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Medford (Nova Scotia)

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Where[edit]

Medford is a seaside farming community in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia, located in Kings County. It lies north of Kingsport, Nova Scotia on the Minas Basin in the upper Bay of Fundy.

This area is an important feeding ground for millions of shorebird who come to this area from mid july to mid August.

Farming is an important revenue for the community. Grapes for the local vineyards, various fruit tree productions, corn, wheat, soy, potatoes, broccoli, blueberries are some of the crops cultivated in Medford. Poultry, dairy, and beef are also prominent in this region.

Get In[edit]

By plane, fly into Halifax International Airport, Nova Scotia then travel by car towards Halifax. Take exit to Hwy NS 101 West direction Windsor/Annapolis Valley for 76.5 km. Take exit 11 turn right toward NS-358 Port Williams/Canning for 10.3 km Once in the Village of Canning Turn right onto NS-221 Continue to follow NS-221 for 6 km to the Village of Kingsport. Go straight to park at the Kingsport wharf.

'To access Medford Beach you must park your vehicle at the wharf in Kingsport, and walk to the beach at low tide. Due to erosion there is absolutely no public access from Medford Beach Road.

Safety[edit]

Medford is one of the best places to enjoy the Fundy tides, which are the highest tides in the world, up to sixteen metres (fifty-two feet) high and it's effect on the landscape. High tide and low tide are reached twice each in a period of approximately twenty five hours, with the time between the extremes being about six hours and thirteen minutes.

The water is constantly in motion, with tides rising and falling as much as two to three metres (six or eight feet) per hour! So before you head out to the beach, ensure you know when the next high tide is coming as you may put yourself in danger of being stuck against high cliffs and the incoming tide.

When heading out on the water, keep in mind that the Bay of Fundy is known for its impressive weather shifts. If you decide to walk the beach, visitors should take the precausion to monitor the tide. This is the tide clock closest to Medford: [1]

Do[edit][add listing]

  • At low tide take a walk right on the ocean floor on the eight km (five mile) long red sand beach and the mud flats along the Minas Basin. The rock formations are red in colour and composed of easily eroded sandstones and sandy shale. Those rocks are carved by the highest tides in the world and there are some small shallow caves you can safely explore. The beach is clean, secluded while the locals are very friendly and welcoming. Beware of a few muddy areas close to the creek, but children usually love playing in them! At low tide, walking from the shore to the water edge can take up to half an hour and in some areas even longer!
  • There is a tidal creek on Medford Beach too. At low tide, on the south side of the creek, you can still see the remnants of the shipwreck Hattie Mc Kay. The Hattie Mc Kay has the distinction of being the first registered shipwreck in Kings County. Early on, the wreck could be seen on the beach for a number of years, then the schooner disappeared and for decades, nothing could be seen of her. In 1997 the tides and shifting sands of Minas Basin uncovered what remained of the Hattie McKay.

Built in Parrsboro in 1896 for Captain James H. Card, the Hattie McKay was registered as a seventy-four ton, two-masted schooner with a ten h.p. auxiliary gas engine. There was little that was romantic about her. While her sister ships were trading in far off, exotic ports, the Hattie McKay spent much of her relatively short lifespan carrying coal, most of her runs confined to the Minas Basin and the Bay of Fundy.

It turns out that the Hattie Mc Kay was a ship that attracted misfortune. In 1900 the Hattie McKay ran aground on Isle Haute in the Bay of Fundy, was written off as a total loss and her certificate of registry cancelled; her value at the time was set at $2,500. James Card salvaged the ship and by 1901 had her back in service. Before Card sold the ship in 1920 to J. D. Harris, a Wolfville merchant and coal dealer, the Hattie McKay ran aground several times in the Minas Basin and Bay of Fundy.

J. D. Harris appointed Captain Alex Carey of Medford as the new sea captain of the Hattie McKay and for seven years she hauled coal into Wolfville. When her runs were finished, Captain Alex Carey would anchor the schooner at Medford beach and walk home. In 1927 an August gale, what they called a hurricane in those days, caught the schooner at anchor, drove her across the creek and broke her in two. A couple of artifacts from her wreck site can be found in the Kings County Museum. But other than these things, little else remains of a vessel that broke up during a hurricane on the Medford shore in 1927.[2]

Respect[edit]

Nova Scotians are becoming more and more aware of the value of preserving and learning from our heritage, in all its forms. Both our past and present way of life are closely tied to the sea, and shipwrecks are part of our heritage.

How we treat this evidence of our history now will determine for all time the knowledge, sites and artifacts available for future generations. These shipwrecks such as the Hattie Mc Kay are worth protecting, and worth sharing. Thoughtless collecting is against the law and will destroy this important resource forever.[3]

Activities[edit]

  • Ocean Kayaking: At high tide, one of the beauties of ocean kayaking near Medford is that within a few minutes of paddling, kayakers are brought into remote areas rarely seen by other vacationers. Kayakers can paddle around the small but spectacular Paddy's island nested on the North side of Medford beach standing forty metre (130 ft.) tall. How often do you get to glide on the world's highest tides?
  • Bird Watching: Medford Beach is an impressive shorebird destination. The Minas Basin is part of the "Bay of Fundy Hemispheric Shorebird Reserve" which belongs to the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network. The mud flats near Medford are important staging grounds for an estimated 1 to 2 million shorebirds from mid July to early August. At low tide, vast areas of mud, sand flats, and salt marshes are exposed - the result of the Bay of Fundys tides. The rich red-brown mud harbors millions of Fundy mud shrimp, a vital food source for the Semi-palmated Sandpiper, Black-bellied Plover, Least Sandpiper, Semi-palmated Plover, Short-billed Dowitcher and the White-rumped Sandpiper.[4]
  • At Medford Beach, there is also an fair size nesting colony of Bank Swallows that generally appear in early May. The Bank Swallows use burrowed nests near the top of the bank. Laying begins about June 1st and nesting operations continue through the first week of August. [5]
  • Fishing: Striped Bass fishing is popular at Medford Creek at high tide, although success is mitigated. Fishing for Flounders is popular too, although you will maximize your chance if you go off shore by boat. You do not need a licence to fish in tidal or salt water in Nova Scotia. However, you must respect Canadian federal fishing seasons and bag limits. Note: The daily bag limit is one striped bass, sixty-eight cm (26.8 inches) in length or longer measured from the tip to the nose to the tip of the tail.[6]
  • Blomidon Estate Winery: A boutique winery nestled on the shore of the Minas Basin located five kilometre on Hwy 221 just before you reach Medford. It has a beautiful seaside setting offering a unique location for viticulture, as well as a scenic stopping point for visitors. Blomidon Estate Winnery is happy to be able to offer their wines by the glass on their licensed patio, and you can pair them with an ever changing selection of delicious local products.[7]
  • Other popular activities include kite flying, horse riding, geocaching, beachcombing, photography or just appreciating nature.

Eat[edit][add listing]

  • Seasonally operated, the Tide's Inn is located by the wharf in the Village of Kingsport 2 km from Medford. The friendly staff serves light meals such as a local favourite the 'Wharf Burger' and a wide variety of ice cream. There is a very rustic small seaside dinning room attached to the Tide's Inn that doubles as a craft store for local artists. You can also have a look at the tide time table displayed on the outside of the building. Picnic tables and washroom are also on site.
  • Located seven kilometres away in the village of Canning, The Fireside Cafe & Al’s Homestyle Sausage are one of the Valley’s most enduring traditions. With a relaxed atmosphere and generous portions, it’s a great stop. Sit by the fire in this cozy restaurant. You can’t beat the All Day Breakfast served with Al’s Breakfast Sausage and the fresh brown bread toast.[8]

Sleep[edit][add listing]

  • The Applewood Guesthouse is a 200 year old century home that is nestled amoungst the apple trees.The property offers a beautiful view of our 120 acre apple orchard, the north mountain range, Cape Blomidon and the Bay of Fundy.[9]
  • Kingsport Beach House* bright Comfortable Oceanside three bedroom home with Panoramic Views[10]
  • Kingsport Cottage by the Sea" Beautiful, clean and peaceful [11]
  • Kingsport Cozy Cottage is a cozy two bedroom recently updated cottage with oceanfront decks and private access to the beach.[12]
  • Lowden House is a delightfully located, historic - 200 years old - "Country Georgian" home bordering on the Habitant River estuary on the edge of the historic Acadian hamlet of Habitant, near the old village of Canning. [13]
  • The Farmhouse Inn Bed and Breakfast which is located just seven km away in the quiet village of Canning.[14]
  • Lyons Cove Bed & Breakfast is located a short ten km drive from Medford, on the shore of Minas Basin at Lyons Cove in Lower Blomidon [15]
  • Blomidon Vacation Rentals is in the same area, it is a newly renovated 2 bedroom loft that will accommodate 4-6 people comfortably with an amazing view.[16]
  • A few kms further is the beautiful seasonally operated Blomidon Provincial Park which offers a seventy site campground with both woodland and open sites, two picnic areas, an unsupervised beach near the park entrance, and hiking trails. A group campsite, with kitchen shelter and fire grills, is available by reservation only.[17]
  • As this is a favourite vacation destination for many, there are often some cottages for rent for a few days or a few weeks either in Medford or the neighbouring communities of Kingsport, Dellhaven, Canning and Blomidon. Just do a search on the internet ahead of time and you should find one.

Shop[edit]

  • The Stamping Room [18]
  • Road sides fruit and vegetable vendors.

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