Wallace River Ranch & Domes | Relax and refresh in cozy glamping domes

by W. Andrew Powell
Wallace River Ranch & Domes, Nova Scotia

685 Kerr’s Mill Road, Pugwash

Wallace River Ranch is a cozy, relaxing place to escape and recharge in nature with glamping-style domes that offer every amenity you want on vacation.

Along Wallace River, not far from Pugwash, and close to the centre of the community, the domes are available from spring to the end of December with a king sized bed, full kitchen, bathroom with shower, and even a hot tub.

Nestled in the middle of the forest, with views looking out over the river, and in a quiet part of the province, it’s easy to get lost here, recharge, and enjoy some quality time with your family or for a couples retreat.

Read my full guide below and watch the video tour at the bottom of the story, or watch it on YouTube.

How to get there

Wallace River Ranch
Wallace River Ranch

Wallace River Ranch is a 50 minute drive from Amherst, Nova Scotia, and a two hour drive from Halifax. Close to highway 307 and highway 6, the drive is easy, and then you’ll turn down Kerr’s Mill Road.

For any road trip lovers, it’s an excellent area to explore for a week, or a long weekend, with a number of things to do in the area, and it’s the perfect stop on a trip through Cumberland County.

I stayed at Wallace River Ranch for two nights on my trip through the county, and I really enjoyed the domes, and the chance to explore Pugwash, Malagash, Tatamagouche, and it’s close to Wentworth as well.

What to expect at Wallace River Ranch, and what’s included

There are three domes at the ranch, and they are on a road that’s only used for guests staying there. Before you arrive, you’ll receive an email or a text message with all of the details you need to check in. There’s no need to meet anyone or do anything else, you just drive up to your dome and unpack.

Each dome has a driveway where you can park, and a back yard with a hot tub, BBQ, and picnic table. And the domes have doors with a key so you can lock up when you’re not there or when you’re sleeping.

Inside the dome there’s a kitchen with a sink, stove, full fridge, coffee maker, dishes, and everything else you need to make your meals, plus a small kitchen table. The bathroom has a small heater, a sink, toilet, and shower. Near the door there’s also a ladder leading to an upper space with two twin beds.

The living space is quite large, with a king size bed, a TV, fireplace, couch, rocking chair, and a heating/cooling unit to adjust the temperature for any time of year. From the bed you can see out through the dome to the forest and nature all around you, and at bed time you can close the drapes for privacy and for those of us who like to sleep in past sunrise.

Included with your stay is free Wi-Fi, bed linens and towels, your own private hot tub, and BBQ, and access to the ranch’s walking trail where you can see the goats and ponies. You just need to bring your own food, drinks, and groceries to make your own meals.

The kitchen in the domes at Wallace River Ranch

Planning to eat out a few meals is a great idea, as the two restaurants in the community are good, but I would recommend planning to make breakfast to make things easy in the morning.

For my stay, I tried to do a little bit of everything. I visited with the goats, and walked the trail, I spent some time in the hot tub one night, and then watched the stars. I made my own breakfasts and lunch, with groceries that I bought in Pugwash, and because it was late September, I put a fire on each morning to warm up the dome. The heater would have worked too, but it’s so nice having a fire in a place like this when it’s cool.

Everything was so easy, and I loved the attention to detail, like the fact that they provided wood and instructions for everything, including the fireplace and heating. There are lots of places to sit and relax, the river is nearby and it’s very scenic, and at bedtime, I listened to the owls hooting away.

And maybe, most importantly, the bed was so comfortable. I slept well, and I also loved sitting on the couch, or in one of the chairs outside, taking in the peace and quiet. I made coffee, and I had one of the best escapes from the city.

It’s an inspiring, beautiful, and relaxing place for couples, and small families can sleep up to four with the king bed, and two twin beds up top.

Summer here would be beautiful, and it’s a great time to visit, but I would also highly recommend a fall trip as the leaves are turning. There’s still a lot to do in the area in the fall, especially on weekends, and it’s a great time to enjoy the fireplace.

What to see and do nearby

The area around Wallace, and the ranch, offers a lot of outdoor activities, restaurants, shopping, and places to explore.

The village of Wallace is less than a 10 minute drive away from the ranch, and there are two restaurants–Wiley’s by the Wharf and McMahons–that are perfect for lunch and dinner. I had the most amazing meal and evening at Wiley’s; I highly recommend it.

North west of the ranch, the town of Pugwash has a few restaurants, a grocery store, shops, a boardwalk along the water, and Thinkers Lodge, a national historic site that features a Nobel Peace Prize and an interesting story from the 1950s.

Tatamagouche Brewery
Tatamagouche Brewery

For the hikers, there’s also the Wallace Wildlife walking trail, between Wallace and Pugwash, there are also a number of other parks and trails nearby. Golfers can get out on the links at two golf courses, and mountain bikers or skiiers–depending on the season–can hit the trails at Ski Wentworth.

To the east is the Malagash peninsula, a beautiful area to explore slowly for a few hours, or a whole day. Around the area you’ll find Blue Sea Beach Provincial Park, Jost Vineyards for wine and a nice lunch, Vista Bella Farm for cider and fresh produce, and the Malagash Heritage Museum.

And one of my favourite stops nearby is the charming town of Tatamagouche. The town has one main street that’s filled with shops, restaurants, a brewery, ice cream shop, as well as a grocery store and laundry. Plan to spend a few hours here enjoying Chowder House on Main, Big Al’s Family Restaurant, Appleton Chocolates, and Tatamagouche Brewery.

Rates, booking & travel resources

At the time I published this, the rates for Wallace River Ranch were $239 to $279 per night, and you can book special packages that include a welcome basket, and a gift card to Wiley’s by the Wharf.

As a general rule of thumb for travel, it’s always a good idea to book your accommodations as soon as possible. For summer, which is often the busiest season, I suggest booking 2-3 months in advance. You can always browse their availability to find another date if your timing is flexible, but the earlier you reserve, the better to avoid disappointment.

Cumberland County, Nova Scotia

Discover more travel stories that explore the best of Nova Scotia, from Halifax to Cape Breton, Yarmouth and the Acadian Shores, and much more.

Learn about the best hiking, museums, restaurants and activities in our guide.

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