Wolfville Harbour

By J.A. Colwell & S.A. Ferguson and G.M. Yeo

tl_files/sites/ees/Images/info/ft-harbour.gifROUTE - From the intersection of Main Street and Gaspereau Avenue go north 105 m (350 feet).  After crossing the railway bear east to the wharf.

DESCRIPTION - Mud Creek, draining the valley of Willow Park, was a tidal inlet with the best natural harbour in the area. Because of the proximity to the old Post Road and later of the railway it became the site of the settlement that is the present day Wolfville. For many years, ending in 1939, the Canadian Pacific Railway operated a daily ferry service from Parrsboro to Kingsport and Wolfville and return. The schedule changed each day to conform with the high tides. At first Wolfville was served from near the present day wharf but later the ferry terminal was relocated on the Cornwallis River on the east side of the harbour entrance.

The harbour is the best place nearest to Wolfville where tides may be observed. The interval between high and low tides is about six hours, so two visits to the harbour will be necessary to observe the high and low tide. Because of the change in the position of the moon relative to the earth, the cycle of high and low tides is about 50 minutes later each day. In the Bay of Fundy - Minas Basin region the maximum tidal range is about 15 m (50 feet) and the height of the tides is increasing at the rate of 0.3 m (1foot) per century. The muddy bottom of Wolfville Harbour is 5.7 m ( 19 feet) below the deck of the Wolfville wharf so that only the higher part of the tidal range can be observed here.

The Acadia Centre for Estuarine Research carries out and coordinates research in the nearby estuaries and coastal waters.  Recent work on the Cornwallis River estuary includes studies on tidal velocity, salinity, suspended solids, erosion, deposition and characteristics of the muddy sediments, the sediment-organism interaction, organic productivity and the relationship between organisms and their environment.

Prepared for the Geological Association of Canada and Mineralogical Association of Canada Joint Annual Meeting in Wolfville,  Nova Scotia,  May 25-27, 1992. Meeting Hosted by the Atlantic Geoscience Society.