Uniacke Estate Museum Park

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  • Difficulty: Easy to Moderate (distance).
  • Facilities: Parking, toilets, picnic tables, tea room, estate museum.
  • Signage: Interpretive panels and trail markings.
  • Features: 930 hectares with 7 hiking trails. Estate Museum open daily until 5pm June 1-Oct. 5 (admission under $5).  Park open year-round. Gate closes at 5 pm & permanently during the offseason (allowed to park outside the gate, but not block it). Accessible to people of all abilities.
  • Tags: #Accessible, #Hiking, #Historic-Site, #Lake, #Museum, #Old-Growth, #Park, #Picnic.

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Uniacke Estate Museum Park

     Uniacke Estate Museum Park is one of 24 properties throughout the province that operate as part of the Nova Scotia Museum family of provincial museums. As such, you can use a Nova Scotia Museum Annual Pass for unlimited visits to any of these museums. Annual passes are available for purchase in person only at any of the 24 properties mentioned previously.  Otherwise, admission to the estate museum is $3.90 for adults (18+), $2.80 for children, $2.80 for seniors (65+), $8.65 for a family (max. 2 adults), and children under 6 are free. Note that access to the grounds comes at no cost. Donations are encouraged and can be put in the top slot of a locked mailbox near the parking lot which gets emptied daily.

     Guided tours for small groups of less than 60 are available with an advanced reservation using this contact form.  You can also ask about special tour programs such as “Lingering Spirits” ghost tours. The typical tour length is around 45 minutes.

Parking & Facilities

     The front gate is open from 8:30 until dusk (don’t play it close) and the grounds are open year-round. The estate museum is open from June 1 until September 30, Tuesday to Sunday 10am-4pm (closed Mondays). For more info or to book a site rental for an event, wedding or photo shoot you can phone (902)-866-0032 or inquire via their contact form.  In winter, if the gate is closed you can still park before it, but make sure you do not block it in any way.

     There are gender-neutral washrooms in the basement and wheelchair-accessible outhouses are available on the grounds.  Picnic tables are located near the house with great views of the grounds, as well as numerous benches placed at some of the most scenic spots.  The barn & carriage house are open for viewing (from their doorways) when the estate museum is open at the times mentioned above.

Accessibility

     Given that the estate is over 200 years old, improvements to accessibility didn’t come easy. Despite that, the museum is run with accessibility in mind. A ramp at the back of the house provides access to the main level for those using mobility aids.  There is also a drop-off area available near the ramp. The parking lot has designated accessible parking spaces & the grounds have accessible seating as well as accessible outhouses.

Some of the trails around the grounds offer limited accessibility (narrow crusherdust pathways). Inaccessible spaces are still represented with print & digital images upon request. Unfortunately, one such inaccessible space is the Tea Room mentioned below.

Tea Room

     In the basement of the estate museum is the “Post Road Tea Room“. This quaint setup showcases the old basement kitchen complete with displays of recipes & musings from the era of its construction. The tea room offers light refreshments & snacks but my favourite part is the eclectic souvenir section which includes a great library of books about local history & culture.  The tea room is staffed by interpreters so it’s a great place to ask questions too.

See Also:  Fox Lake Hiking Trail

Walking & Hiking Trails

The trails at Uniacke Estate vary considerably.  The park offers approximately 4km of leisurely and level gravel trails and about 8km of moderately difficult natural trails through woods, marshes, and ravines.  The estate grounds of Richard John Uniacke, built in 1815, are now a beautifully preserved museum park open to the public. The walking trails are open year-round, as you’re allowed to park in front of the gate, but not block it.  The museum and tea room open for the season on June 1st.

Family Friendly Walking Trails

Uniacke Estate Museum Park Nova Scotia     The easier, gravel trails include the Lake Martha Loop and Hothouse Hill Loop.  Great scenery is accompanied by good signage giving you a background on the history of the area.  The park is very #family-friendly and offers programs for students and children’s groups.  Aside from the many scenic benches and picnic areas, the basement of Uniacke house is now a tea room offering a place to sit and enjoy refreshments while browsing the gift shop.  With books, crafts and period-themed gifts, the tea room is a great place to browse some interesting conversation pieces.

     If you’re looking for a #family-friendly activity in Uniacke Estate Museum Park,  try “An Ant’s Life” to enter the world of small and become an ant.  The step-by-step instructions for this 2.5 km (return) trail adventure and a route map can be downloaded at earthadventures.ca.  The approximate time to complete the adventure is 2 hours, 30 minutes.

Trails For Experienced Hikers

     The more advanced trails are more rugged nature trails where you’ll encounter lakes and streams with some great vantage points.   The Drumlin Field Trail, Red Spruce Trail, Post Road Trail, Wetlands Trail and Barrens Trail provide over 8km of hiking.  The “Post Road” trail follows the original road between Windsor and Halifax used by stagecoaches in the early 1800s to deliver mail.  You can almost picture yourself as a British redcoat marching some of these same roads in the 1700s.  These more advanced trails take anywhere from 45 minutes to 3 hours depending on your route.

     The area is steeped in history and is a great place for just about every kind of outdoor exploration.  When walking the grounds its hard not to think back to a time when this estate would have born witness to the early European settlement and governance of Nova Scotia.

     If you plan on walking all of the trails, bring along good hiking footwear, water, and other essentials that you’d bring when preparing for a hike.  Cell phone service can be unreliable in the area.  The trails are open year-round and remain un-groomed in the winter.

Landscape & Biodiversity

     Click on the links below to learn about flora, fauna & landscape features you’ll encounter at Uniacke Estate Museum Park. For a full list of observations recorded on iNaturalist, click here.


Uniacke Estate Park Photos


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