Tides, wineries, Mi’kmaw culture and artist studios: that is Bear River in a nutshell. Its unique location on a tidal river, nestled in a valley gives it an ‘out of this world’ feel. This little village offers a different pace of life. There are no traffic lights, no fast food restaurants, no big box stores and people have time for a chat. Historical and modern-day references to this village include “The most unique community in Nova Scotia”; “The Switzerland of Nova Scotia” and “Village on Stilts”.
Located on a tidal river
Twenty-seven-foot Bay of Fundy tides rise and fall daily, swelling an otherwise shallow river. Low tides reveal miles of stunning marsh grasses. Natural slate-packed banks along the river’s edge support elevations of almost 40 degrees. These glorious hills primarily consist of hardwood growth including northern red oak, maple and ash. Due to this hardwood growth, this area is also known for its breathtaking fall foliage. Bear River makes for a great day trip by bicycle as well, be prepared for a few hills though!
Things to do:
- Visit the kiosk in the village to learn about Bear River’s culture and history, including Bear River First Nations, shipbuilding and lumbering heritage, and the artists’ trail.
- Put local wine and food on your menu and visit Bear River Winery, Sissiboo Coffee Roaster and Myrtle and Rosie’s Café.
- Enjoy the views of downtown. Some of the best views can be found from just behind the fire department building.
- Visit the ‘Flight of Fancy’, highly regarded as an outstanding craft shop and gallery. The owner won the “Atlantic Canada Outstanding Retailer” award in 2011 for good reason.Follow the signs to the Bear River Artists’ Studios. You will find some stunning and unique souvenirs and gifts.
For more information about Bear River, visit their website at www.bearriver.ca or www.tidalvillage.ca
Click on the map to download a PDF copy
- Bear River is referred to by the Mi’kmaw as L’sitkuk, pronounced “elsetkook.” Translated into English, this means “flowing along by high rocks.”
- Bear River has a rich ship building history
- There are no traffic lights in Bear River
- The village is run by volunteers as there is no town government
- There is no fast food to be found here!
- Credited with planting the first vineyard in Canada was Louis Hebert in Bear River during the early 1600’s. Now this old tradition has been given a new life with the development of new wineries in the area.
Bear River Association Members: