Monthly Archives: March 2011

Hike the Acadian Trail

The Pomquet Acadian Trail and Chez Deslaurier

Acadian Trail - Wildflowers

Colorful Wildflowers on the Acadian Trail

This October day was a perfect day for a hike with crisp clean air, deep blue sky with spectacular ocean views from a grassy meadow high above the ocean looking over St. George’s Bay and a view of Cape Breton in the distance.   The sunlight shone on fields of wild flowers in purples, yellows, golds, reds and orange with even a few butterflies and dragon flies humming around.

Chez Deslaurier is a tea house set in an old farm house on high ground, not

Chez Deslauriers

Chez Deslauriers – Pomquet

far from Pomquet.  This is an Acadian French area of Nova Scotia where French is spoken and Acadian traditions are still celebrated.

From the farm house you overlook Monk’s Head and a series of islands and islets and Pomquet Beach.  With the sun and cloud playing over the land and the sea you could sit for hours and watch the changes in the light and shadow.

Behind the farm house several old farm implements are set off in the grassy meadow.   Keep walking along the grassy track with the water to your right and you will come to the trail head for the “Acadian Trail”.

Pomquet Acadian Trail

Pomquet Acadian Trail – Map

The trail is well marked and has maps of the area with a choice of several loop trails. The trails wind  through a variety of natural areas. Numbered markers along the trails are linked to a self-guided interpretive brochure, available at Chez Deslauriers.  The walking is easy and suitable for families.  A longer trail continues along the water and along Monks Head.

The first part of the trail is along an old cart road through a grassy meadow

Acadian Trail

Acadian Trail

area.  In fall this was thick with wild flowers of all colors – Queen Anne’s Lace, wild roses, clover, daisies, asters and grasses.  Off to the right were the views of the deep blue ocean below and towards Cape Breton.    This grassy trail is along the cliff top with open fields and hedged with evergreens and the occasional fruit tree.

The path then descends with a choice of going to the right down to the beach.  We took the left fork which heads down into a beautiful forest area with a well kept trail.  There were many varieties of mosses in greens with patches of reds,

Acadian Trail Forest Path

Acadian Trail Forest Path

evergreens and many types of mushrooms.     The light filtering through the forest was cool and inviting and great for exploring.   This is a great place to go with your camera and bring along a book about trees or mosses.  You will definitely find lots to investigate.

A left turn at a small pond takes you back to the open old farm land and leads back up to the Chez Deslaurier house in a circle route.  The whole short loop route took less than an hour.    You can easily spend a day in the area exploring the different trails or head down to Pomquet Beach.

The Chez Deslauriers property is maintained and administered by the

Mushrooms and Mosses

Mushrooms and Mosses

Pomquet Development Society, a volunteer organization aimed at promoting the Acadian culture and encouraging tourism in the community.  According to Collette Rennie of the Pomquet Development Society,  “The trails are open year-round. [The Society] will be performing maintenance on these trails before the summer ‘walking’ season as winter along the coast can create much damage. The tearoom will be open each Friday beginning on July 8 from 11 AM to 2 PM.  We serve a different traditional homemade Acadian meal each Friday, along with traditional Acadian meatpie ($8 per meal). “

Chez Deslauriers Tea Houase

Chez Deslauriers Tea House and Interpretive Centre

“The interpretive centre will be open during those times as well. As well, we will have two lobster roll dinners during the summer – on August 14 and September 11. Both will be from 3-6 PM and include local entertainment, BBQ and a delicious lobster roll meal. The interpretive centre will be available to visitors as well during these two events. This information will soon be posted on our website.” (http://www.pomquet.net/en/trails.html )

Photo Gallery

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How to get there

To get to  Pomquet, take either Exit 35 or 36 north off Highway 104.  Then turn right at the north end of Monk’s Head Road and follow the gravel road for approximately 1.5 km.  It is approximately a 25 minute drive from Antigonish or 40 minutes from the Canso Causway if you are coming from Cape Breton.

Antigonish to Chez DesLaurier


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Updates and more information

The Prissy Pig Café and Deli

 

 

For a tasty meal in attractive surroundings and enjoy local produce – head to the Prissy Pig Café and Deli on St. Andrew’s Street  at the corner of Main Street, Antigonish.

The Prissy Pig Cafe' and Deli

The Prissy Pig Cafe' and Deli

According to the General Manager, “The restaurant has evolved over the past eight months in response to the market.    The Prissy Pig was started and is owned by a number of local farmers in the area who are shareholders.   We attempt to use local products in a 100 mile radius from Antigonish.  We believe in sustainable development and the importance of using and supporting local producers. “

“Breakfast is a popular meal here for a healthy start to the day and a great value.

Prissy Pig Daily Menu Specials

Prissy Pig Daily Menu Specials

Lunch and brunch is also busy with different menu items featured daily depending on the chef and local produce.   We always have vegetarian selections and if you don’t see a vegan option ask the chef to produce something fresh.”   On Sunday we often have live music from a local musician.

I really enjoyed the “Pulled Pork” sandwich – a very generous serving with delicious and tender meat.  The

Prissy Pig Deli

Prissy Pig Deli

apple cider glazed meatballs were a delicious evening selection.   The paté from the deli was a great treat.   The chef, Mary Gillis leads the staff in preparation of new recipes for sandwiches, wraps, soups, pasta bar, hickory ribs and luscious desserts.   The home-cooked meals are tasty and there is an attractive selection from the salad and pasta bar.

The décor is bright and cheery with windows on three sides and bright designs on the walls which feature an art gallery with rotating exhibitions planned.

Enjoying a coffee with friends

Enjoying a coffee with friends

The plush leather chairs and coffee tables in the corners give a relaxed and welcoming place to sit with your friends for a cup of coffee or a snack.  Several of the diners remarked that they come in often and enjoy meeting friends in the friendly atmosphere.

Comfortable homey setting

Comfortable homey setting

The management is concerned with being environmentally conscious and in fair trade. The Prissy Pig Café & Deli serves “Just Us” Coffee and organic teas. Management is constantly looking for ways to lessen environmental impact, from being energy efficient, to using packaging and containers that have a lesser impact on the environment.

Future plans include landscaping, improvements to the façade, opening for dinner (evenings) and a license for beer and wine.

Local suppliers of baked goods, deserts, farm produce and other local products are encouraged to contact management for possible collaboration.  Local musicians and artists are also welcome.

Prissy Pig Cafe' and Deli

Prissy Pig Cafe' and Deli

The Prissy Pig caters to events and parties.  They supply everything including pickup and delivery for catered events to make your life easy.   Or you can host your business party or meeting on location in their lounge style setting.

The deli / retail area features Tony’s meats with a delicious selection of sausages, pate’, ham  and sliced meats; local cheese from Knoydart Farms; Haveracres Maple Syrup and Lo Dolce Terra Honey.

For a tasty meal in attractive surroundings and to support local farmers – head to the Prissy Pig on Main Street Antigonish.  This is a great new addition in town.  Be sure to drop in.   Students with ID get a discount.   20 St. Andrews Street, Antingonish, NS B2G 2H1.  Hours Monday to Saturday 7AM to 7 PM. Sunday 7AM to 4PM.

Check out their Facebook Group for daily specials:  http://www.facebook.com/#!/group.php?gid=128315050521433

Enjoy a Day at the Halifax Waterfront

Halifax Waterfront

You can easily spend a day – or if you have just a few hours you can make a shorter version of this inexpensive way to enjoy the Halifax harbour and its many attractions.  It has something for everyone young or old.

Along the Halifax Boardwalk

Along the Halifax Boardwalk

The Boardwalk on the Halifax side of the harbour stretches from Pier 21 on the South end to the Casino on the North end.  As you walk along you will enjoy the view of the boats and ships on this largest xx …    Many visitors to Halifax arrive via cruise ships and to boardwalk is a great way to experience the historical side of Halifax, enjoy the harbour views and have many places to drop in and shop or enjoy a meal. Be sure to wear good walking shoes and dress in layers even on a sunny day.

The Farmer’s Market near Pier 21 is open daily and has a huge selection of produce but also arts and crafts, baked goods and much more.  Great place to browse or buy.

There is a large Tourist Information Centre with lots of brochures, maps and

Halifax Waterfront

friendly people to advise on where to go and what to see throughout Nova Scotia.  It’s a great place to help in planning your visit.

If you are interested in history, Pier 21 is the Museum of Immigration.  So many people entered Canada through Pier 21 and the exhibits are interesting to give us a view of our history.  The Maritime Museum includes both small and large craft, boat building, sailing, the Titanic explosion in Halifax.

There is plenty of shopping and browsing along the route if you are so inclined.  Nova Scotia crafts, salt water taffy, t-shirts and souvenirs.

The restaurants and snack places are dotted along the route with upscale dining, and family style restaurants as well as take outs if you wish to enjoy your lunch out of doors along the boardwalk.   The small parks along the way have seating or you can perch on the wooden

Ferry Trip

One of my favourite things to do is to take the ferry from Halifax to Dartmouth.  This is the poor man’s harbour cruise.  For $ 1.50 (senior) or $ 2.50 (adult) you can buy a ticket that takes you from the Halifax Ferry terminal to Alderney Landing in Dartmouth. Sit up on

Halifax McDonald Bridge at night from the ferry

Halifax McDonald Bridge at night from the ferry - Time lapse photo

the upper deck and enjoy the activities in the harbour, see the two bridges spanning and joining these two cities.   The ferry system is part of the Halifax Metro transport system.  So you can even use your ticket to get on a bus on the other side.  Or you can enjoy walking around the Alderney Landing area, have a snack or browse and then hop back on the ferry within a 2 hour limit and use the same ticket!

Nighttime also gives a spectacular view of the skyline of Halifax and the bridges.  Best on a clear night and be sure to wrap up warmly.

Dartmouth Waterfront

The Dartmouth side of the harbour gives you a great view of the Halifax skyline.  On the weekend you can visit the Farmers Market.  The Alderney Landing Library is just a few steps away and you can drop in to relax and read a magazine or look at the views of the waterfront from the upper floors.

Alderney Landing Dartmouth

Alderney Landing Dartmouth

If you are in the mood for more walking take a right from the Alderney Landing along the waterfront and follow the path.  This leads over a small bridge which is the beginning of the Shubenacadie Canal.  There are several museums and heritage sites in the vicinity well worth visiting including Evergreen House – the Dartmouth Heritage Museum.  They have “high tea” several afternoons a week.  Check their website for timings.

 

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Map

Click on the map to get bus transit details and to zoom in on the route.  The route shown uses Lower Water street – but just head towards the water to get on the boardwalk at any point.


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