Author Topic: nova scotia  (Read 4120 times)

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Offline HONDO

nova scotia
« on: January 25, 2007, 10:13:38 pm »
Anybody bicycled Nova Scotia? If so how would you evaluate it as a bicycling trip. Is it a must do? What time frame would be needed. Climate.Terrain.Best time to go. I know I can get all this from books/maps but I would appreciate a firsthand account. Thanks.

Offline bikerbob

nova scotia
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2007, 01:31:02 pm »
At the end of a coast to coast trip, I took the ferry from Bar Harbor Maine, to Yarmouth and then cycled to Halifax. The backroads are a delight however there are generally no shoulders. Drivers are very patient and the scenery is fantastic. Unfortunately my ride was on the Labour Day weekend and traffic was heavy. I moved back and forth from the coastal highway(3)to the major highway 103 to avoid some the traffic. Highway 103 has wide shoulders however it is not very scenic. If you plan to follow a major highway then you are not seeing Nova Scotia.  I did go back on the backroad for a side trip to Lunenberg and up to Mahone Bay. The ride was absolutely unbelievably pretty. There was not a ripple on Mahone Bay. And you must take side trip to Peggy's Cove.
Gary Conrad who wrote the "The Nova Scotia Bicycle Book" is very amenable to answering bike touring questions. He can be reached at Atlantic Canada Cycling. This group sponsors a group ride through NS every summer.
Enjoy your ride

Offline mckas

nova scotia
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2007, 11:11:58 pm »
It has been about 17 years since I biked in Nova Scotia. I am sure its beauty is still there.  I have actually done 2 trips in Nova Scotia.  The 1st was a ferry ride from Portland, Me to Yarmouth, bike to Halifax, then accross and back to Digby, and a ferry to St John, NB.  The second was Yarmouth to Halifax to around Cape Bretton Island to New Glasgow and a ferry to PEI.

If you go try to stay off the main highways, but also don't get caught up with going around every pennisula.  While the scenery is great, it can get a little redundant, and you could spin alot of miles just going from Yarmouth to Halifax.  Halifax is a wonderful city.  While the population is not great, many people from all over Nova Scotia would go there to shop or party. (this was 17yrs. ago, before Walmarts in every little town) it is also a big navel port.  I met a couple of fishermen from Newfoundland, who came to Halifax for a couple days to party. Had a wonderful time.  All of the people I met were extremly friendly.  Definetly spend an off day there.  The historical fort is really neat, and the gardens were nice.

If you are in for a challenge, go around Cape Bretton Highlands National Park.  I have to say that bicycling this stretch ranks with biking the "Going to the Sun" route through  Glacier National Park.  The scenery is outstanding.  While the elevation gains in the climbs may only be 1000 - 1200 ft or so, they are steep.  I have to say that the climb to Cape Smokey was one of the most exhilarating climbs that I have ever done.  If you travel counterclockwise, you will be climbing some next to a cliff straight down to the ocean.  This gave me a huge lift, and plenty of adrenalin to finish the climb.

Do realize that fog can be a big bummer, and take away all of the great scenery.  Both of my trips were in August, and I never had any prolong periods of fog.  You may want to research this aspect.

Anyways, my advice, is that if you can get out to Nova Scotia, go and have a great time.