Tiny Tatamagouche, Nova Scotia, is a hidden gem if you like relaxing on the water, exploring an adorable little town and having a chill vacation.
I spent a few days in this little village on Nova Scotia’s north shore in July 2022 and still have more to come back and explore. Tatamagouche is built where Waugh’s River empties into the sea.
It’s a little less than two hours from Halifax on the Northumberland Strait, the warm water that separates Nova Scotia from Prince Edward Island. It’s about 50km from both New Glasgow and Truro.
We stayed in a tiny cottage just outside the village in a beautiful spot called Brule Point. Here you can see the water and at night you can watch a beautiful sunset from the back porch. They actually call the highway here the Sunset Trail!
If you like to watch the water or are a history lover, it is the place for you.
I’d recommend this place to a person who can walk with support, but not a full-time wheelchair user. There’s a step to get inside, and a narrow hall to the bathroom. It would be difficult to move around independently without a support person.
I had a hard time getting around using my rollater (2-in-1 walker/wheelchair combo) because there wasn’t enough space.
On our first full day in Tatamagouche, we headed to Rushton Beach Provincial Park for a day in the sun and sand.
My mom and stepdad had been here previously and we came here because they knew there was a ramp down to the sand. However, when we crossed the marsh and the little boardwalk to the beach, the ramp had been washed out by a storm.
Locals told us it had been broken since January 2021 and still hadn’t been fixed. I had to walk down the steps with a support person and my stepdad had to carry my wheelchair down the steps for me to get on the beach.
I would not recommend this beach to a wheelchair user because there is no way for them to have access until they get the ramp. Even for people like me who can walk with support, I would not recommend this beach until the ramp is fixed, even though I was able to manage.
The steps were steep and I could have fallen. The steps were not the safest way for me to get down, but it was my only choice.
But we did end up having a nice day at the beach. The water was nice and warm, and I had a nice picnic lunch with my family. I got to enjoy listening to my music and the sunshine while I was at the beach.
It rained the next day so we headed to the Creamery Square Heritage Centre, a collection of four small museums, all in the same building. If history is your thing this is the place for you.
No, this museum does not sell ice cream (a mistake we saw some tourists make). Instead, it’s filled with old gizmos and gadgets used to make butter and other dairy products here for most of the 1900s. There’s even a giant boiler that has been sitting here crooked for about 100 years.
There’s also the Brule Fossil Museum, focusing on the area’s pre-historic times, the Sunrise Trail Museum, which features Indigenous history and the early days of French and English settlement, and the Anna Swan Museum.
Swan was a certified giant, born and raised in Millbrook way back in 1846. By the time she was five years old, she was 4’8” and weighed 100 points. When she was 22, she’d grown to 7’6”.
She was famous around the world. When she married her giant husband, who was 7’8”, Queen Victoria paid for her wedding dress.
For those with disabilities, I would recommend having a support person as this is a smaller museum and has some sometimes-narrow paths through the assorted exhibits and artifacts. There are ramps and an elevator, along with a single-stall washroom on the ground level.
The staff were amazing and can help you if there if you need anything. They’re very knowledgeable about the history of the area.
Be sure to ask about the ghosts! The staff told us that this creepy doll was haunted and a ghost would sometimes follow visitors if they touched it.
We didn’t believe the staff until we got to Margaree, Cape Breton, a few nights later. Late at night, my mom heard a knocking noise against the wall of the house we stayed in.
No one else heard the knocking noise except for my mom, but she was also the one who was near the baby. So either the house in Margaree was also haunted, or the ghost of the creepy baby followed us there. I believe it was the latter.
My message to you is if you go to the Tatamagouche museum DO NOT touch the creepy baby.
I was only in Tatamagouche for a couple of days so I did not get to do everything, but there is lots more to explore.
Tatamagouche Brewing Co. is a well-known microbrewery but the seats and tables are really too high to be considered accessible. There’s also a whiskey distillery, Caldera Distilling, in nearby River John. Whiskey isn’t my thing, but my stepdad assures me it’s good stuff.
There are also lots of nice hiking trails and there’s a nice section of the Trans-Canada Trail along the river.
If you have children you may want to stop at Mabel Murple’s Dreamery. Mabel Murple was one of my favourite children’s books growing up as a kid, and here you can drive by, stop and see the author's purple bookshop. It was closed when I was there and we just drove by, so I'm not sure how accessible it is, but it was really fun to see!
I would love to explore more of the areas in and around Tatamagouche. I hope you enjoyed reading this adventure.