What do you get when you take a group of friends, an intrepid spirit, Dutch cheese, farmland creatures, and a rocky waterfall?
Road trip magic.
The small community of Economy, on the shores of the Bay of Fundy in Nova Scotia’s Colchester Country is a fantastic destination. Let me count the ways: ocean, world’s highest tides, outdoorsy fun, historic significance, breathtaking vistas. And cheese.
Despite what you may think, Economy’s name has little to do with, well, the economy. It’s the English version of an Acadian version of the original Mi’kmaq name for the area, loosely translated as “land jutting into the sea.” Thanks, Wikipedia!
That Dutchman’s Cheese
My plan for Economy was shaped by one of my favourite Nova Scotia products, That Dutchman’s Cheese. Then, I learned at the Truro Farmer’s Market that visitors to the cheese shop could explore the farm as well. Then, That Dutchman’s Cheese was recently named one of Canada’s top five cheese destinations. I had to get up there.
It was a hot sunny day, and we arrived to a welcoming menagerie of birds and goats wandering around the parking lot.
It was at this point I met your new Bite-sized Travel mascot, the Silkie chicken. Behold his beauty and regal comportment:
We headed inside of the cheese shop and worked our way through the many cheeses made on site.
The friendly folks at That Dutchman’s Cheese were happy to answer our questions and provide samples selected cheeses so we could get to know the gouda and the Growler. All delicious. Hey, say hi to my friend Dana!
I also took advantage of the opportunity to sample some varieties of smeerkaas, a gouda cheese spread, and a long-time favourite of mine since discovering back in my university days. I’ve been eating it for years, and I’ve never had a jar last more than a day. Fact.
When you visit, be sure to ask after their Dragon’s Breath Blue, an incredible (and I believe, award-winning) blue cheese that will rock your world and change your life.
The shop also features a selection of Dutch products for the curious or the homesick. I successfully resisted the urge to try on the wooden shoes. In retrospect, I should have given in to it.
After loading up with cheese, we headed outside to take advantage of their gazebo with a picnic table to have a feast of cheese, meats, bread, and fresh Nova Scotia blueberries, acquired on the way at the famous Masstown Market. Say hi to Dana and Meng-han!
That Dutchman’s Farm
Bellies full, we packed up and headed into our next adventure, the farm part of That Dutchman’s Farm.
For $3.25 each, plus another $2 for animal feed, we had almost two hours of adventure wandering among the many local and exotic creatures who live on the farm. Important animal-feeding tip: most animals will come to you when you call out their species. “Sheep sheep sheep!” or “Pig pig pig!” It worked every time.
After the first batch of animals, we took a nice, easy hike in the forest, eventually coming upon a sunny glade, where we found the farm’s Scottish Highland cattle. That’s right, hairy coos.
It was getting pretty hot by this point, so we took advantage of the shade to drink some water and try to get the cows to look at us directly by making cooing noises. That may have been the heat talking.
We managed to get turned around by the goats and had a bit of a comedy of errors trying to get out of the farm, but, in our defense, it was very hot. We said farewell to our new animal friends, hopped in the car, and hit “Max A/C” en route to our next stop.
Economy Falls hiking trail
The drive to the hiking trail is worth doing slowly. First, the view while driving is spectacular.
Then, a rather mundane field revealed itself to be spectacular when we realized it was loaded with blueberries. Which we did not pick, because of the sign indicating it was a commercial blueberry farm.
Before long, we were at the trail. It’s fairly short, only about one kilometre. What it lacks in length, it makes up for in steepness. A helpful fellow in the parking lot told us it was 192 steps down and cautioned us to pace ourselves because, “What you do on the way in, you have to do on the way out.” What he meant was, on the way in, it was a descent straight down of 192 forest steps. The way out…
It was worth it. The Economy falls pour into a river, providing sweet, cool, watery relief from the day’s heat.
The falls are rocky, and a number of people carefully climbed up and around the rocks. One couple took their dog, who must have been part-mountain goat based on his enthusiasm for rock climbing. A group of young women from Manitoba in a softball tournament climbed to the top, which proves they are far tougher than I am.
After splashing around in the water for long, long time, we started to make our way back up the hill. It was … challenging to ascend those 192 stairs after a day of walking around in the heat and playing with farm animals, but we made it, got back in the car, and hit “Max A/C” as we made our way towards food.
The Bay of Fundy at Economy
We wandered along some back country roads, looking for a stop that would take us to the edge of the Bay of Fundy. On the way, we found this cute collection of cottage signs.
By this point, we were ready to feast again. Luckily, Catch of the Bay at Masstown Market, a fish and chip boat with a sun-soaked patio, was right on the way.
It was the perfect end to our perfect day. Truthfully, we had at least two or three other things we thought we may be able to squeeze into the day, but it wasn’t meant to be on this trip. For an action-packed day in a fun and relaxing environment, you just can’t beat Economy.