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There is rich history rooted at Lake Midway in Nova Scotia, where witches dabbled in the past and ships wrecked along the coast near this lake. While this lake's history may be mired in mystery, there is much more to the area that brings in visitors from all over. Whale watching, picnicking, hiking and cross country skiing are just a few activities that keep people coming back to this quiet spot.
Lake Midway, set in Digby County, is a spring-fed 169-acre body of water located along a narrow strip of land along Nova Scotia's easternmost shoreline. A long inlet resides to the west of the lake, while the Gulf of Maine opens up to the east. Today, stories of the past are still told by word of mouth, which is how you might find out about Relief and Benjamin Smith, a brother and sister from the early 1900s who were called witches by locals, as the two shunned a normal lifestyle, instead living in Thomas Cove, located within a few miles of the lake. It is said that Benjamin Smith carried a wand and would "witch" passing ships. Shipwrecks were common along the Gulf of Maine shoreline, and one of the worst occurred not far from Lake Midway, when 12 men died after their ship crashed during a blizzard. Only two survived to tell the tale, becoming a legend in the town of Lake Midway.
For those interested solely in enjoying the present, the Lake Midway Provincial Park is a small roadside park located alongside the lake, where picnic tables are set up underneath old hardwood trees and open, grassy fields. The scenery is beautiful on a sunny day, so bring a snack and enjoy the sights or make a day of it and grill out with your family. The park is open from mid-May through mid-October. Swimming and fishing are both allowed at Lake Midway. The water might be chilly early in the season, which may make basking in the sun a bit more appealing. However, with a maximum depth of only 6.5 feet, these shallow waters warm up quickly. For those with fishing in mind, the lake is annually stocked with brown trout and smallmouth bass.
Quaint lakeside vacation and cottage rentals are available along Lake Midway's shoreline for those who wish to spend some time in a new and exciting spot. Lakeside real estate opportunities are also available, set among the whistling trees. Park your lawn chair out on your private lawn and soak up the sun and the smell of the nearby ocean. Take a hike into town during the summer -- it is only 10 minutes away -- or strap on cross country skis in the winter for the day's exercise. Coyotes yap and howl in the evening as bats skitter across the glowing sky, in search for their next meal. During the day, grab your binoculars and seek out the area's birds, which range from bald eagles and blue jays to hummingbirds and American finches.
Fishing and wildlife watching aren't the only things keeping locals and visitors entertained in this part of Canada. Hop into one of the boats resting along the gulf's shoreline for a whale watching tour as the captain seeks out local humpback whales that make appearances. A quick 30-minute drive northeast brings you to the town of Digby, where bars, restaurants and gift shops can be found. Dive into local cuisine and find the freshest seafood -- including their famous scallops -- the area has to offer.
The scenery at Lake Midway makes for a quiet getaway. Let the breeze pass through the trees and listen as the birds settle into a sing-song rhythm as your body relaxes while taking in the sights. Or push out your canoe or kayak and find yourself out in the middle of this picturesque lake. Go ahead and book your retreat today -- you just might find yourself staying for much longer.
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