Touring - Nova Scotia Tour
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Any advice/recommendations for a tour of Nova Scotia? We will be on a tandem and don't mind camping. 50 miles per day or so.
03-11-05, 06:36 PM
For me, the best part by far, was Cape Breton. The whole island was great, not just the wonderful Cabot Trail.
03-13-05, 01:38 PM
I'm interested as well. Although we would be on road bikes and would be looking for a self-organized tour ,i.e., mostly want someone to schlep our stuff from inn to inn.
03-13-05, 01:46 PM
I would say that all of Nova Scotia is touring material, but the tour of Cape Breton (Cabot Trail) is probably not the easiest to to on a bicycle: long hills, steep ones (especially around Mt. Smokey, East of the Park), lots of tourists and long distances between services.
In the southern part of Cape Breton, highways 105-223 offer a nice ride along Bras d'Or lake. Also, going around the peninsula from Halifax to Yarmouth offers nice scenery, little traffic and lots of services, just as riding along the Northumberland straight from New Brunswick to Pictou to Antigonish to Canso. In all these cases, there is a #100-series highway that drains most traffic, leaving the other roads free of traffic.
03-13-05, 04:38 PM
The Cabot Trail in Cape Breton is well known, very beautiful, and extremely hilly. I have a route profile, the steepest part is a 400 metre climb over 3 to 4 km.
You might want to consider a coastal loop of Nova Scotia, there's plenty of B&B's and campgrounds along the way, it's very scenic, and so long as you skip the 100 series highways the traffic is very light.
I would recommend you start by going to www.novascotia.com (http://www.novascotia.com) and picking up a (free) copy of the Doer's and Dreamers guide - this tells you all the events in Nova Scotia, and has a list of all accomodations. You can then pick out the attractions you'd like to visit and plan your tour around that. If you're in Halifax over summer the Busker's festival is well worth a visit.
I would also recommend you pick up a copy of "Nova Scotia by Bicycle". This lists 21 tours and 12 Halifax-based day tours, with maps, waypoints, and points of interest along the way. It's available by mail order from Bicycle Nova Scotia (http://bicycle.ns.ca/recreation/archives/bookorder.html), or in Halifax from MEC or (I believe) most bike shops.
A good map book is the MapArt publishing "Halifax & Area Nova Scotia Cities and Towns"; this has a street map for all major cities and towns in Nova Scotia, plus a comprehensive provincial road map.
BNS have some useful touring information (http://bicycle.ns.ca/recreation/archives/000040.html#more), including a list of organisations that do supported touring, if that's what you're looking for.
Enjoy your tour :)
03-13-05, 07:28 PM
A couple of companies do tours in Nova Scotia -- look at freewheeling.ca for example. I went with them to Quebec and had a lovely time. But I'd second the thinking on the Cabot Trail -- the area is basically a plateau intersected by deep, deep valleys and the hills in and out of the valleys are really long and really steep. But it is beautiful and well worth the trip.
03-14-05, 01:22 PM
My wife and I rode from Lunenberg to Halifax along the coast to Guysborough to Cape Breton to the Cabot Trail to Meat Cove and south to Beddeck. Cape Breton was definitely the highlight. We enjoyed both the west and east coasts and especially Bay St Lawrence. The climbs might be very short depending on what you're used to. People warned us all along the way about the climbs on the Cabot Trail. At the top of the first climb I was waiting for my wife to catch up. She doesn't really like climbing, but when she saw me, she asked, surprised, "that's it?!" It's the only climb I can think of where she was surprised how quickly it was over.
We also enjoyed the scenery from Lunenberg to Halifax and the area around Guysborough. We camped most of the trip and in some areas found the bugs so annoying that we'd go out to dinner instead of cooking at camp. Then we'd find a spot to camp, set up the tent and only stay there for sleeping.
As Michel Gagnon pointed out, distances between shops can be a bit long. We found the few shops were often closed, and buying liquor was a particularly difficult task. The liquor board (or whatever it's called) publishes a map showing all the stores in the province. There aren't many, especially in northern Cape Breton and they're opened limited hours. To give you an idea of the difficulty of riding in Nova Scotia, getting a beer was our biggest challenge!
03-15-05, 11:05 AM
Here's another website with info for Nova Scotia bike touring at http://www.atlanticcanadacycling.com/
I'm hoping to tour my way down there this summer (late July and early August) and spend a week touring Nova Scotia and visiting relatives.
I would suggest going to prince edward island, went last summer and it was great. They have built a awesome trail system on the old rail lines that run from one end of island to the other. Its beautiful with short jaunts thru the forest ending in quaint villages by the ocean. very beautiful.
re nova scotia trip
toured there 6 years ago
would like to go back
we flew to halifax
then followed lighthouse route
.from halifax nova scotia.to yarmouth nova scotia..then onto portland in maine..then down the coast to boston
heres some pics nova scotia tour (http://www.raunch-raf-regt.20m.com/photo4.html)
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