Northumberland Strait

A day-trip from The Belgravia

Explore the Northumberland Strait area

A popular day trip from Belgravia is to the so-called "North Shore" of the province, which is actually the south shore of the Northumberland Strait. This body of salt water separates Nova Scotia from the province of Prince Edward Island. The highway along this shore is Route # 6, which in travel literature is called the Sunrise Trail.

The North Shore is popular vacation country for many Nova Scotians who spend the summer season on beach front properties. The beaches of the Northumberland Strait are touted as having the warmest waters north of the Carolinas. There are several small provincial day parks with access to beaches, and all shore areas below high water mark are owned by the province so are public property.

Leaving the Belgravia we suggest you take the TCH #104 westward to Exit 11, turning north on Route #4 though the Wentworth Valley. This is a scenic route across the Cobequid Hills and is especially beautiful during the autumn foliage season. Take Route 307 at Wentworth Centre to reach Wallace where you can turn right onto the Sunrise Trail.

Once on the Sunrise Trail, enjoy this shoreline drive. A suggested side trip is a visit to the Jost Winery (pronounced "yost") at Malagash. Tour the vineyard and onsite store, and sample some award winning Nova Scotia wines. Before returning to the Sunrise Trail you may wish to complete the loop around Malagash Point to check out some of the sandy beaches and pleasant coastal scenes.

Back on the Sunrise Trail again you will pass the Tim Horton's Children's Camp at Bayhead before arriving at Tatamagouche. Plan to stop and spend some time in this historic community. Tatamagouche is named as the "place where the waters meet" in the language of the Mi'Kmaq, the original inhabitants of the area. Tatamagouche has been inhabited for many hundreds of years; first by the native Mi'Kmaq, then by the Acadians from about 1700 until 1755; then by several waves of protestant immigrants primarily from Switzerland and Scotland.

During the cruel and pitiless expulsion of the Acadians (original Cajuns) by the British in 1755, Tatamagouche was one of the primary sites where these hard working people were herded onto ships and sent off to various other parts of North America. All the houses and barns were then destroyed by the British soldiers. If you are interested in this aspect of history, ask your Belgravia hosts; we can point you to locations of old Acadian dwelling sites, and the remains of the original dikes (levees) built by these people to reclaim the saltmarshes along the French River.

While in the village check out some of the little gift boutiques and galleries along Main Street. The local museum has artifacts and can direct you to more information on the Acadian culture.

Other points of interest in the Tatamagouche area are the farmer's market at "the Creamery," the Train Station Inn, the Balmoral Grist Mill Museum (popular photographic site), and the Sutherland steam Mill at Denmark.

To reach the Balmoral Grist Mill requires another little side trip off the Sunrise Trail, but it is well worth an hour or so of your vacation time. You will want to take pictures in the parklike setting and perhaps even enjoy a picnic lunch you have had the Belgravia pack for you to bring along today.

After this stop you may want to consider your time schedule. If you have a few hours remaining in your day we suggest back-tracking to the Sunrise Trail and to continue your drive easterly along the shore. If the weather and tide are cooperating, you may wish to check out one of the public beaches at Marshville, Seafoam or Caribou River.

When you come to the historic old town of Pictou, take time to walk along the waterfront area. Check out the shops and the ship Hector exhibit. This sailing ship is a re-creation of the ship which brought the first settlers to the area from Scotland. Pictou and area boast several excellent restaurants if you happen to be there at mealtime.

Leaving Pictou, take Route 106 south and Route 104 west back to Truro. Drive carefully, enjoy the scenery, and have a fun day in this laid-back area of "New Scotland."