2017 Ford F-250 Lariat Diesel
Grand Pré National Historic Site
Fort Anne National Historic Site
Halifax Citadel National Historic Site
Fort Beauséjour-Fort Cumberland National Historic Site
Domaine de Grand Pré
Petit Passage Whale Watch
With all the fuss about Canada’s 150th anniversary this year, plenty of Canadians are hitting the road to take in our country’s many legendary drives.
This means that social media is chock full of posts from people heading to Nova Scotia, hitting the province’s de facto travel hub in the town of Truro, and turning left toward Cape Breton Island and the Cabot Trail. And as well they should – there’s a reason it’s been called one of the most scenic drive routes on the planet.
But as my family and I planned to visit Nova Scotia this summer in a Ford F-250 Lariat Diesel, we realized that we didn’t know very much at all about what we would find if we turned right at Truro instead and explored the southwest portion of the province.
In the summer after our Xploring journey began, I didn’t really have the hang of things yet. We drove all the way around the southwest portion of Nova Scotia, and we managed to miss two extremely important Parks Canada locations: Port-Royal National Historic Site, just across the Annapolis Basin from Digby, and Kejimkujik National Park and National Historic Site, which comprises both a large portion of the southwest’s interior as well as a seaside addition.
I’ve been kicking myself since then for missing these, of course. But we still have plenty to see in Nova Scotia — and family to visit — so I’m sure it won’t be long before we can pick back up where we left off. (I hear this is best done in August or September because the mosquitoes might carry you back to central Canada if you try to go inland any earlier.)
I didn’t note it at the time, but this was also the trip where we visited our first Xplorers site in New Brunswick, Fort Beauséjour-Ford Cumberland National Historic Site in Aulac, just north of the Nova Scotia border. As the name suggests, this fort changed hands between the French and the British, and this area was also important to the Acadians and the Mik’maq. It was even attacked by U.S. forces during the American War of Independence. Not much remains of the original fort today. But the shape of the fort is still clearly etched into the earth, the visitor centre is full of fascinating information, and the site is worth visiting for its spectacular views over the Bay of Fundy alone.