Nova Scotia/New Brunswick Terrain Variety

Discussion in 'Canada' started by jwaffles, Jul 10, 2019.

  1. jwaffles

    jwaffles Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2015
    Oddometer:
    38
    Location:
    NYC
    My two friends and I were planning to ride the western portion of the Trans America Trail starting in late July, but our shipping arrangements fell through. We're are now planning to ride from New York to Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. We're planning to ride mostly dirt and I know we will find some great roads and trails. One concern we have is that we will almost entirely be in wooded areas. It looks like Newfoundland has some great riding in more open terrain, but I don't think we will be able to make it that far. Is there any riding similar to Newfoundland in Nova Scotia or New Brunswick where we won't just be looking at trees all day?

    Thank you for your advice and any other suggestions you may have.
    #1
  2. fredgreen

    fredgreen let's take it apart....

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,428
    Location:
    Nova Scotia, Canoodia
    Plain answer.....no

    Nova Scotia is virtually uninhabited once you’re off the coast. There are a few small towns scattered around, but the majority of dirt roads (and there are lots) are views of trees, lakes, and rivers.
    #2
  3. rarepartbuilder

    rarepartbuilder redemption gypsy

    Joined:
    May 23, 2014
    Oddometer:
    2,447
    Location:
    New Brunswick Canada
    +1 on what Fred said...

    Not sure what the concern is being in a wooded area.. If the dirt roads and trail {s}you choose gets bad enough the last thing on ones mind is not the woods view its the terrain and the challenges it presents.

    In NS.... Best thing to do is make tracks across the back country with a plan to pop out on the coast for food and fuel.. In NB distance to fuel stops is much more of a concern... plan accordingly with fuel constraints in mind..especially in the NB back country its vast.

    Consider getting the back roads maps loaded on a couple of devices if you are serious about riding dirt as OSM wont cut it alone.

    best of luck

    Bill
    #3
  4. jwaffles

    jwaffles Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2015
    Oddometer:
    38
    Location:
    NYC
    Thanks for the info. Do you know how TrakMaps compares to Back Road Maps? I like that TrakMaps can be downloaded as opposed to coming on a microSD since I already have one for my Garmin with other tracks already loaded on it.
    #4
  5. rarepartbuilder

    rarepartbuilder redemption gypsy

    Joined:
    May 23, 2014
    Oddometer:
    2,447
    Location:
    New Brunswick Canada
    Could use the NS sno mo site {known as SANS} as reference for level of detail of your maps since they are most forth coming with free info.. otherwise someone that is running back roads maps and TrakMaps might chime in here. :dunno

    TrakMaps is listed on the snow mo site but not sure if the version you have covers that geography? as it looks like a stand alone program for snowmobiles.

    a good check and balance would be to zoom in or.... print a PDF from the SANS Site in Nova Scotia then compare what you see to your map program.

    Bill
    #5
  6. AngusMcL

    AngusMcL Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2009
    Oddometer:
    130
    Location:
    HRM, NS, Canada
    You should be careful using SANS as a reference... I believe any SANS trail crossing private land is for snowmobile use only and not 'open' outside of the snowmobile season.

    A.
    #6
  7. rarepartbuilder

    rarepartbuilder redemption gypsy

    Joined:
    May 23, 2014
    Oddometer:
    2,447
    Location:
    New Brunswick Canada
    Agreed.... to the op.. any of the snowmo trails that are on private land have signage at each end and for the most part these private encounters are pretty well marked. Otherwise they are cruising on government roads that are not maintained or not plowed or both in many areas of the province.

    below is a screen shot from SANS sign guide located : https://www.snowmobilersns.com/nova-scotia/snowmobile-trails/trail-strategy/

    sans private land sign.jpg
    #7
  8. applicant_255

    applicant_255 Misshapen Shaved Ape

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2012
    Oddometer:
    139
    Location:
    Nova Scotia
    Irving has, at least in NB, been trying very hard to rectify the problem of too many trees for a while now

    [​IMG]DSC06683

    There are a few nice open areas around the province if you take the time to look

    [​IMG]IMG_0581_2

    Some of the trees can be kinda pretty though, later in the year

    [​IMG]IMG_0618

    [​IMG]IMG_0624

    Forests and lakes are nice to stop off in once in a while if you're riding through in summer though

    [​IMG]Aroostook-Rip8.

    Spring can be trying on the logging roads though

    [​IMG]DSC05169

    There are occasionally canyons and waterfalls and whatnot that get in the way of the ride, and you have to go through EVEN MORE forest to get around them

    [​IMG]DSC05114

    [​IMG]DSC05120

    All those are just within the area between Saint John and Moncton closest to where I used to live.

    I'm back in NS now, there's plenty to see around here too, you can ride offroad on the rail trails around most of the province, and you'll find all kinds single-track, double track, backroads and coastal rural roads to get around, you can do a lot of the province without touching pavement, though it is more accessible if you chose to skip through on some bits of tarmac here and there.

    I'll skip more pictures of NS off road riding, you can have a look at the https://dualsport.smugmug.com local forum's smugmug page for pictures of offroad areas around NS ( I am unaffiliated, but dualsport.ca wa the forum for this sort of thing around NS, except now they're shutting down and converting to facebook or some such nonsense ).

    In NS you're almost never more than a half hour's ride from scenic coastline. There's a higher coast to inland ratio than any other province, Cape Breton has half an inland sea smack in the middle of it.

    You've got the Cabot Trail, the Lighthouse Route and the Evangeline Trail. While parts of the Cape Breton are certainly navigable off-road , you'd be doing yourself a disservice not taking a quick lap around the Cape Breton Highlands.

    The Annapolis Valley has plenty of wide open spaces and lookoffs too.

    There's a whole bay of fundy dotted with campgrounds and backroads with bluffs and lookoffs, with wineries and beer gardens, microbrewries and fish&chips restaurants with fresh seafood. Or I guess if you're frugal there's a costco where you can buy a gallon of peanut butter and then the discount liquor store just outside of Moncton, although you'll find all the liquor is higher priced than what you find in the states, but maybe you find that's balanced out by the legal weed they sell, I don't know.

    And not to discourage you from going, but you should plan at least two weeks when visiting Newfoundland; There are again a massive amount of trails and variety of areas and terrains to visit when you're there, but it seems like everyone underestimates how big it is. The province of Newfoundland and Labrador are the same size as California, or 2/3rds of Texas if that's your measure of bigness.
    #8
    fastredbike, Amphib and Maggot12 like this.
  9. jwaffles

    jwaffles Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2015
    Oddometer:
    38
    Location:
    NYC

    These look like some great suggestions. We are not opposed to riding some tarmac. It is dual sport after all haha. Cape Breton looks like a lot of fun and we will definitely check out the Cabot Trail. We're just scrambling a bit since our plans changed last minute.
    #9
  10. fredgreen

    fredgreen let's take it apart....

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,428
    Location:
    Nova Scotia, Canoodia
    Get up to Cape Clear in Cape Breton. It’s easy to find and google will show you where it is
    #10
  11. applicant_255

    applicant_255 Misshapen Shaved Ape

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2012
    Oddometer:
    139
    Location:
    Nova Scotia
    Seconded trying to get to Cape Clear in Cape Breton if you make it up that way, it's a bit off road, spectacular view from the top.

    Cape Enrage, Cape Split and Cape D'Or have nice lookoffs into the bay of fundy, you can actually see them in google street view to get an idea of the gravel road and lookoff itself for each of them. There are a bunch more of this type if you go looking down along the valley along the western shore of NS.

    Here's a bunch of ATV trails listed showing routes around NS if you're looking for a little longer/rougher road: https://www.wikiloc.com/trails/atv/canada/nova-scotia

    ATVANS has a map listing all the trails in the province, though for some you'll need a membership to pass over private land sections. They have signs posted on sections where it's needed generally, but this at least provides an overview of the kind of coverage over the province for off-roading. https://atvans.wildapricot.org/maps_trails

    There was a logging company called Bowater-Mersey that went under and sold all it's land back to the government for a dollar. They opened up this land with trails, and about half of that to off-road vehicles, have a look at info on that here https://novascotia.ca/natr/land/western-land/access.asp

    And this PDF for a general overview which is linked to on that page, since it doesn't seem to have a proper internetish map

    https://novascotia.ca/natr/land/western-land/pdf/planning/WCLPP-August2015.pdf

    or this slightly better, though still huge map showing the trails specifically

    https://novascotia.ca/natr/land/western-land/pdf/Trails-and-Recreation.pdf

    Both PDFs are enormous, but the previous page only has a thumbnail where an actual map should be.

    I think the idea there is that the red outline shows the land where the trails are on that second map, and then the black outline the trails themselves? It seems like there's a lot of information on those maps, but clarity is lacking somewhat. If you can't dazzle them with brilliance, baffle 'em with bullshit? Maybe cross-referencing the ATV trails map above with the second map here to make sure you're on recreational crown land.
    #11
  12. jwaffles

    jwaffles Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2015
    Oddometer:
    38
    Location:
    NYC
    Thanks for all the info guys. We made it to NB and should get to NS tomorrow

    Attached Files:

    #12
    AngusMcL likes this.