Yarmouth and the French Shore Family Fun
I got tired of seeing everyone’s pictures of going down south this summer so our family decided to go south, too. To Yarmouth, that is!
We decided to have a family mini-break to Yarmouth to have a change of scenery. We chose Yarmouth for a couple of reasons.
First, we have a Nova Scotia Museum pass, and other than the museums in Halifax and Ross Farm, nothing else was opened at this time of year.
My family has strong connections to Yarmouth. The Churchill branch all came from Yarmouth and operated a saw mill in the region. We’d spent many a time driving around looking at the old homesteads and I had heard lots of stories from my Grandmother.
So, we decided to find family fun in Yarmouth.
It took us about 2.5 hours to drive to Yarmouth from Kentville.
The car was well stocked with snacks, drinks, and audio stories to keep everyone happy.
North America’s Largest Wooden Church
En route, we stopped in Church Point at Église Sainte-Marie – which is the largest the largest wooden church in North America. Its steeple rises 56.4 m (185 feet) above the ground. There is a museum inside that is open from May to October.
We just made a quick stop to take a picture.
The original Frenchy’s Store opened in Meteghan River, Digby Co along the French Shore. This makes for another great pit stop.
Supervised swimming on Saturdays and Sundays in the months of July and August, the park facilities include change houses, vault toilets, freshwater taps, bird watching platforms, interpretive panels, and a parking area and boardwalks to access the beach.
It has a gorgeous sandy beach and is a great place to stop for a swim or a walk along the shore!
And, just up the road is the Cape View Restaurant.
And the accompanying boat where you can get an ice cream!
Fire Fighters Museum
We spent the afternoon at the Firefighter’s Museum in Yarmouth.
For the month of February, admittance is free because it is Heritage Month!
Here’s what the museum is about:
See the types of fire engines used from the 1800s to the 1930s. Marvel at antique hand-drawn and operated engines such as Canada’s oldest horse-drawn steam engine, an 1863 Amoskeag Steamer. Take the wheel of a 1933 Chev Bickle pumper and see collections of antique toy fire engines, shoulder crests, patches and badges from fire departments around the world.
We had a lovely afternoon looking at all the different fire equipment that has been used in Nova Scotia. It was amazing to see how quickly the technology changed from the original steam and coal engines to a motorized vehicle!
The boys loved playing on the 1933 fire truck!
There wasn’t much for the kids to touch, but there were a lot of visuals for them to understand how much hard work went into fire fighting!
The kids also had a nice rest in a reading corner fit with books all about fire fighters!
We spent about 1.5 hours in the museum and covered everything. We learned a lot, and the people running were able to answer our many questions!
The most interesting part for us, was learning about a ship that capsized in Yarmouth in the 1960s carrying a circus and all its animals. You have to see the pictures to believe it and understand the difficult rescue the fire fighters had to do!
The Firefighter’s Museum is opened year round.
And, when you head to Yarmouth, you should definitely add this to your list!
Coincidentally, later that weekend I watched a Charlie Chaplin movie called The Fireman that featured the older fire equipment, and we were able to understand and explain it all! It was fun to see it in action!
World’s Smallest Wooden Drawbridge
The community of Sandford is about a 15-minute drive from the town of Yarmouth. Here in Sandford is a unique little fishing community, and one of the main reasons that people like to visit here is to see what is noted to be the smallest drawbridge. This small drawbridge was built so that the fisherman and visitors can cross from one side of the Sandford wharf system to the other without having to travel out to the road and around.
The males all ventured across it.
The lighthouse at Cape Forchu outside of Yarmouth is very famous –and very well known for its huge Adirondack chair.
While we were there it was so cold and blustery, but we made it!
While in the parking lot, I remembered that there is a webcam on the lighthouse!
I quickly called my sister and my mother to have them look it up on the internet so we could wave to them.
My sister even took a screen shot of us there. Here is her picture.
And here is the picture that we were taking when she took her picture!
This was the definite trip highlight for me!
There is a walking trail around the cape, but it was too cold and icy for us to try it. Just means we’ll need to come back for another visit!
Are you into astronomy or want to learn more about the night sky? Book an incredible night sky tour with Tim Doucette. This amateur astronomer has a 14″ telescope and observatory in his back yard! It’s about 30 minutes outside Yarmouth, and worth the drive!
Forchu River Trail
The next morning we headed out into nature to the Forchu River Trail.
This is about 10 minutes outside of Yarmouth on Route 340 in Hebron.
We found the Hebron Recreation site, but could not find the trail head at all. Having everything covered in snow did not make it any easier, and nothing was sign posted.
Just as we were about to give up, a truck drove by, and we stopped to ask him where the trail was. He pointed it out, and I’m glad he did. It was beautiful!
Although snow covered, it was passable. It would have been much easier had we brought our snowshoes!
But, what I loved about it was that the trail was covered in animal tracks. There were deer and rabbit footprints everywhere! We had a great time imagining the party those animals must have had early this morning!
The trail is about 1km through the woods, and loops back up to the top by the playground and you walk back along the drive way (making it 1.8km).
The trail head is in between the cemetery and the storage building.
It was absolutely beautiful!
Shag Harbour UFO Incident Centre
Just south of Yarmouth, take time to visit the Shag Harbour UFO Incident Centre where it chronicles the UFO siting off the coast in 1967!
Staying and Eating in Yarmouth
We ate out a couple of times in Yarmouth. The first was at Pizza Delight on Starrs Street. I love heading up here because it’s on the street where my great-grandfather used to live (before it turned completely commercial).
In the evening we went to Rudder’s Pub, which is fantastic. You must add this to your Yarmouth list.
The building dates back to the 18th century where they used to build ships. Now it is a fantastic pub with great food, live music, and a great atmosphere.
My favourite place to eat in Yarmouth, by far!
On our next trip to Yarmouth, we found a great restaurant called the Dinner Plate (2 Cann Street) which is down on the waterfront.
Really, from the outside, it looks like a complete dive, but the food is delicious and the staff are incredible!
We had some awesome fish and chips!
We stayed at the Lakelawn Motel on Main Street, Yarmouth.
This is a great, basic motel with all your amenities, run by an extremely helpful and friendly man, Matthew.
The Lakelawn is the longest surviving hotel in the area.
There is a café on site and it is just minutes from downtown.
And according to the boys, the best part was the non-stop tv watching (since we don’t have one at home!) It was the perfect relaxing evening!
The next time we stayed in Yarmouth, we stayed in the Comfort Inn on Starrs Road. They allow dogs so we could have a full-family trip!
Much to do and See in Yarmouth
There is so much to do and see in Yarmouth and we just got the tip of the iceberg. Although we went in the winter, there was still plenty to do and see to make it a great get-away.
I would love to go back again and explore it in more seasons, do more of the walking trails, walk along the boardwalk, and hit some more museums.
We’ll see you again, Yarmouth!