The town of Bear River, known as “The Switzerland of Nova Scotia”, is a wonderful, picturesque village nestled in the valley at the head of a tidal river. The town seems to have attracted artisans from all over the world and the streets are lined with craft shops, potteries, art galleries and other interesting places to visit. Bear River was once one of the largest shipbuilding towns in North America, building many of the huge trading schooners that plied the waters of the East Coast. The Heritage Museum has a wonderful collection of old photographs showing this bustling town of 100 years ago. Another “must see” is the greenhouse sewage treatment plant which utilizes various plants, snails and other natural life-forms to convert sewage into clean water. Adjacent to the greenhouse facility is Dutch windmill which houses the Tourist Information Centre.
Many of the studios and several restaurants are housed in buildings which are perched on stilts and hang out over the river.