- Annapolis Valley
The Annapolis Valley is a valley in the Canadian province of
Nova Scotia. It is located in the western part of the Nova Scotia peninsula, formed by a trough between two parallel mountain ranges along the shore of the Bay of Fundy.
The steep face of basaltic North Mountain shelters the valley from the adjacent Bay of Fundy and rises to almost 1000 feet in elevation in some parts. The granitic South Mountain also rises to similar elevation and shelters the valley from the climate of the Atlantic Ocean approximately 100 kilometres further south on the province's South Shore.
The shelter provided by these two mountainous ridges has produced a "micro climate" which provides relatively mild temperatures for the region and, coupled with the fertile glacial sedimentary soils on the valley floor, the region is conducive to growing vegetable and fruit crops. Particularly famous for its
applecrop, the valley hosts in excess of 1,000 farms of various types, the majority being relatively small family-owned operations.
Within the valley itself are two "major" rivers, the
Annapolis Riverwhich flows west from the Caribou Bog in the central part of the valley into the Annapolis Basin, and the Cornwallis Riverwhich flows east from Caribou Bog into the Minas Basin. The North Mountain ridge forms the north side of the Annapolis Valley.
Long settled by the
Mi'kmaqNation, the valley experienced French settlement at the Habitation at Port-Royal, near modern day Annapolis Royal in the western part of the valley, beginning in 1605 and continuing through to the British-ordered expulsion of Acadians in 1755and at Grand Pré in the eastern part of the valley. New England Plantersmoved in to occupy the abandoned Acadian farming areas and the region also saw subsequent settlement by Loyalist refugees of the American Revolutionary War, as well as foreign Protestants.
Today, the valley is still largely dominated by agriculture but also has a growing diversity in its economies, partly aided by the importance of post-secondary education centres provided by
Acadia Universityin Wolfville, and the Nova Scotia Community Collegecampuses located in Kentville, Middleton, Lawrencetown, and Digby.
Tourism is also an important industry and the Annapolis Valley is known for its scenic farmland, although today much of it is threatened with suburban development from the Valley's towns. The valley also struggles with serious pollution from farm runoffs and residential sewers in its two major rivers, the
Annapolis Riverand the Cornwallis River.
The valley is home to the annual Apple Blossom Festival, held in late spring.
Population centres in the valley from west to east include:
* [http://www.ourvalley.ca Our Annapolis Valley]
* [http://www.avesta.ns.ca Annapolis Valley Events and Sport Tourism Association]
* [http://www.appleblossom.com Annapolis Valley Apple Blossom Festival]
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