Bear River

Bear River, the village on stilts. Photo by Sledding Hill

Tides, wineries, native 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 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 thirty- to forty-degree elevations. These glorious hills primarily consist of hardwood growth including northern red oak, maple and ash. Due to this hardwood growth, Bear River 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.

    The Digby area is home to some amazing art studios and galleries. The Flight of Fancy in Bear River is widely considered one of the best art galleries in the province.

    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 or

For more images, take a look at our Bear River image gallery.

Some interesting Facts:

  • Bear River has a rich ship building history
  • You will find no stop-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!
  • The first reported vineyard in Bear River planted in the early 1600’s by Louis L’Hebert. Now this old tradition has been given a new life with the development of new wineries
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