Located right along the rocky coast of the Bay of Fundy, Port George is worth the drive over the mountain to see.
This gentle little village, with its community owned lighthouse, great community spirit and location on top of the volcanic rock shoreline offers you a lot to take in. This is also a great place to watch the flow of the highest tides in the world travel in and out every six hours.
The village is situated right along the coast so there are many spots with access to the rocky shoreline. This gives you lots of access to walk the ocean floor yourself and hunt for treasures left by the ever changing tides. Search for semi-precious stones, unusual driftwood, or the array of life in the several tidal pools waiting for the tide to come back over them.
Just down the road at Cottage Cove there is a nice Provincial picnic park. This is a great place to spend an afternoon with the family, or an evening watching the sun go down.
The park offers
several picnic sites, most secluded in the trees to give you some
privacy. Picnic tables are provided in each site.
Right across the park's driveway is the Bay of Fundy. Just off shore across from the park you will find Dunn's Rock. This is where the seals gather to bask in the warmth of the sun with the seagulls, cormorants and the occasional eagle soaring overhead.
The park also offers great opportunities for hiking along the shoreline of the Bay of Fundy, especially at low tide when you can walk on the ocean floor. A little farther down you will find the Keating Sand Beach. If you come when the tide is going out you will have time to walk along the beach over to the caves carved in the cliffs by the sea. This is a good example of the force of the water on the sides of the cliffs. Keep a watch on the time to allow yourself time to make it back ahead of the tide.
If you are looking for fresh clean air, spectacular beauty and peaceful surroundings then Port George is the place for you. You can even try your luck fishing for mackerel from their bluff or at the Cottage Cove Wharf from July to September.
This beautiful area offers much to the visitor. For a delicious meal of fresh seafood visit the Port George Takeout where people rave about the excellent fresh fish. Spend the night at the Rocky Shores and Seals Cottages or the Starfish Cottage located in the area.
During the summer months you are welcome to visit the area and enjoy their music festivals.
During the long weekend in May they host the Port George Bluegrass Festival. For more information on this event phone 902 825 6530 .
Then the last Saturday of July plan to attend the annual Port George Country Jamboree. This year, 2007 they will be celebrating their 25th annual jamboree and you do not want to miss the celebrations.
They have several talented country performers set up to provide eleven straight hours of all your favourite country music played outside on the banks of the beautiful Bay of Fundy.
Start the morning off with a fabulous pancake breakfast, and then look for new treasures at the huge 200 table all-day yard sale. The kids will be kept busy with many activities planned just for them including the "bouncer" and the "kiddie train". Enjoy all your favourite foods - lots of seafood; strawberry shortcake; fruit smoothes and hamburgers and hot dogs.
Check here for more details on either the Bluegrass Festival or the County Jamboree.
The original name given to Port George by the native Mi'kmaw was "Goolwagopskooch" which translated to "Haunt of the Hooded Seal". The natives would camp along the shores of the Bay of Fundy during the summer where they would fish and harvest some crops. In the cold winter months they would move back up to the shelter of the woods on the mountain.
The first white settlers to the area were the Gates family, the same ones known in the area for their doctor’s home remedies. At their plant on top of the mountain they made and bottled such remedies as Gates Invigorating Syrup which was listed to cure almost everything.
The Gates family started a shipyard at the east end of the community and constructed a wharf in 1812. During this time the village was called "Gate's Breakwater". The present name came later and is believed to be named after King George III.
Port George seen it's heyday during the 1800's when it claimed a canning company, several shipyards, a saw and a grist mill and a blacksmith shop. A school was built in 1871 which became a community center in 1964. By 1891 the population was up to 684.
The community began a downturn during the early 1900's when a railroad was constructed to run the length of the valley. Now goods were transported by railroad to Halifax, Annapolis Royal, Digby, or Yarmouth to be shipped out and many of the smaller ports started to decline. By 1956 the population had dropped to 84.
The first public wharf was built in 1825 but this was not strong enough to withstand the tidal currents of the Bay of Fundy. The Government helped fund a new pier in 1839 and a few years after they built a shorter wharf a little east of the longer one. Then the Government provided funds to build a breakwater, known as the East Pier across the entrance of the other two. Unfortunately, with no real funds for the upkeep, all the wharfs finally succumbed to the seas. They slowly deteriorated and washed away out to sea.
A pole light was erected on the end of the shorter pier which was used until 1889. Then a real lighthouse was built at the end of the short wharf. In the early 1930's the deterioration of the East Wharf was getting very bad. Scared they would loose their light, the lighthouse was moved up onto solid ground along the roadside.
The light from the lighthouse has shone brightly as a beacon to the travellers of the Bay since 1889. Then word was heard that many of the Nova Scotia lighthouses would become surplus and if not rescued the lights would be turned off. Village meetings were held and a committee was formed to purchase their lighthouse. Despite their efforts the Port George lighthouse was turned off in 1999, a very sad day for all the community. But the fight was not lost and not long after a successful bid was accepted and the community was able to buy their lighthouse and the light was turned back on.
Today Port George is seeing a new revitalization as more visitors are finding out about the beauty and serenity of this area. Local valley residents visit Port George often during the summer to unwind and take in the beauty and tranquility of the area. They rest in the picnic areas, or walk along the beaches. They cool off in the cool sea air on the hot days and then hang around to enjoy the beauty as the sun goes down.
Tourist from all over are also finding out about the beauty of the area. More and more from Canada's western provinces and the Americans alike are showing up in Port George and then returning the next year also. Some are returning so often they are being considered as locals now.
Add a truly Maritime experience to your vacation and visit Port George this summer.
Click on the lighthouse to check out what type of weather to expect while here.
Click on the Ferry to find out how to get here.
Click on the King George Inn to find places to stay in the Annapolis Valley
Click on the lobster to find places to eat in the valley.
Click on us if you have stories about the Annapolis Valley to share.
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