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Nova Scotia and North Atlantic States

Discussion in 'Americas' started by opiej, Feb 12, 2020.

  1. opiej

    opiej Adventurer

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    Hey all! I am planning a father/son trip with my Dad to Nova Scotia riding through the mid and north atlantic states in August 2020. We have 10 days to play with and will be leaving from the great motorcycle country of the North Georgia mountains. I am just looking for any and all info I can gather to plan this out in a general sense, as we all know how best laid plans go, but mainly just looking for roads, sites and towns to see, camping, and other trouble us motorcyclists like to get into. We are looking to mainly camp, but will be hoteling it as well when or if needed. Any info and tips will be appreciated!
    #1
  2. scarysharkface

    scarysharkface Faking it/Making it

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    Meat Cove on Cape Breton Island is, for me, a must-see. Great campground overlooking the cove.

    John
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  3. phreakingeek

    phreakingeek Big Ear Inc - Virginia Provider Super Supporter

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    Follow as I'm planning to head up in June/July timeframe.
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  4. opiej

    opiej Adventurer

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    I have this one added to the list so to speak. Definitely going to try and work the Cabot Trail or portions of it as much as I can
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  5. scarysharkface

    scarysharkface Faking it/Making it

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    Of course, the Cabot Trail is a great motorcycle loop.

    There is also the Alexander Graham Bell museum in Baddeck, and the Louisbourg Fortress in Louisbourg is exceptional.

    The coastal roads are great.

    John
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  6. flei

    flei cycletherapist

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    Coastal Maine is beautiful. But not in August, unfortunately, when Hwy.1 is bumper to bumper tourists. If you don't mind traffic and touristy crowds you might find it ok.

    I'd skip NJ, southern NY/NYC area, CT. In other words, stay away from the I95 corridor. IMO= YUCK!

    If I were taking this trip I would veer inland in NY, head thru the Adirondacks, into VT, then NH, then head to Nova Scotia. There is great riding and camping throughout that part of NY/VT/NH. If you are on ADV bikes you can do a lot of dirt and back road exploring those places. Paved routes are good too.
    #6
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  7. opiej

    opiej Adventurer

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    Thank you flei! That is exactly what I was hoping to do. Steer clear of the major roadways and stick to the Adirondacks, up through the Whites, and such. I will be on a Triumph Tiger Explorer and Pops will be on a Tenere so mild dirt roads would be perfect.

    At some point I would like to do a bit of the coast, whether going north of coming back south. It's not a necessity, but time will an issue I know so need to make the best of it
    #7
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  8. flei

    flei cycletherapist

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    There are established adv routes thru MA/VT/NH and ME. Also tracks for the Dacs. Look up the NEBDR, the TMT, the Puppy Dog, the Hampster, etc. in the New England regional section of this forum. You also may want to cross post this thread there too.

    My wife's brother and his family live in Sautee. Beautiful area up there!

    If you need a place to stay in Western MA, PM me or look me up on the Tent Space thread.
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  9. opiej

    opiej Adventurer

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    I appreciate it! Definitely keeping that in mind!

    I am ordering Butler's maps for the area up there, also looking into seeing if we can hit up some of the NEBDR while traveling through. More options the better! The fun part is trying to connect the dots :)
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  10. markbvt

    markbvt Long timer

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    Not much point in going if you don't do the Cabot Trail. I'd put that as the #1 must-do item on the list, and definitely camp at Meat Cove as long as you're there.

    Also, flei's advice is good. There's a lot of great riding and great scenery to be had in the Adirondacks, Vermont, and northern NH. The Rangeley Lake area in Maine is beautiful as well, with some fun roads. Nova Scotia is actually pretty dull riding in many parts -- you're best off hugging the coastline east of Halifax to Canso, then up to the Canso Causeway to Cape Breton. In my experience, the western portion of Nova Scotia is frustratingly congested.

    Also, if you have the time, the Gaspé Peninsula in Quebec offers some good riding.

    --mark
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  11. opiej

    opiej Adventurer

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    Thank you Mark! Duly noted!

    I have been checking out the Rangeley Lake area in Maine, but once to Nova Scotia, I was planning on sticking to the coast as much as I can and venture off from there.
    #11
  12. Gustavo

    Gustavo Motociclista Errante

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    I have mixed feelings about the Cabot Trail. Without a doubt, the park is beautiful. Probably a great place to go hiking. The views from the road are fantastic too, so you can see a lot w/o having to go for a full day hike (good when you are wearing MC gear :knary). But, for years I kept reading about how these were these super challenging motorcycle roads, people proudly say they "survived" the Cabot Trail. I have no idea what they are talking about. There are a couple of sections that have tighter curves. They are very short. Let me put it this way, if you are coming from N Georgia looking for twisties, you will be very disappointed. It's mostly a nicely flowing road that allows you to take in the scenery (which is good, as I mentioned earlier, there is a lot of scenery to take in). Also, speed limits are low in the park and the rangers frown upon taking those curves at any speed that would make them challenging (not different than the US national parks, really). If you go, take it easy, enjoy the views.

    [​IMG]

    The "south" coast of NS is fantastic. You can start in Yarmouth and work your way north, simply by following the roads that hug the coast line. Lots of bays, coves and nice little towns to visit. Stop where you see something interesting. Some places I liked stopping at and/or walking around and exploring, in no particular order - Lunenburg, Mahone Bay, Chester, Peggy's Cove (a bit touristy, but nice if you hit it when there aren't a million people there), Bayswater flight 111 Memorial, St. Peters (mostly because of the lake and canal), Neil's Harbour, and, if you make it to the north part of the island, stop at the Fortress of Louisburg national historic site/museum. The reconstruction is simply amazing (the whole fort was burned down during the war).

    [​IMG]

    The good thing about NS is that despite the endless miles of coastal roads, the distances aren't that large "as the crow flies", so you can always hop on one of the inland, straight-ish, main roads and bypass a section you want to skip (like the bigger cities, for example).

    Then on the north side Cheticamp, Cape George, Anapolis Royal.

    Actually, if you decide to do Cape Breton and the Cabot Trail, I'd recommend you start from the Cheticamp side (it's a good place to stop for the night, so you can get an early start in the morning, beating some of the tourist rush).

    Gustavo
    #12
  13. scootac

    scootac Just a Traveler

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    Dorymen's Beverage Room in Cheticamp on Saturday afternoons. Local and not so local famous fiddlers play, tables full of town folks and tourists having a cold one or 3 side by side!
    Glenora Distillery, take the tour, or as we did on a rainy afternoon..have a piece of delicious gingerbread with whipped cream and bourbon glaze while listening to live piano music.
    There's more to traveling than riding!!!
    :nod
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  14. boulet_boulet

    boulet_boulet Been here awhile

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    Are you sticking to the roads or hoping to get off the beaten track? I have thoughts to offer for Maine and possibly NB, but it all depends on what kind of ride you hope to have and type of bikes too.
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  15. opiej

    opiej Adventurer

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    Thank ya for input! As far as twisties go, I am good with good flowing roads with scenery to take it. Pretty much what this trip is about, everybody loves curves but we are looking at exploring new to me places and seeing what can be seen. Checking out the fortress is definitely on the list as well as a few of the routes you listed about. Love the pics btw!!
    #15
  16. opiej

    opiej Adventurer

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    You had me at bourbon glaze on gingerbread!:yum

    And agreed definitely more to traveling than riding!!
    #16
  17. opiej

    opiej Adventurer

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    I would like to do a bit of both on and off the beaten track, as much as time will allow. Id definitely love to hear you thoughts for Maine! Being a backpacker and rider, the Whites and that area is intriguing.

    We will be on a Triumph Tiger Explorer for me, SuperTen for my Dad
    #17
  18. boulet_boulet

    boulet_boulet Been here awhile

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    As for Maine, generally speaking avoiding the coast is a good idea at that time of year. It's not horrible--I live there, so if you have a coastal destination in mind I would not write it off. But if you want to avoid RVs and crowds, go inland.

    Heading roughly east from Bangor you will find Rte 9 (AKA the Airline Rd.) takes a good clip to the Canadian border at Calais. There are some interesting detours from Rte 9 if you are not in a hurry. The CCC Road is one, heading alongside the Machias River Waterway.

    An alternative is to head to Ellsworth (approx. 45 miles east of Bangor)and take the 80 mile Downeast Sunrise Trail from there to Ayer's Junction (Pembroke) just S. of Calais. The DEST is a multi use railbed trail. IMO it can be a little boring after the novelty has worn off and watch out for horses and side by sides. Also, you'll need an ATV sticker to ride off-road in Maine.

    Going through NB, although it is not in the direction of NFLD, the True Northeast route is a really fun treat. There are lots of remote sections and it is big bike-friendly. If that's your jam, I highly recommend the detour. Last year I camped for a night at Mactaquac Provincial Park campground, not far from the Maine border, and spent the next day taking this route to Gaspesie.

    I don't know Nova Scotia very well, but I did enjoy my visit to Cape Breton and to the Louisbourg historic site that was previously mentioned.

    Have fun.
    #18
  19. scootac

    scootac Just a Traveler

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    Along the Cabot Trail, there is a road from South Harbour along the coast to White Point then Neils Harbour. A worthwhile detour off the Cabot Trail. There's a little lighthouse at Neils Harbour too.
    #19
  20. NJ-Bill

    NJ-Bill Life is good Supporter

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    I've been to Nova Scotia twice. Peggy's Cove has not been mentioned, probably because most motorcyclists focus on Cape Breton. Halifax is a cool city with rich history that includes a graveyard where many Titanic passengers are buried.

    The Cabot Trail is amazing on a bike. I recommend riding it CCW and starting in Baddeck. I've also not seen The Ceilidh Trail listed. It is a legal dirt trail on the southern end of Cape Breton. It is very mild. I rode it on a Vstrom with street tires.

    If you're looking for an adventure ride, River Denys Mountain Road is the ticket. It was challenging solo on the Vstrom but I had fun. It would have been better with a partner.
    #20