Northern Zone: Colchester East Hants, Cumberland, and Pictou
Locally-crafted wine? Winter adventures? Fresh lobster? This beautiful part of the province has something for everyone – it’s as diverse in landscape as it is in recreational opportunities. Spanning from the warm water beaches of the Northumberland Straight to the surreally stunning Bay of Fundy, the region features vibrant towns, the province’s best downhill skiing, festivals and events galore, and a terroir ideal for the production of wine.
This area of the province is home to three regional hospitals, located in Amherst, Truro, and New Glasgow, two community health centres, and four community hospitals with Collaborative Emergency Centres. Both Truro and Amherst hospitals were built to be models of efficiency, featuring lots of light, outdoor living space, and modern workspaces.
Nestled between the warm waters of the Northumberland Straight, and the world’s highest tides in the Bay of Fundy, the Cumberland County area boasts a culture defined by the sea. The northern shore has more warm-water ocean beaches than anywhere else in Atlantic Canada, making this a beach bum’s paradise. And the area’s towns are each wonderful slices of Nova Scotia culture.
A peaceful place
In 1995, a small Nova Scotia village received big recognition. The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded jointly to Joseph Rotblat and Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs for their efforts to diminish the part played by nuclear arms in international politics and, in the longer run, to eliminate such arms.
The Wentworth Valley, in the Cobequid Hills, is home to Ski Wentworth, the Maritimes' largest ski area. Got a need for speed? Get ready for 238 vertical metres (815 vertical feet), with 25 alpine trails, 10 km of cross country trails, half-pipe, terrain park, aerials and moguls sites, snowshoeing, and a variety of trails. There’s no hibernating in winter here.
Get outside and explore! Outdoor adventure is a way of life in this region, with a dynamic landscape that rewards everyone up for a hike, kayak, or simple stroll. Maybe a high speed Zodiac ride in the world’s highest tidal bore is more your thing? Between the natural wonder, the many friendly communities of Colchester East Hants offer wonderful restaurants, energetic festivals, and rich history – all worth exploring.
Made with care
The explosion of craft brewers, distillers, and vintners in Nova Scotia is well represented in this region. Home to the oldest winery in the province, Jost Winery, this area is also a hot destination for those looking to fill their glass with a handcrafted vodka or microbrew. Cheers to the good life.
Known as the “Birthplace of New Scotland”, Pictou County is home base for the celebration of Nova Scotia’s Scottish roots. The Pictou Lobster Carnival is just one way the town pays homage to its seafaring past. The legendary Ship Hector is another – step aboard, and imagine what it was like for the many Scottish immigrants who voyaged across the Atlantic Ocean.
Fresh from the sea
With 13,300 km of coastline, it’s not surprising that Nova Scotia is hailed as a sport fishing paradise. Speckled, rainbow, and brown trout; smallmouth bass, perch, chain pickerel, and mackerel; Atlantic salmon and even bluefin tuna; the catch of a lifetime is never far away.
The Big One That Didn't Get Away
Not only is Ken Fraser’s bluefin the biggest tuna ever recorded by the International Game Fish Association, it is also one of the most iconic records of all time. He landed the giant in 1979, in the Northumberland Straight. After nearly 10 hours in the boat, the tuna still weighed in at almost 1500 pounds – a record that may never be broken.
Photo courtesy of IGFA / igfa.org