If Google maps shows our location to be on the south-east side of the peninsula near Rockport, that’s not us! We are on the west side, 9 kilometers south of Dorchester, just past the Johnson’s Mills Shorebird Sanctuary. Use this link, or enter ‘Ballast Lodge’ or ‘E4K 3L5’ into Google Maps instead of our street address and you should be fine.

Whether you’re doing great as a couple, really struggling, or just feeling tired and disconnected, our marriage retreats will give you practical tools to move closer to each other, have guided conversations (just between the two of you) and experience joy in your relationship!

Our marriage retreats are ideal for couples who have been married for at least a year, but that’s not mandatory. Nor is it necessary for the couple to be in crisis. Whatever stage of married life you’re in, we would love to have you experience the growth and depth that our marriage retreats will take you into.

Yes and no. Yes, Pat and Anita are Christians, and our faith is the reason Ballast Lodge exists. However, you do not need to share our faith in order to find rest and healing at Ballast Lodge. If you come from a different Christian denomination or a different religious (or non-religious) background altogether, you are completely welcome here. We want to be a place of respite and support for all. We promise not to be preachy, judgmental, or to force our beliefs upon you. You are here to get a break from the stresses of life and we do not want to compromise that!

However, you will find that most of the non-fiction resources available in our ‘Gymbrary’ are Biblically based (although there is a fairly wide variety of other books there as well). During a marriage retreat, our faith will probably come up in conversation. It’s not that we will be trying to convert you, it’s just a large part of who we are! Finally, your welcome package will include a list of local churches and service times, including our own church, Main Street Baptist Church in Sackville. 

Certainly not. Our desire is for our guests to come here for rest, retreat and restoration. So, while we intend to operate as more than a vacation destination, we do not expect some minimum level of brokenness before you qualify to stay with us. Sabbatical should be a regular rhythm in a healthy, Christian life.

We debated this on several occasions and ultimately decided that simplicity is the best approach for now. As such, we will not be providing meal service. However, there are two restaurant and meal service options in Dorchester including Dorchester Meals to Go and Village Square take-out.

There are several more restaurants and two grocery stores in Sackville as well as a few restaurant options in Memramcook. Contact us if you need more information before you book. This information will also be provided in your welcome package upon arrival.

Please visit our lodge policies page for more details on what is included with your stay.

We are not professional counsellors and are not equipped to provide this service ourselves. If you feel like you are at a point in your life where you need professional support, we would encourage you to seek that out before your visit to the Lodge, and incorporate a visit with us as part of the therapeutic program that you set up with your counsellor. If we can help hold you accountable to your assignments while you stay with us, or offer some level of debriefing, we are more than willing to discuss how we can do this in partnership with your counsellor. If you arrive not thinking that you need professional support, but during or after your stay you have decided that you do, we are in the process of building a referral network and may be able to connect you with someone who can provide the help you need.

Right from our sun porches, you’ll see blue jays, grey jays, chickadees, nuthatches, woodpeckers and more. On the property, we have seen owls, falcons and eagles. Come between mid-July and early-September to experience the shorebird migration, which takes place on the shorefront connected to our property.

Hiking, Skiing, Snowshoeing and Cycling
You can easily walk along the bay, either right on the (rocky) beach, the old road, or the new road right from our property. 
The Sackville Waterfowl Park has boardwalks and hiking paths.
The Tantramar Outdoor Club Trailhead is 20 minutes away for hiking and snowshoeing.
Rotary Park (Sain-Anselme Park) in Dieppe has single track mountain biking, hiking and cross country skiing.
The roads in our area are quiet and suitable for gravel bikes or hybrids. Serious bikers may use a road bike, if you are willing to dodge the occasional pothole. 

See this Facebook group about canoeing the Memramcook river.
Canoe Silver Lake in Sackville from Lillas Fawcett Park.

Head to Lower Rockport for a picnic or to explore the Fundy Biosphere.

Check out the Belliveau Orchard, Boudreau Meat Market, Sackville Farmers Market or the Dieppe Market.

Day trips
For those coming from further away, you can take a day trip to Hopewell Rocks (you’ll be able to see it across the bay, but it takes some time to drive there!), or take a day trip into PEI (Confederation Bridge is 1hr away)

Target Shooting and Archery
The Sackville Rod and Gun Club has two ranges for rifle and skeet shooting with a bow lane coming soon. Please keep all equipment in locked cases while stored on our property.

Nearby is the Sackville Golf and Country Club, Royal Oak Golf Club and the Amherst Golf Club.

We operate using a ‘business as mission’ model. If you want some more details on what that means, check out this article.

Please contact us and we will work within your budget. We desire for Ballast Lodge to be accessible to those who need it.

If we have answered your questions and you’re ready to pay us a visit, click here to book your stay. Otherwise, if you have any other questions, please feel free to contact us.