ADDA Campground

image

When planning out our recent trip to the Bay of Fundy and Cape Chignecto Provincial Park, we searched for a family-friendly campground fairly close to the park. While the walk-in sites at Cape Chignecto seemed appealing, it was not something we wanted to do with three young children. We finally decided on ADDA Campground, run by the community of Advocate Harbour and the closest campground to the park.

image

We  loved how much the campground had to keep us busy. In addition to a playground, there was a basketball court (and basketballs were available in the office to borrow) as well as a full baseball field. We spent quite a lot of time as a family playing wiffle ball, and Five Ball and Five of Hearts even had the opportunity to participate in a community tee ball game on the last day of our stay.

image

In addition to Cape Chignecto Provincial Park just minutes away, we found quite a lot to see and do nearby. The town of Advocate Harbour itself has some nice walking trails along the Bay of Fundy shoreline as well as paths through salt marshes and past scenic farms. There are also lighthouses nearby with their own scenic views and hikes.

image

We couldn’t have asked for a more family-friendly place to stay then ADDA Campground. We felt fortunate to have briefly been a part of the lovely and involved community of Advocate Harbour, and it felt great that camping there kept our travel dollars in the community to reinvest for locals and tourists alike.

Red Rocks and Rope Swings

We couldn’t leave Nova Scotia without a visit to the Bay of Fundy to see the world’s highest tides. While we could have explored the bay from several areas we had read great things about the provincial park at Cape Chignecto and decided to spend our last four days in Nova Scotia just outside of the park. Cape Chignecto is known for its foggy weather and while we did experience our fair share of fog we were also lucky enough to have some gorgeous sunny days in which to experience the park.

DSC02052-picsay

We tried to explain to the kids how in this area they would see dramatic changes in tides, with 100 billion tonnes of water flowing in and out of the Bay of Fundy on a daily basis. However, it wasn’t until our second day in the area when they looked out over the mudflats where the water was the night before that they really understood just how far the water retreats and then how quickly it flows back in again. Five Ball was particularly excited by the abundance of squishy, gooey mud that is left behind at low tide and relished getting himself completely caked in it.

DSC02054-picsay

We were all impressed by the striking beauty of the red sandstone formations know as Red Rocks. The rocks offered another lesson in geology as we learned about the collision of the plants, continental rifts, and the process of oxidation. The kids found these huge rock formations to be fantastic climbing walls and great places to relax in the sun. We spent most of a day watching them scramble along the rocks while we enjoyed the view as the fog lifted off of the bay.

DSC02090-picsay

DSC02083-picsay

DSC02088-picsay

On our drive to the north western section of the park Five of Hearts was happy to find a rope swing near the Eatonville day use area. After a few swings fully clothed back to the safety of mom’s arms she changed into her bathing suit and bravely took the plunge into the brook below. While Five String also enjoyed the rope swing he was more impressed by the quality and abundance of the skipping stones along the beach.

DSC02074-picsay

DSC02069-picsay

All in all Cape Chignecto lived up to its great reputation. The numerous outdoor activities, beautiful scenery, and hospitable surrounding towns make this a must see area in Nova Scotia.

Fired Up About Hydrants

DSC01830-picsay

Here we go again. We promised ourselves that our days of suddenly stopping the car to take pictures of random items on the side of the road were behind us after we spent weeks photographing trash bins in Newfoundland. Alas, I guess we just can’t help ourselves.

Staying a week in Louisbourg to explore the nearby fortress, we soon noticed the colorful fire hydrants that line the downtown district. We loved how they told the story of the town, from French soldiers protecting what was once one of the busiest ports in North America to the fishing tradition that is still alive today. One of the managers at the Louisbourg RV Park and Campground (where we camped for the week) explained the hydrants were only turned into sidewalk art just a year ago as part of a “Paint the Town Red” event.

While certainly pale in comparison to the historical experience offered by the spectacular Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site, these hydrants provide a fascinating and functional peek into the past of one of our favorite spots we’ve visited so far in our travels.

Words Fail Us: A Week in Pictures at the Fortress of Louisbourg

DSC01798-picsay

The Fortress of Louisbourg is an spectacular place for families. We have seen, experienced, and learned so much this past week that we can’t really put it all into words. Why is this such a special place? The short answer is that life in a bustling 18th-century city lives and breathes here (literally). The great condition of the ruins and meticulous records kept of its construction and daily life made it possible to recreate the original port city of Louisbourg, and now it stands as the largest historical reconstruction on the continent. Louisbourg is also the only major colonial city in North America not to have a modern city built on top of it. So when you take the 5-minute bus ride from the Visitor’s Center to the Fortress, you truly are transported to another world with minimal intrusion from the present. Here is a glimpse into our magical week here.

Architecture: The buildings of Louisbourg are accurate reconstructions of the original 18th-century French seaport. From the lavish governor’s residence to humble inns for the common traveler, the walls and buildings themselves taught us about fortifications, food storage, metal working, and everything in between.

Archaeology: We were thrilled to be visiting during Louisbourg 300, a series of special activities celebrating the town’s 300th anniversary. In addition to all the regular demonstrations, we were treated to the opportunity to observe and speak with Parks Canada archaeologists who were recovering artifacts from the harbor, excavating around the walled city, and identifying and preserving artifacts for future generations to enjoy.

Residents of the City: The amount of knowledge the residents of the city (park staff reenactors ) have is truly impressive. Spending time speaking with the residents and learning about their world was one of our favorite parts of our time at Louisbourg. And not only do the residents “know” lots of interesting things, they also “do” lots of interesting things. We saw a ship being built, stew simmering over the hearth, bread baking in a brick oven, and even played a Basque bowling game and learned a period dance.

Beyond the Fortress Walls: The Historical Site is much more than just the walled city itself. We swam at the sandy beach where the attacking British launched their ground assault in 1745, explored the ruins of the town hospital, and posed next to the site of the first lighthouse in Canada, all without leaving the park boundaries.

Fun, Fun, Fun: At the Fortress of Louisbourg, we found surprises and delights around every corner for the young and not so young of us alike. For some of us, it came from climbing into a massive lime kiln used to make mortar. For others (High Five), it came from riding the bus to the Fortress and back. In the end, we could never have wished for a more perfect, fun, and educational week.

Louisbourg RV Park and Campground

image

Ever since we started planning our “Kids in Canada” trip this past spring, we knew a highlight of our trip would be the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site. It was hard to pass by this part of Cape Breton Island on our way to spot icebergs in Newfoundland, but as we took the return ferry this past week, we finally had the chance to set up camp near the largest historical reenactment in North America.

We originally planned on staying at Mira River Provincial Park, a large and beautiful campground about 15 minutes from the Fortress. However, we soon discovered our favorite sites would not be available for our week-long stay, and we realized the sheer size of the campground would making getting around cumbersome. We decided to drive into the town of Louisbourg itself and look for a place to camp there, and we are sure glad we did.

image

The Louisbourg RV Park and Campground turned to be exactly what we were looking for. Located in the heart of town right on the harbor and just minutes from the Fortress, it offered all the comforts we could hope for at a price significantly less than other campgrounds in the area. We were thrilled to find a site with a covered picnic shelter (a luxury we would have loved while camping in the rain at Acadia National Park this past May) and that all the sites can pick up the wireless internet (which made logging into our online jobs much, much easier).

image

Many other family-friendly features have made our week here a great one. In addition to bring able to use our electric skillet right at our site, the campground has a dish sink with hot, hot water (which also makes for great showers). There is also a fairly impressive playground right next door with plenty to keep the younger Fives happy for hours. We’ve also loved the enclosed gazebo, which has a microwave and plenty of space to spread out reading the many Sesame Street books available for guests.

image

In the end, it is all the small, unexpected discoveries that make the Louisbourg RV Park and Campground stand out. We’ve watched crab traps unloaded at the docks next to the campground, learned the story of the large tunnel right next to our site (first a passage for the coal train, then a fishermen’s museum, and now a tunnel open for car traffic), and heard live music filling our tent at night from the Louisbourg Playhouse right next door.

Finding out the story of the Motor Home Park itself was perhaps equally interesting and unexpected. It was formed and is still owned by the local small business association as a welcoming and affordable lodging option in town, an easy walk from all the local shops, restaurants, and attractions. All the profits from the camping season are then donated to support local children’s programs. Perhaps that is the most satisfying part of our experience: not only getting a great bargain but also knowing that it will end up helping a good cause.

The Fives Rating – 5 out of 5