Life in Pictou County

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The New Glasgow and Pictou County area is just under a two hours’ drive from Halifax and Halifax Stanfield International Airport is just over an hour away. Cape Breton Island is also just over an hour’s drive away.

On the north coast of Nova Scotia, even Prince Edward Island is only two hours away by ferry. Known for having the warmest water in summer, you can see PEI across the Northumberland Strait and picturesque beaches are not hard to find.

Pictou County, however, goes far beyond its location and the advantages that come with it. It has a very rich heritage that began with the ship Hector, one of the first Scottish settlement ships to land in Nova Scotia.
Pictou County is known for the role it played in some of the first instances of steel making in the province, as well as the mines that once operated here.

Pictou County residents are known for their generosity and warmth towards others, helping those in need in any way they can. In recent years, various groups in the county have supported refugee families from Syria to come to Pictou County and live a better life here.

In addition to groups like these, the Multicultural Association of Pictou County welcomes people from all over the world to the county and makes them feel welcome and comfortable in their new home and community. The association also works to promote culture in the area by hosting an annual multicultural festival and holding regular get togethers.


With the headquarters of national grocery chain Sobey’s and Crombie REIT, both Empire companies, as well as many other growing small and locally owned businesses, the area is thriving.

There are a variety of shopping opportunities in Pictou County, including Highland Square Mall, Abercrombie Shopping Centre, and shopping in the town centers of New Glasgow, Stellarton, and Pictou, as well as several other grocery stores in different parts of the county. Local shops abound in Pictou County and New Glasgow, with local clothing shops, hair salons, decorating, and much more. Local shops offer something unique to the area and many are local favorites for this reason.

Health and Fitness

Pictou County is also home to the Pictou County Wellness Centre, a state-of-the-art sports center with two arenas, a swimming pool, a gym, a daycare center, and host to the local YMCA. Other gyms, both locally owned and larger franchises, are also available in the area, along with many different sports leagues.

In New Glasgow, you will find Aberdeen Hospital, as well as the smaller Sutherland Harris Hospital in Pictou. Pictou County has access to the medical facilities you need, with a brand new emergency room and other health facilities such as eye doctors, chiropody centers, and more.


Just on the city limits of New Glasgow is Abercrombie Country Club. A professionally maintained, popular, and challenging course with the option of playing 18 or 9 holes. The club also has a newly refurbished bar and grill in the upper part of the clubhouse with a lovely terrace, perfect for grabbing a bite to eat or hosting events. Downstairs is a pro shop with everything you need, and golf lessons are offered by golf professionals for advanced and beginner golfers.
A little further out of town, but with stunning views from the top of Frasers Mountain, is Glen Lovat Golf Club. The expansive course features a par 72 layout over the 18-hole course with a 9-hole option for a shorter game. The clubhouse has a great bar and grill with a large terrace overlooking the course and stunning countryside views. A pro shop is also located in the clubhouse for all golfing needs and queries


One of the biggest draws to Pictou County is certainly the natural beauty that abounds here. It’s home to some of the best beaches in the province, plenty of hiking trails, and beautiful shorelines, so it’s not hard to find a nice place to stop or a road for a scenic drive.
Pictou County is also home to a hidden gem, Trenton Park, a large nature park recently revitalized with an outdoor pool and wading pool, playground, accessible walking trails, and marked hiking trails through the large backwoods area. The park hosts events throughout the year including fishing derbies, long-distance runs, mountain biking, concerts, snowshoeing, and more.

One of the biggest draws to Pictou County’s natural beauty is undoubtedly Melmerby Beach. The beach is located only 16 km, less than 20 minutes by car from the town. Although there are many beaches in the area, private and public, Melmerby Beach is one of the most popular and beautiful beaches in the province. Designated as a provincial park, the beach has washrooms, outdoor showers for rinsing off, picnic tables, and ample parking. The 2-kilometer-long sandy beach has several jetties to access different parts of the beach and has a lifeguard-supervised beach area in the summer.

New Glasgow City Centre

New Glasgow’s city center has much to offer its residents: walkable shopping and dining, two walking trails, a theatre and events center, and the marina.
One of, if not the most popular walking trails in the city, the Samson Trail, runs along the East River in New Glasgow and can be walked all the way to the town of Stellarton along the riverbank. The trail can be accessed at several locations in the city, with parking on the west side of the city, near the George Street Bridge in Rotary Park, and even under the George Street Bridge where the trail connects to downtown via a footpath under the bridge. The trail is used for events such as fundraising runs and the Johnny Miles Marathon, a qualifying race for the Boston Marathon that has been held since 1975.

The New Glasgow Marina, which is also connected to the Sampson Trail via the footpath under the bridge, is a popular place for boat and water lovers in the summer. The marina not only offers a dock for boats but also a place to stop when you are in town, in addition to rental boats. In the summer, the marina also offers ice cream and restaurants, with several eateries in town opening a summer pop-up at this location. The beautiful deck, some great food, and a wonderful view make it a place to stop. The local breast cancer dragon boat team can also be seen practicing along the river as they launch from the marina.

Just across the bridge from the marina and right on the waterfront, Glasgow Square is a hub of activity in the town and county all year round. The theatre, outdoor concert venue, and events center can do it all. In winter it hosts concerts, meetings, and weddings and in summer it hosts outdoor concerts, community events, weddings, and festivals. When open, the outdoor theatre is a stage for more festivals and the concert stage for the famous New Glasgow Riverfront Jubilee. The Jubilee is an annual concert weekend that attracts big names like Burton Cummings, Great Big Sea, and many more bands to the three-day music festival that includes a children’s event, a blues event, a songwriters’ circuit, and three nights of great rock music that draws people from all over.