Annapolis Valley

From Academic Kids

Annapolis Valley is an area of Nova Scotia located along the shore of the Bay of Fundy, northwest of Halifax and northeast of Yarmouth. It measures approximately 150 kilometres in length from Digby in the west to Wolfville in the east, spanning the counties of Digby, Annapolis and Kings, although some also include the Hants County towns of Hantsport and Windsor even further to the east.

Formed by two parallel mountain ranges, 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. Within the valley itself are two "major" rivers, the Annapolis River which flows west from the central part of the valley into the Annapolis Basin, and the Cornwallis River which flows east from this central area into the Minas Basin.

The resulting "micro climate" 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 apple crop, the valley hosts in excess of 1,000 farms of various types, the majority being small family-owned operations.

Long settled by the Mi'kmaq Nation, the valley experienced French settlement at the Habitation at Port-Royal in the western part of the valley, beginning in 1605 and continuing through to the British-ordered expulsion of the Acadians in 1755 at Grand Pré in the eastern part of the valley. New England Planters moved 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 University in Wolfville, and the Nova Scotia Community College campuses located in Kentville, Middleton, Lawrencetown, and Digby. Michelin has an important truck tire manufacturing plant in Waterville and the Department of National Defence has its largest air force base in Atlantic Canada located at CFB Greenwood.

Population centres in the valley from west to east include:

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