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There is plenty to do around Mahone Bay and the South Shore of Nova Scotia. The colourful, charming seaside towns of Mahone Bay, Chester and Lunenburg - a UNESCO World Heritage Site are all just a quick drive away, each has their own distinct character and fascinating history to share.
We love where we live here, and if you immerse yourself in the unique beauty, history and culture of this beautiful area, you too will experience the kind of laid-back coastal way of life that stays with you forever.
Below is a selection of things to do; there is something for everybody, whether you feel like relaxing, shopping, dining, sightseeing, exploring the amazing beaches or the history, or you are up to an outdoor adventure like sailing, kayaking, fishing, cycling or hiking. We have tested and tried almost everything on the list and keep discovering more. We will gladly help you plan your itinerary, whether it's for a short or longer stay.
A stroll down our quiet dead end country road the river opens up into the bay and offers amazing views. We feel extremely fortunate to be part of this amazing, friendly and open community with lots of sailors and smiling faces.
You can access the beautiful Dynamite Trail through a trail behind the barn of the lodge. Enjoy the complimentary guest bikes to bike 9km to Mahone Bay along bays and lakes.
Voted as one of the best small towns in Canada. Mahone Bay is a tranquil destination and very walkable with spectacular views of the scenic harbour. You’ll find vibrantly painted Victorian homes, charming restaurants, cafes and shops, colourful heritage gardens, and our world-famous three churches, which sit at the water’s edge and form the iconic backdrop for one of Canada’s most picturesque towns.
Lunenburg is less than 15 minutes from River Ridge Lodge - UNESCO World Heritage Site, National Historic District, Communities in Bloom's Most Beautiful Small Town and winner of Prettiest Painted Places in Canada, Port City of the Year and Society of American Travel Writers' Award recipient. Lunenburg is definitely a must see while you are staying with us, if you are lucky the iconic Bluenose II might even be in port.
Nature for a Day. Memories for a Lifetime! For an unforgettable experience enjoy a safe, stress-free and fun kayaking tour surrounded by natural beauty. Whether you are a newbie or hard-core kayaker, young or old, Mike, your local guide, will tailor the perfect trip just for you! If you want, he’ll even stop to explore some of our many islands. Depending on when you head out, you can even see the Lunenburg skyline backlit by the sunset, if the weather cooperates. You can start your steps at River Ridge Lodge’s dock, or from Lunenburg back harbour, only 10-15 minutes from the lodge. Ask Frauke to arrange a memorable trip or a rental kayak for you.
River Ridge Lodge is located only 5km from Oak Island, recently made popular by the History Channel's TV mini-series 'The Curse of Oak Island'. For over 200 years, Oak Island has enthralled, delighted and frustrated those who have dug in its famous Money Pit looking for the renowned Oak Island Treasure. Oak Island is one of over 350 islands that dot picturesque Mahone Bay. This unassuming dot of land was paid little attention until 1795, when a teenaged boy discovered a circular depression in the ground and started digging.
Did you miss out on the Oak Island Walking Tours? Don't be disappointed. Join The Curse of Oak Island's very own Tony Sampson , owner of Salty Dog Sea Tours, for an epic Oak Island Adventure! This tour includes a guided boat tour of Oak Island to get a unique perspective of this mysterious island, the site of the world's longest running treasure hunt. Enjoy a guided tour of the Oak Island Interpretation Centre and a picnic lunch and join experience Oak Island Historian, researcher and tour guide Danny Hennigar on a pleasant, relaxing journey around the area to hear true stories and see locations all related to the famous island and treasure hunt. Tours are 5.5 hours and run from June 3 - October 7, 2020. The tours depart only 5-10 minutes from River Ridge Lodge.
A trip to the East Coast of Nova Scotia shouldn't miss a visit of world famous Peggy’s Cove Village and the Peggy’s Point Lighthouse. Nova Scotia is home to over 160 historic lighthouses, but no beacon is as photographed as the one in the vibrant fishing village of Peggy’s Cove. Built in 1915, Peggy’s Point Lighthouse still keeps watch over surging ocean waves and working lobster boats. Peggy's cove offers beautiful views and the fishing village is absolutely charming. Scramble over giant rocks worn smooth by the sea and share in the view or enjoy a cup of coffee or meal at the restaurant, however, one of our favourite restaurants is the Rhubarb Restaurant just before Peggy's Cove coming from River Ridge Lodge.
With 7,600 km of shoreline, it's no secret that Nova Scotia is home to some pretty awesome beaches. There is a beach for everybody, from favourite places to spend a day in the sand to sweet surf spots. Along the South Shore you can find beautiful white sand beaches which look like tropical get-aways. Click on the link and you will find a guide to the 10 best beaches of the South Shore, nine of them within 1 hour drive of River Ridge Lodge, with descriptions and directions how to get there. Make sure you grab a beach towel from our guest lounge before you head out.
Sensea Nordic Spa offers the first Nordic Spa experience in Nova Scotia. They offer Thermal and Hydro therapies, a unique relaxation experience inspired by the Nordic culture, stimulating all your senses. If you like saunas, hammams or hot tubs this experience is not to be missed. You will find that you can spend hours trying all the different types of saunas, and the hot tubs with a beautiful view of the lake. Enjoy the relaxation yurt with a wood fire place in the centre and a glimpse over the lake, where you can get food, snacks and even beer and wine. A truly relaxing experience. Make sure you book your day pass since they only let a limited number of people in.
Fishing on a beautiful lake or river is sure to be a highlight of your trip. You will be fully guided and in excellent hands with Peter Lavender - a licensed and insured local fishing expert. Your guide will tailor the trip to suit your needs, whether you are a hardcore tournament angler, novice, family or group of friends. While fishing, you’ll experience maritime nature at its best, with the sights and sounds of local flora and fauna surrounding you. Rates are very reasonable.
Ask Frauke to inquire and/or arrange your fishing trip.
Kejimkujik National Park Seaside is a wild beautiful and isolated 22 km² stretch of coastline west of Liverpool in the South Shore region with two scenic trails – Harbour Rock Trail (5.2 km return) and Port Joli Head Trail (8.7 km return). The trails bring you to glacier-carved headlands, secluded rocky coves and a broad beach with silver sand. Often you can observe seals and shorebirds just off shore. Other features include interpretation exhibits, telescopes, and benches. Open year round as conditions allow; there is no admission charge.
An authentic, living heritage site, much of Ross Farm remains the same as it was in the 1800s. From historic Rose Bank Cottage where the Ross family lived, to daily activities such as wool spinning and ox shoeing, the museum gives visitors the chance to experience yesterday’s traditional farming methods, while learning sustainable ways of living for today. Chat with costumed interpreters, hike the scenic nature trail, take a wagon ride or winter sleigh ride, and meet the animals who live and work on the farm as you connect with Nova Scotia’s rural heritage. This is a fun activity for both kids and adults.
Walking inside the La Have Bakery you will find is like walking into a storybook of some kind. The smells wash over you, the sights give you so much to take in once you settle on a treat and a cup of coffee. Grab a spot at the window or on the bench or by the water outside and watch the activity of this little place for a while. You will also find a book store and a local craft store downstairs and a pottery next door. If you are on your way to, Rissers or Crescent Beach or discover the area around Petite Reviere, this spot is not to be missed.
Experience the wines and take a tour of Petite Rivière Vineyards, known as one of the oldest grape-growing regions in North America. This vineyard is located close to beautiful the Rissers, Crescent and Green Bay Beaches. There is also a nice pub with lots of outdoor seating close by, the Osprey's Nest Public House.
Near Lunenburg and less than a 20 minute drive from River Ridge Lodge, artists, photographers and kayakers alike will be delighted with the undeniable natural beauty of the fishing village of Blue Rocks, still a working fishing village. The little community of Blue Rocks is advertised as “Lunenburg’s answer to Peggy’s Cove” and owes it's name to the blue slate rocks on the edge of the ocean that make Blue Rocks an artisan and photographers muse. If you like to get away from the crowds at Peggy's Cove but would still like to discover the beauty of Nova Scotia fishing villages, Blue Rocks is the answer.
Depending on the weather and burn restrictions we might make a bonfire to relax and mingle. Ask us if you are interested, in the summer details about burn restrictions are usually announce at 2pm that day.
The Shore Club in Hubbards is Nova Scotia's last great dance hall, offering dancing with live entertainment every summer Saturday night since 1946. The Shore Club is also known for its “World Famous” lobster suppers and is especially a great experience for groups.
Pedal through beautiful country side along scenic bays, rivers and lakes. River Ridge Lodge is very close to the Trans Canada Trail that you can cycle to Mahone Bay, Lunenburg, and if you are so inclined all the way to Yarmouth. Cycling into the other direction brings you to Chester and further to Hubbards, or enjoy amazing views of the shore cycling the quiet coastal roads along the water. The beautiful Rum Runners Trail brings you to picturesque Mahone Bay to enjoy a craft beer at the popular Saltbox Brewery or a coffee at The Barn Coffee and Social House, at both you are sure to meet countless smiling locals.
Farmers’ markets in Nova Scotia never seem to have a problem gathering crowds. Nova Scotians' love to support their local artisans and planters by getting up early once a week and visiting what is always a lively farmers' market experience, full of awesome music and delicious food.
Lunenburg - Thu 8am-12pm (all year)
Bridgewater - Sat 9am-1pm (Jun-Oct)
Hubbards - Sat 8am-12pm (May-Oct)
New Ross - Sat 9am-12pm (Jun-Thanksgiving)
The Ovens Natural Park is a 190 acres pristine reserve of coastal forest in Feltzen South, along the scenic Lighthouse Route, about 30 minutes from River Ridge Lodge. It was part of the Gold Rush over a century ago. Enjoy hiking the spectacular trails along the cliffs to view the famous sea caves, or "ovens" for which Ovens Natural Park was named. The most exciting time to visit Ovens Natural Park is during high tide, so make sure you ask us about the tide schedule if you plan to visit. Pack a picnic lunch or enjoy a meal in their restaurant with magnificent oceanfront setting. In July and August they offer daily live music at 7:30pm with great East Coast atmosphere. Ask us to make a reservation for you since they tend to sell out.
Gaff Point and Hirtle's Beach is a 7 kilometer beautiful loop trail with moderate traffic. The trail is located near Riverport, Nova Scotia, Canada that features a great forest setting and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, and trail running. We can provide you with a map and details how to get there. The first kilometer is along the beach and if the tide is in you will like wearing sturdy shoes since you would have to walk over small rocks.
Pleasant Paddling offers sea kayak tours, rentals, and lessons in Blue Rocks, Nova Scotia. They are minutes from Lunenburg and in one of the best kayaking locations in Nova Scotia. Experience the calm, protected, and beautiful water of Blue Rocks. They offer guided kayak tours in the morning, afternoon and relaxing sunset tours. No experience is necessary and beginners are welcome! Ages 4 and up! Stand Up Paddle Board rentals and tours are also available!
Explore Mahone Bay from on board Oak Haven, a 35 foot full-keeled, cutter-rigged sail yacht. Learn about our local history, legendary mysteries, and natural environment, and if you’re interested, learn a bit about sailing too. Open your senses to the sea and to all that this ocean playground has to offer.