-out from The Dock of the Bay Cafe! The park is operated by the Margaretsville Shore Society and offers fire pits and picnic tables. The boardwalk wharf is at you own risk, and the Society asks that you take nothing but pictures and leave nothing but footprints. (Photos from The Dock of the Bay Cafe)

The town of Middleton is again offering canoe and kayak loans for free. Available daily Monday through Saturday and available only through reservation, call 902-825-8143 for more information.

While you’re in Middleton, be sure to check out their Water Clock — one of roughly only 20 on display across the world, the clock is located adjacent to Town Hall on Commercial Street. Water temperature and pressure fluctuations slightly impair the clock’s accuracy; but nonetheless, it is an interesting piece of timekeeping history.