There is lots to explore from our peaceful country spot close to Mahone Bay Nova Scotia. The colourful, charming historic 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.
At River Ridge Lodge you are close to the best that Mahone Bay and the South Shore Nova Scotia have to offer, whether you feel like relaxing, shopping, dining, sightseeing, exploring the amazing beaches or the history. Feeling active, there are lots of adventures to choose from: sailing, kayaking, fishing, cycling, hiking and many more. There is something to do for all ages.
Below we have put together a selection of our tried and tested, favourite and highly recommended activities to inspire you. We will gladly help plan your custom day trip excursion and tailor it to your needs and time available. We love sharing our in-depth knowledge of the area. Also, check out some of our suggested day-trip itineraries.
A stroll down our quiet dead end country road Martins River opens up into Mahone 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 peaceful 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 on the South Shore Nova Scotia while you are staying with us near Mahone Bay; if you are lucky the iconic Bluenose II might even be in port.
River Ridge Lodge is located only a short 5-minute drive from Oak Island, one of the most famous places on the South Shore Nova Scotia that draws countless guests to stay with us nearby. 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. More recently Oak Island was made popular by the History Channel's TV mini-series 'The Curse of Oak Island'. 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 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 near Mahone Bay on the South Shore Nova Scotia.
A trip to the East Coast of Nova Scotia shouldn't miss a visit to 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. Peggy’s Point Lighthouse, built in 1915, still keeps watch over surging ocean waves and working lobster boats. Peggy's Cove offers instagrammable 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 on the South Shore 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 on how to get there. Make sure you grab a beach towel from our guest lounge before you head out. Watch the South Shore Nova Scotia Beaches video.
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 fireplace 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. Sensea quickly became a very popular spot on the South Shore Nova Scotia, only a short 20-minute drive from River Ridge Lodge near Mahone Bay,
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 is the only inland National Park in the Maritimes. The park offers many beautiful hiking trails, abundant lakes and rivers ideal for canoeing and kayaking - the est in Eastern Canada. Discover wildlife in the lush forest and gently rolling landscapes and enjoy a guided hiking or canoe tour along one of the historic Mi'kmaq routes. There are 15 day-walking trails that range from 0.5 km riverside strolls to 6 km length hiking trails to remote areas of the park. In the summer relax on Merrymakedge Beach, or take a swim in the warm Kejimkujik Lake. Watch the Kejimkujik National Park video.
Kejimkujik National Park Seaside is a wild beautiful and isolated 22 km² stretch of coastline west of Liverpool in the South Shore region. There are two scenic trails – Harbour Rock Trail (5.2 km return) and Port Joli Head Trail (8.7 km return). The trails head to glacier-carved headlands, secluded rocky coves and a broad beach with silver sand. Often you can observe seals and shorebirds just offshore. Further, you find interpretation exhibits, telescopes, and benches. The park is open year-round as conditions allow; there is no admission charge.
A fun activity for both kids and adults. 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, you have the chance to experience 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. Talk with costumed interpreters, hike the scenic nature trail, take a wagon ride or winter sleigh ride, and connect with 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. Watch the Ross Farm Museum video.
Explore Mahone Bay with Ton and Robyn from Sail and See onboard 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 about sailing too. Open your senses to the sea and to all that this ocean playground has to offer. Boating along the beautiful waterways and seeing divine shores of the South Shore - sailing is boating at its best.
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! Watch the Pleasant Paddling video.
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.
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 on how to get there. The first kilo7-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.
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.
At night rewind, relax and mingle with other guests and the owners around a magical bonfire and enjoy stargazing at it's best on our property. The best conversations and connections happen around the bonfire - a real Canadian experience. Please ask us if you are interested in a bonfire. Having a fire is dependent on weather and burn restrictions. Details about burn restrictions get posted at 2 pm on the same 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. Ask Frauke to make a reservation for you.
Pedal through beautiful countryside along scenic bays, rivers and lakes. River Ridge Lodge is adjacent to the Rum Runners Trail, part of Trans Canada Trail, that you can cycle to Mahone Bay, Lunenburg, and if you are so inclined all the way down the South Shore 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. Below is a list of the South Shore farmers markets that are close to Mahone Bay:
Lunenburg - Thu 8 am-12 pm (all year)
Bridgewater - Sat 9 am-1 pm (Jun-Oct)
Hubbards - Sat 8 am-12 pm (May-Oct)
New Ross - Sat 9 am-12 pm (Jun-Thanksgiving)
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 Beach, Crescent Beach and Green Bay Beach on the South Shore. There is also a nice pub with lots of outdoor seating close by, the Osprey's Nest Public House.
Closed in 2020 due to COVID-19
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.
Ontree Park Fun & Adventure Park is Nova Scotia’s first high rope course climbing and ziplining park and Canada's largest high ropes course climbing and zip-line park. Ontree is located on the way to Windsor, 45 minutes from River Ridge Lodge. From 5 years up, Ontree will have the right amount of adventure no matter your age or skill level. They have 50+ Ziplines, 18 high rope courses. They also have a wheelchair-accessible course.
A great way to get your bearings around Lunenburg, Blue Rocks and neighbouring tiny hamlet Stonehurst is by taking the Hidden Gem Tours with Seaweed Tours. Nancy, the owner and tour guide, tells real first-hand stories and will take you off the beaten path to explore the places usually only locals know about. You will see breathtaking views and have lots of photo opportunities.
Make sure you also check out the events offered by River Ridge Lodge.