Holly McKay gets served an ice cream from the Turtleback Snack Shack by Josh Greencorn. (Healey photo)

FALL RIVER: A new venture in Fall River will combine the beauty of Lake Thomas and a spot to cool off on those hot summer days with an ice cream or a snack before continuing on.

The Turtleback Tap & Grill is opening a new Snack Shop at the rear of its Highway 2 Fall River location, where snacks and treats such as ice cream are served.

Located next to Lake Thomas, which is part of the Shubenacadie Canal system, makes it the perfect location to connect with Wildwood Water Sports as it expands up the canal from its current location at Shubie Park.

Darren Scott is the owner of the Snack Shack and Ice Cream stand.

Barb Scott, Darren’s sister, said that Wildwood Water Sports will be renting canoes and kayaks at the location.

“We’re hoping to make this area interactive for the community,” said Barb on a beautiful June night.

The hours are as follows for the Snack Shack:

The hours for the Snack Shack.

She said at the Snack Shack one can order takeout from the Turtleback; it’s also licensed so you can order alcoholic drinks if you’re of age and get some ice cream from Josh Greencorn.

A soft launch event is set for June 22 with a Paddle and a Pint at The Turtleback Tap & Grill Snack Shack.

“It’s an event where you will go for a one-hour paddle with the Wildwood Water Sports folks on Lake Thomas, then come back here for a drink of choice and a pre-packaged snack box,” said Barb.

“We’re hoping to do more of those types of events throughout the summer.”

More information on the Paddle and Pint and to purchase tickets can be found at – https://fb.me/e/1sWYI2AlR.

Lori McKay and husband Jeff Carruthers first opened Wildwood Water Sports in Shubie Park in the summer of 2020 with the idea of having good summer jobs for their two teenage children, Molly, now 19, and Max, 17. Molly had worked for the previous owner the summer before and really enjoyed it.

“I love working outside all day and the canal is absolutely beautiful,” said Molly.

“Everyone who paddles it comes back in a good mood. Even the people who fall in,” she added with a chuckle.

When Barb contacted the family about possibly starting a second location in Fall River, they were immediately interested.

“Their spot is also along the canal, so it still has that history and connection,” said Lori. “And Lake Thomas is amazing to paddle. It seemed like the perfect fit for us.”

Max Carruthers at Wildwood Water Sports in Fall River. (Submitted photo)

Lori said an added bonus was the Turtleback Tap & Grill and the new ice cream stand.

“I think a paddle and then an ice cream, food or a drink is a perfect way to spend a summer afternoon in Nova Scotia,” she said.

Barb said other events are being looked at to be held at the location, and she welcomes ideas from the public. Among the ideas so far include: paint night, learn to knit, and open mic.

The Turtleback Tap & Grill Snack Shack is open Tuesday to Friday 4-8 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday 12-8 p.m.

The staff at Wildwood offer some basic instructions for beginner paddlers, and all safety equipment — including life jackets for adults/children, whistles, bailers and throw ropes — is included with each rental. 

Wildwood Water Sports Fall River has single kayaks, double kayaks, canoes, and paddle boards available for rent. Costs are $15/hour for a single, all other boats are $20/hour. They take cash or e-transfer.

Hours are typically 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays (weather permitting), but they will also open for bookings on weekdays if staff is available. Bookings are encouraged.

For more information, visit wildwoodwatersports.ca