Where should I go - Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia...

Discussion in 'Canada' started by GregX999, May 21, 2006.

  1. GregX999

    GregX999 Nomad

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    So, I figured I should start planning my trip since it's coming up in about 4 weeks. I'll be taking a ride around the eastern part of Canada in June. I'll be leaving from Rochester, New York on June 9th and I'll be returning on June 16th. I'm plan on mostly camping, with maybe a B&B or hostel thrown in for good measure.

    So, does anyone have any advice on things to see, roads to ride or places to stay? I'm thinking of some sort of loop up through Maine and up the Coast to Nova Scotia, then back down along the SLSW through Quebec City and Montreal. I'm especially looking for advise on good places to camp - scenic, not full of RVs.

    I'd like to stay off major highways obviously. And I don't mind a dirt road or two - I'll be on a R1200GS - but I do want to keep the average speed up there - no rocky, rutted, 4x4 trails or anything.

    Thanks! :D
    Greg
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  2. kdude

    kdude Happy to be here !

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    hmmm... if it were me i'd decide what kind of trip your into... if your into historical stuff i'd venture to Quebec city, for night life, gorgous babes, great food and a happening place i'd go to Montreal.. or if your into really good riding where its peacefull , quiet and lots of water and good seafood I"d do Nova Scotia , Newfoundland, Labrador. I"m doing a trip there in early July

    Check out this link.... http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=137801


    Have fun.. no matter what you choose your going to have a great time...
    #2
  3. JimmieA

    JimmieA Long timer

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    If your going to Quebec you should know French. From my experience if you can't parley with them it is unplesant. The French can make your life difficiult.

    Nova Scotia has great scenery, PEI is nice to visit. People are friendly and helpful. Travel around outside, south shore of Nova Scotia can be fun. Cabott Trail is very nice. A day in Halifax on the harbour is good. Not a lot to see in New Brunswick. You can travel using the ferries so you don't have to go the same way twice.
    #3
  4. kdude

    kdude Happy to be here !

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    Jimmy..... Mtl. is a bi-lingual city. There is no problem speaking english to get around, shop, eat or just enjoy the city. Of course it's possible you could run into one of our separist locals who only speak french and really take offence to someone who won't even say Bonjour.

    As long as you show some respect towards the french locals there won't be a problem.

    hp
    #4
  5. RED CAT

    RED CAT Bumpy Backroader

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    Montreal is a good place to stay away from. Lousy motorcycling, terrible roads and politics. Quebec City is way nicer but you can't ride in the best part, the Old City as motorcycles are now banned. The countryside is nice in some parts but generally the Maritimes are better.
    #5
  6. GregX999

    GregX999 Nomad

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    Thanks for the info so far! :clap

    I was most likely going to stop in Quebec City as I've never been. I've been to Montreal before and I really like it, but I think I'll skip it on this trip as 1. I've been there before and 2. It's the kind of place I'd like to spend more time than I have. (I do speak a little French)

    I'd really like to spend most of my time in Nove Scotia and maybe PEI, they look the most scenic from a motorcycling perspective.

    Besides the Cabot Trail, are there any routes anyone would recommend as "must-ride"?

    Greg
    #6
  7. scratchypants

    scratchypants Loathes the impolite

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    Gaspe penninsula, through Cap des Rosiers.
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  8. Pig-Pen

    Pig-Pen (Formerly KTMike)

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    Sound like a nice ride. Send away for the Nova Scotia Motorcycle guide. It's put out by their tourism board and is a great resouce designed specifically for motorcyclists.. Shows all the places to camp, B&B's attractions etc. Best riding is along the Atlantic side and for sure Cape Breton. Allow at least 3 days for th Cabot Trail and area. Here's the link. http://www.checkinnovascotia.com/Public/main/brochureRequest.asp

    Don't be too concerned about your lack of French. Every once in a while you'll run into some arrogant idiots, but for the most part they are pretty nice. No problems with language around Montreal and east along the Vermont/Maine border.

    I rode from Toronto a couple years ago and went through Montreal then east through Sherbrooke to Maine border. Picked some twisty smaller roads to cut through Maine (starting on SR 6 / 15 I think) to Saint John, New Bruswick where you can catch the ferry to Digby Nova Scotia. Then either loop around Nova Scotia or if your short on time cut through the middle to Halifax, Peggys Cove and follow shore towards Cabot Trail. Zip through PEI for a day across the Confederation bridge. Enjoy!
    #8
  9. cumulus

    cumulus Adventurer

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  10. tor1150r

    tor1150r --

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    Hi,
    My wife and I recently began our cross-Canada trip. We are in Lunenburg NS right now, but have already passed through Quebec, NB , PEI. If you have the time try the Gaspe Peninsula, and take Hwy 299 through the Chic-Choc mountains. If you can get hold of a local map, there is a road @ 16, which heads east off 299. This is an amazing gravel road that takes you right through the mountains. Follow 16 to Road # 2, towards Mont St. Pierre. This road (~ 50 km long ??) is dirt, gravel and some real interesting scenery. A 1200 GS is no sweat on this road. We did it on a loaded (and 2-up) R1150R . I kept the speed at arounf 45 km/h, but you should be able to maintain 60, solo on your GS.

    New Brunswick:
    Take te route through the mountain range. I believe this is Hwy 17, 365 and 180 (or 108, I don't have a map with me right now). Watch for animals. This will take you towards Moncton. Roads are a little bumpy, but the scenery is great.

    PEI:
    Straight and grid-like for the most part, but you can take some 'red-dirt' roads throughout the Province. 1 day is all you need there.

    N.S:
    We started at the NB/NS border and took Hwy 366 through Pugwash. We than took a hwy down to Truro. After Truro, take Hwy 14 to New Ross Road. Nicely paved, great curved/hills/views. We took this road to Hwy 12, and south into Lunenburg. We'll hit hte Cabot Trail in 2 days, than off to NFLD/Lab.

    Enjoy.

    BTW...We are from Toronto and know very few words/phrases in French. If you try to make some effort, not assuming they speak english, they are quite helpful. We were in Quebec for 5 days and had no trouble communicating.

    Cheers,
    motorcycle-overland.com
    #10
  11. skibum69

    skibum69 slave to gravity Super Supporter

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    I would suggest taking as direct a route as possible to hit Quebec City for the History and culture shock; if you make an effort and learn a couple of phrases etc of French the locals will be much more friendly in general. Just think how you feel when non English speakers come visit you in Rochester.

    From there I would follow the advice of going through Chic Choc National Park as per the earlier reply. Leaving Quebec City stay on the south side of the St. Lawrence; the ferry is nice, but you can lose a lot of time waiting for it. Don't forget to stop at the Belgian micro brewery along the river a little ways before you get onto the Gaspé; you'll see the signs. He's a friendly eccentric guy from Belgium, yummy beer. Watch for the fromageries where you can buy very very good locally produced cheeses in many varieties. When you go into New Brunswick stay east and tour through the Miramichi while you head south (lots of French in NB too).

    Next you can look at your time and go across the Link to P.E.I.; do a day there and take the ferry from the other side on your way to Cape Breton or header straight into Nova Scotia. The Cabot Trail around Cape Breton is great and you can make the mainland section a loop back into Halifax. If you still have any time you can ride the touristy South Shore of NS.

    On the way home if you can swing it cross back into Bush country at Calais/St. Stephen and run as much of the coastal highways through Maine. I ate at a great oyster bar in Camden many moons ago....

    My runs through there have all been on pavement so far, but you'll appreciate your GS when you hit the really lousy pavement.

    How you pick your way east through to Rochester out of my experience.

    My guess is that you will run out of time and will be wishing for more; next trip book 3 weeks and tour Newfoundland. I'm hopefully doing the trans Labrador Highway later this season on my 640 Adventure.

    Chec your maps...it takes longer than you might think

    sorry, I'm a little long winded, cheers.........:slurp
    #11
  12. Gallant

    Gallant Banned

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    Here some from N.B.
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    this next one is from the Miramichi
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    This was Nothern N.B. some were from the interior ( Route 180)
    Some from Gaspe
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    Bring lot's of bug spray!:lol3 :wink:
    #12
  13. rockjock699

    rockjock699 BorealBomber

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    First off, you can pretty much ignore the comment about needing to know French. If you are respectful and interested in people, they will reflect that back to you. Any traveller knows that basic maxim. If you also happen to know a few french words and phrases, then you will be well ahead of the game. Quebecois are wonderful people with a rich history...if you take time, ask questions and show interest, you will be rewarded with an understanding of Canada's first settlers (after our first nations friends of course.)

    Montreal and Quebec are good stops along the way, but the real treat in my view is the Gaspe peninsula. Ride along the south shore of the St. Lawrence for some lovely scenery and great twisties. You can forget about Starbucks though...these are some pretty backwoods places. The ride through the Chic Choc mountains (noted above) is a good bet, and the Perce Rock at Gaspe peninsula and Gaspe itself are of great interest (Jacques Cartier who took credit for discovering Canada landed at Gaspe in 1534).

    I'll defer to the others on the rest....my riding in Nova Scotia was all on the main highways which usually nip in and out of the small coastal towns and made for an interesting trip. Don't know about the dirt roads, but all in all you have chosen some great destinations.

    Enjoy your ride. :1drink
    #13