Glamping in the valley: chasing the sun to South Mountain Campground

Our new buning courtesy of Paige and Peacock Event Design. Thanks Mel!
Our new bunting courtesy of Paige and Peacock Event Design. Thanks Mel!

When the weather doesn’t cooperate, improvise.

But, if you’re unknowingly brewing strep throat, no amount of sun chasing or improve can completely rescue the weekend.

However, a campground laden with kiddie activities and no shortage of fun, certainly helps and South Mountain Campgrounds located near Kentville, Nova Scotia in the Annapolis Valley offers just that.

Along with our camping buddies, our crew of nine were originally booked for destination Pictou County. A quick glance at the weekend forecast and we realised the only area looking to get rain and chill for the weekend was Pictou. Everywhere else forecasted sunshine and a high of about 19 degrees.

And so, with a few quick phone calls, we managed to postpone our Northumberland Strait adventures and headed for the valley.

Goes without saying, we love Provincial Parks. But chilly evenings lingering, electic hook-up is a June essential for us. We’re also drained from end of school frenetic busyness, so a campsite rating 5 stars on the Recreation scale was the perfect choice for summer solstice weekend.

Happy 11th Anniversary to our weekend camping partners!

South Mountain Campgrounds, located near Kentville only 9 kms. off hwy #103, offers four star facilities and 5 star recreation by Camping Select.  And it’s true, there is an abundance of activities including:

  • swimming
  • water sliding
  • bouncing
  • paddling
  • several well-equipped playgrounds…

There’s a coffee shop, ice-cream and sundries store, games room and wagon rides and a nice mix between seasonal campers and tenters.


...with the birds.
…with the birds.

We camped along tenting alley at site T-24, which was along the back tree-lined sites overlooking a pond (luckily with no-one across from us, we had trees to the back with a resident woodpecker and yellow-bellied sap sucker and a pond view to the front). The site was spacious, woodsy and nearby the recycling station and clean washrooms.

A few tenters braved the cold, rainy first night. One family packed-up quickly Sat. morning.IMG_7056

It’s a friendly, family-run operation, under new ownership. The kids all crashed, we were catching the last pre-rain, campfire flames when proprietor Scott stopped by on his 11 p.m. rounds and asked if all was well and if the newly made site was up to scratch. We said ‘we thought we had the best in the house!’

Le Menu for Friday was barbecued flank and baby roasted rosemary spuds, served with simple Caesar salad (the bagged kind), all making a great shared family meal. We cooked Friday, our pals cooked Saturday.

Mango Salsa from White Sails deli and bakeshop in Tantallon.

Mango salsa, we bought ours after cycling Father’s Day weekend in Tantallon, at White Sails bakery. Served with nachos they were a hit and fast after setting-up camp. According to the bakery owner, the salsa is extremely popular and now we know why.

Only downside was drafting this from waiting room at Valley Hospital (no open local walk-in clinics), while I wait for a prescription for strep throat (thanks Dilly for sharing!). The others were braving the pool despite the cloudy, breezy afternoon that didn’t quite reach the promised 19 degrees. But again, with glamping, it’s all about pre-planning with a flexibility for improve.

Summer solstice Saturday and campfires lined the many lanes of pop-ups, 5th wheels and big rigs (as we call them), karaoke filled the summer solstice cool night air and s’mores completed an evening of BBQ chicken, salads and laughs.

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Thankfully Sunday morning brought sunshine and that long promised blue sky. We cleared the coolers, barbecuing poppers, frying eggs & cherry tomatoes in our favorite Harissa oil, sipping Bailey’s coffee.  The kids paddled, swam, cycled and jumped on the massive bouncing pillow before tearing down and taking the 50 min. journey back to Hali.

A great glamping weekend and a successful inauguration of our pimped-out pop-up Tilly, complete with new bunting, glamping kitchen, and outdoor room. Camping … but glamping, all the way.

Next stop, P.E.I. and then onwards to Caribou.

Happy Glamping!

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