Nova Scotia bound

Discussion in 'Canada' started by pckopp, Aug 3, 2005.

  1. pckopp

    pckopp Aged Adventurer

    Feb 25, 2003
    Spokane, WA
    "Great White North" doesn't exactly seem like the right forum for a place so far east and barely north, but anyway...

    My wife and I are heading toward Nova Scotia in a few weeks. Our plan is be on or near the Maine coast around the 25th of August. Still looking at options for ferries or the highway. I notice the Portland Ferry is out of service. The Cat from 'Ba Haba' might be a fun ride.

    This isn't an adventure trip, just two 50-somethings on a Wing and a credit card. We're giving the KLR's the summer off. The nice folks where I work think I'll be back at my desk around the middle of September, so that leaves us about 2 weeks of exploring before we need to head west toward home. But we're flexible.

    What should we see? Anything unusual happening there in the last days of August? Any roads we MUST ride? Great photo spots? Cool B&B's. We're from Seattle, so a good cup of coffee every now and then will keep us in good spirits and pleasant visitors to your fine country.

    The maps and ferry schedules make it appear that a trip to St John's, Newfoundland is a several day excursion. Is it spectacular or should we concentrate more locally? What about PEI? I know nothing about it, except how to get there, I think. Looking at the maps of NS made me think I could spend a day or two on each trail around the coast, a day in Halifax and maybe a day or two doing some 'touristy' stuff. Riding the tides in the Bay of Fundy on a rubber boat looks pretty scary!

    We're coming from the west and tentatively planning on arriving via I-90 in NY and then east toward (not into) Boston and up 95. Nothing specific yet. We could cross north in Michigan or at Niagara Falls and follow the St Lawrence through New Brunswick, but I suspect it would not be as fast as on US interstates. And we've been through Hamilton, Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal on other visits.

    So we're open to suggestions! What to see, what to do, who to meet for a drink, best lobster dinner, best bagpipe performance, best topless biker bar (good thing my wife doesn't read AdvRider!). Give us your best stuff!

    Thanks! We love travelling North of the Border. We're just not crazy about that Great White part!

    Is planning a trip fun or what?!
  2. marathonpaul

    marathonpaul Miles to go B4 I sleep Supporter

    Oct 20, 2004
    Ocala, Florida
    Bay of Fundy is a must. Make loop of the north end of the island from West to East. If the weather is clear you'll have a great view!

    PEI has a charming, small town in the middle of it (Charlottetown?)

    Take the ferry from NS to PEI, then take the bridge from PEI to the mianland.

    The local ferry system within NS is free and considered part of the road system.

    (former NH resident)
  3. Coolhand

    Coolhand Puck slapping maplesucker

    Nov 10, 2004
  4. ZZR_Ron

    ZZR_Ron Looking up

    Nov 4, 2004
    Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada
  5. Alien

    Alien Waitng for ride home.

    Oct 20, 2004
    should be elsewhere
    OK, How about is there any microbrews, motorcycle races or sailboat rental spot you would recommend?
  6. DirtyDakar

    DirtyDakar Quo vadis???

    Mar 4, 2005
    Ottawa, ON
    No trip to NS is complete without doing the Cabot...I've heard both, but I recommend counter clockwise.
    After doing the Cabot, head down hwy 19 and visit the Glenora Distillery here

    You can't go to Halifax without having a drink at the Split Crow and the Lower Deck. They're located in historic properties right downtown.

    Time permitting, you may want to do the Gaspe penninsula (North of New Brunswick) in Quebec.

  7. JTT

    JTT Long timer

    Jul 28, 2005
    Halifax, NS
    I'm a new guy around here, but a Nova Scotian for 40 yrs. So far I agree totally with the recommendations you've been given. In Halifax, the waterfront area is really nice and lots of see. Nice restaurants and of course the Lower Deck and Spit Crow...warning if you go to the Lower Deck, be prepared to sing your hearts out, it's almost a manditory thing ;)

    As for the previous question of microbreweries, yes there are several in Halifax alone. If you do take the Cat...and I would recommend it for the experience alone, there is a good little restaurant/microbrewery right in Yarmouth, very near the ferry. It's known as "Rudders" and is located right on the harbour. My favourite place for dinner in Yarmouth...good beer.

    The Canadian National Superbike race is happening this weekend just outside Halifax, but that won't help you much right now. Other than that, there isn't any big races left for this year. There is always some regional MX, and roadracing, but the big ones (the MX and RR Nationals) are done.

    Sorry, can't help with the sailing bit, but I'm positive it shouldn't be a problem regardless. "The Binacle" in Halifax is the big sailing store and could answer those questions I'm sure.

    To do NFLD, you are looking at about a 5 hr drive from Halifax to the ferry in North Sydney, then an approx 7 hr crossing to the West side of the island (the short ferry ride). It's a full 10 hrs of steady driving from the Ferry in Port aux Basque to St. John' can see, it's no day trip. NFLD is worth a trip all on it's own, it would be a shame to be rushed in visiting. Truely GREAT place, and greatly varying from coast to coast. Friendliest fokd in the world.

    As has been mentioned, there is both a ferry service and bridge to PEI. Bridge is a neat attraction, if your into engineering stuff...pretty cool really. PEI is very small, and worth doing some travelling around on. You can drive the whole length of the island and be back on the mainland in a day. Some very pretty scenery and nice roads. If your into golf, the place is lousy with gold courses. Some great beaches too.

    Back to the NS part, if you do take the ferry, I would suggest coming east on one side of the province and back on the other. The #101 hwy takes you through the Annapolis Valley (apple country). The #103 (east side of province) takes you along the coast and through some very nice little historic coastal villages. Lunenburg is a huge attraction...very cool little town and the birthplace of our famous Bluenose sailing'll see it on our Canadian dime.

    As was mentioned, the Cabot Trail in Cape Breton, NS is not to be missed. If your into history, Louisburg fortress is also a worthy stop in Cape Breton and can tie in nicely to a Cabot Trail run. Glenora distillery is very nice and highly recommended as well. Been a few years since I was there last, but a nice place to spend the night and sample their fine selections of single malt whiskeys and rums.

    I could go on for pages, but I think that should give you a sample of suggestions anyways. Good luck and enjoy your visit! The weather has finally come around so hopefully it hangs on for you.

  8. Albe

    Albe Adventurer

    Jan 16, 2005
    Let me borrow this thread for a sec. I'd like to do a trip just like you said, but the soonest I could be there is mid-to-late September. Is is too late weather-wise?
  9. redseca2

    redseca2 Long timer

    Mar 13, 2003
    San Francisco
    For a really comprehensive super LOOP tour where you visit all of the Maritime Provinces, you can travel east along the Saint Lawrence to Rimouski or another port town, where you catch this Quebec ferry:

    this ferry will take you to the end of the line at Blanc-Sablon, just a few miles from Labrador and across the strait from Newfoundland. After touching your wheel to Labrador, take the NFLD ferry across to the North end of Newfoundland and tour the island, leaving by the Nova Scotia ferry.

    From the Nova Scotia ferry you can follow the other posts for PEI and New Brunswick. I've had this route bookmarked for a while now, and may try it in 2006. Good Luck.
  10. GSGIRL

    GSGIRL Neither here nor there

    May 6, 2003
    State of Grace
    We just got back.

    Go to the Henry House Pub in Halifax.

    Stay at The Normaway Inn in Margaree. Wonderful property, inexpensive and fabulous food.

    Spend as much time on Cape Breton. Do the Cabot Trail both ways. Well worth it.

    Ride the Tidal rapids of the Shubenacadie for a great laugh.

    Go on a whale watch.

    Relax at Keji-blah-blah State Park.

    See Meat Cove.

    It's a great place to go, less people, more friendly and very good roads (for a GS at least :evil ).

    Have fun!
  11. Jeff Munn

    Jeff Munn Just along for the ride..

    Nov 12, 2003
    Petersburg, Virginia
    That time of the year I'd hope the tourists would be gone and Rt 1 along the Maine coast would be fun again. If you come up the coast, cross over to Canada out of Lubec, Maine, the easternmost point in the USA. It bridges to Campobello Island which is one of the most scenic islands I've seen in that area. You can watch the whales seals from Head harbor on the northern end, from shore.


    Eat at the Family Fisheries on the way to Head Harbor. Then take the $7 island ferry to Deer Island (home of the world's largest tidal whirlpool and on the 45th parallel), then the free inner island ferry to the Canadian mainland and ride on to Saint John. Both island are wonderfully quaint and beautiful.


    Stay in the Fundy National Park and watch the 10m tide change. Then go walk on the ocean floor at low tide at Hopewell Rocks 10 miles east of Fundy National Park. You can then ferry across to Digby NS from Saint John and do the loop of Nova Scotia south before heading to Cape Breton.

    You can't avoid having a great time up there. The scenery and the people are wonderful.
  12. Global Rider

    Global Rider Alps Adventurer

    Nov 26, 2001
    Canada & the Alps - N 46° 31.714' E 010° 27.212'
  13. bmw650red

    bmw650red n00b

    Feb 26, 2005
    Blowing my own horn a bit - hope this gets to you in time

    check out the Cape Breton and Moncton loops.

    Have a great ride.
  14. hondav2

    hondav2 Kiwi Fukengruver

    Dec 5, 2004
    New Zealand , Fiordland
    Good to see you on this site. Its Toddy from New Zealand here. On my trip to Alaska I nearly made it to Seattle but the traffic on the freeway heading north wasnt moving much at 5pm on a friday evening so I headed out to Port Angeles , got the ferry to Vancouver Island then another ferry to North Vancouver.Have you seen my trip on Ride Reports. Its called " Kiwi heading to Alaska ". I will be getting some info off this thread for my trip to eastern canada next year. So when are you going to bring the KLRs down for a tour of NZ and Aust. Have a safe ride . Cheers Toddy