Tag Archives: Hidden Gems Tour

Playing tourist at home: rediscovering my backyard, Kings County, Nova Scotia


The Hidden Gems Tour of Kings County, Nova Scotia, presented by the County of Kings is a brilliant way to spend a day. It shows the value and joy of playing tourist at home.


The public beach at Aylesford Lake. (Allan Lynch Photo)

My family has lived here since 1765 and yet I learned so much about my backyard that I never knew. There were things I had taken for granted. And places that, if I have been to, it was so long ago I’ve forgotten.

The tour covered the history of the county, the agriculture sector, the military, the environment and ecology mixed with the post-card beauty of the shore, Bay of Fundy and Minas Basin, the farmlands, the view points and peaceful back roads. We discovered rapids and waterfalls that provided the energy to power a massive lumber operation and which have left us a neat park.DSCN8803

And we were treated to a stunning lunch of killer homemade seafood chowder, sandwiches and carrot cake at the Morden Community Centre. After lunch we saw some terrific local crafts: beach-stone paintings, driftwood trees, hooked trivets, shore maple syrup.

I was reminded that on the last weekend of the month the community hall hosts a breakfast that can have as many as 400 people turn out!

I can’t remember when I was last in Morden, but what a neat community – and you get the feel that it is a real community.


What we covered in six hours would probably take days of discovery if we did it on our own. And there’s nothing wrong with that given what a delicious place this is.

I am now armed with ideas to power longer, lingering revisits to places and to share with family, friends and readers.

I wrote a travel guide to Nova Scotia for Nova Scotians (The Nova Scotia Book of MUSTS, The 101 Places Every Nova Scotian MUST See). I thought I knew the place well. The County of Kings’ Hidden Gems tour has reinvigorated my interest – and pride – in this place. It’s why 252 years later my family is still here.

There are two more tours planned for the summer. Contact the County and book a space. If there are no spaces left, ask if to go on a waiting list. Perhaps if the list was long enough more tours would be added. Failing that, ask the county for a map and do it yourself. Take someone you love with you – this place is too good not to share. It puts a smile on faces.


Kings County is a smile-inducing place. (Allan Lynch Photo)

This #ExperienceKingsNS tour could be the model for a cool sesquicentennial project for all Canadians to (re)discover the wonders in their/our backyards.