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Post Info TOPIC: Headed to the Maritimes - NS & hopefully, PEI


Poncho Master!

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Headed to the Maritimes - NS & hopefully, PEI


We're headed to NY state  - our son graduates from university (PhD in Applied Physics.  We have a Doctor in the family!  No, not that kind of Doctor...).  After the ceremony, we (my wife & I) plan on a road trip up through Vermont, Maine and into NB.  She likes bicycling, so she's looking at all the Rails-to-Trails type rides (trains don't go up steep hills!).  I think we'll head into NS and work our way around, and then head across to PEI.  Originally, we thought we'd be able to do NB, NS & PEI, but we've only got a couple weeks, and after doing a little research, we realized we'll be lucky to get around NS, followed by popping over to PEI to ride all or part of the Confederation Trail. 

The plan is to not really have a plan - just a general idea, which I've described above.  We've got a tent and we'll alternate between tenting & hotels.  

Any "must do" suggestions?  It'd be great to meet some of the CP'ers out there, but the lack of a schedule makes pre-planning tough.  We should be there for the first couple weeks in June.

It looks like the 'doctor' will likely end up working in the NE, at least for a couple more years, so we hope to have more opportunity to visit the Maritime area again.

Thanks!

Wes



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A Poncho Legend!

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Well, you HAVE to meet the CEO of Canadian Poncho since the world headquarters are in PEI....

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I have a bicycle rack(old one I had custom made) plugs into trailer hitch. FREE in Oshawa. holds 2 bikes on with bungee cords. I had to retire from cycling due to my balance problem started eating too much dirt. railroad tracks are easy as long as the filler is suitable. love your trip idea. Free

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PM Sent

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Sounds like a nice trip, and the area is very beautiful in June with all the lush new growth spurred on by all the spring rain.  June is the greenest month around here.

As I see it, there are 3 main choices to come to NS:

(1) You can drive to Portland Maine and take The Cat ferry to Yarmouth NS:  https://www.ferries.ca/thecat/

I haven't taken the new "Cat" but have done the trip before on other ferries and it's a nice leisurly trip.  Portland is a nice walkable city with quite a bit of older architecture, good restaurants and such.

Yarmouth is a small town where the ferry is its main source of income these days.  From Yarmouth, you can travel towards Halifax via highway 101, which takes you through the Annapolis Valley, the main agricultural area of NS.  Lots of farmland and wineries as you pass through there.  Or, you can take highway 103 along the south shore, where there are a lot of nice small seashore towns.  You can stay for a night at White Point Beach Resort, which is right on the beach (warning: the water is cold in June!) and very relaxing https://www.whitepoint.com/ .  You should also stop in Lunenburg, which is where the Bluenose (on the back of the dime) was built.  It's a nice town with lots of old wooden houses built using shipbuilding techniques and is a UNESCO world heritage site.  There are good restaurants and it is very walkable as well.  https://www.novascotia.com/explore/top-25/lunenburg  Mahone Bay is nearby and also a nice little town to stop in.

Lots of rails to trails in NS... https://www.novascotia.com/see-do/outdoor-activities/cycling

 

(2) You can cross the border in Saint Stephen NB and drive to Saint John, take the ferry to Digby NS, and move on from there.  St. Andrews by the sea is a nice stopping point between St. Stephens and Saint John.  http://standrewsbythesea.ca/

Saint John is a nice city as well, with lots of old buildings preserved in the downtown area.  Ferry info:  https://www.ferries.ca/nb-ns-ferry/schedule/

 

(3) You can hook up to the I-95 in Maine and cross over into NB near Houlton.  The drive to NS is along divided highways on that route, if you prefer that type of driving vs the more winding roads that lead to St. Stephens.  Coming into NS this way will pass you right by the road that goes to the Confederation Bridge into PEI.

 

Lots more to cover... let me know if you have any questions or want more info.  I can go on as there is so much to see around here.



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Poncho Master!

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Thanks!

Our bikes are in New York (our son bought a couple used ones for us) so we'll need to figure out a bicycle rack before leaving Ithaca. We're renting a car and without know what the car is, it's impossible to figure out what the bike carrier will look like, but thanks for the offer!

I think the plan is to drive from Ithaca, pretty much due East until we get to Portland, then work our way north to enter Canada at St Stephen. Not carved in stone, so I will look at the options you suggest! Current plan has us pretty much dead heading to St John, then south into NS and work our way around counter clockwise. Pop over to PEI after Nova Scotia, and we'll see how much time we have left to before deciding on a the return route.

I'm starting to look forward to the trip. I've never been to the East Coast (other than a trip to Ithaca to visit number one son) and a couple trips to Florida many moons ago. I've worked with lots of great people from 'back east' over the years. Looking forward to some local music too if possible!



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A Poncho Legend!

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What dates are you expecting to be out this way?


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Poncho Master!

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I'm near Mahone Bay, please stop by. I may or may not have my boat in the water, a possible "3 hour tour".

There is a great trail for biking that runs by my house almost, Dynamite Trail (the rails to trails run down the South shore. A nice place to stay is Bayview Pines in Indian Point, it also accesses the Point. Check their website, it has a drone video I think.
You should be able to catch some East Coast music around Halifax and likely in Charlottetown too.

Check out www.pc.gc.ca/en/pn-np/ns/kejimkujik National Park. The Adjunct is an easy hike on the ocean, the rest of the park is inland. Go see Peggy's Cove. When in Lunenburg, check out Rissers Beach for camping, plus you can still drive on the beach next door at Crescent Beach. Take the Lahave ferry and go see Riverport and Kingsport.

With only 2 weeks or so and doing biking, I wouldn't do both Cape Breton and PEI, too far. Do PEI, there is nothing else like it and all the little back dirt roads out around Cavendish, Brackley, Stanhope, are awesome on a bike. Cape Breton is awesome to, especially the Cabot Trail, but for biking those hills, you have to be in serious good shape.

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DonSSDD wrote:

 With only 2 weeks or so and doing biking, I wouldn't do both Cape Breton and PEI, too far. Do PEI, there is nothing else like it and all the little back dirt roads out around Cavendish, Brackley, Stanhope, are awesome on a bike. Cape Breton is awesome too, especially the Cabot Trail, but for biking those hills, you have to be in serious good shape.


 X2. Take your time seeing Cape Breton another time.

PEI is mostly rolling hills and there is The Confederation Trail to get you around (and you can always branch off it). Watch out for car traffic on PEI, especially starting in late June, early July into August, September. There are small/no shoulders on some PEI roads.



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Good suggestions above, especially Keji (for camping) and Peggy's Cove (a unique and famous landmark in NS).  Agree that Cape Breton (the Cabot Trail), although beautiful, is a good 3-4 hour drive (depending on whether you're starting from) Halifax or Truro, so there's 6-8 hours of traveling in addition to the 7 or 8 hours (and much more to actually stop and enjoy it) it takes to circle the Cabot Trail that would probably make it hard to do PEI, which you really should see as it is very unique and different from NS (plus it's the world headquarters of CP...).  Though I've heard the Cabot Trail has some spectacular camping sites (I haven't actually camped in years, so I'm not a good person to give camping advice!).  BTW, here's a time lapse video of the Cabot Trail to give you an idea of what it's like if you're curious: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Okw1vdX7pJc

 

A few more suggestions along your planned route, if you are looking to stop:

- Acadia National Park, near Bar Harbor, Maine: https://www.nps.gov/acad/index.htm

- The Hopewell Rocks in NB:  https://www.tourismnewbrunswick.ca/Products/T/TheHopewellRocks.aspx

- The Bay of Fundy areas in NS: https://www.novascotia.com/about-nova-scotia/regions/bay-fundy-annapolis

 

For east coast music, The Old Triangle is a good spot to pick it up.  The Halifax location is owned by Brian Doherty (of Evans and Doherty) and thus always has a good slate of musicians performing there.

https://www.oldtriangle.com/welcome/

http://thechronicleherald.ca/business/1129291-cheers-to-first-irish-consul

http://www.evansanddoherty.com/

There are other pubs that feature east coast music but also rock bands etc, but you will have the best chance of catching east coast music at the Triangle.

The Lower Deck is another good location to have a brew and listen to live music if you're into that:  https://www.lowerdeck.ca/pub.html

 

I'm going to be away for a good chunk of June, both on business and vacation, but I hope you have a good time on your trip!  Let me know if you have any questions and I'll be happy to answer them.



-- Edited by MC on Wednesday 16th of May 2018 09:07:49 AM

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Poncho Master!

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Thanks everyone. We definitely had a few of the suggestions on our list already, but not all of them, so I am grateful!

We're still hoping to do both NS & PEI. We recognize we have too little time to do them both justice, but we're looking this as a bit of a scouting trip since we expect to be back to the East Coast again.

Thanks Again!
Wes



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Glad to help.  Enjoy your trip! 



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My wife and I did the Cabot Trail going counter clockwise. 

Wifes comment.... why is the water always on my side?    

 

I grew up with Motor Racing and have an aggressive attitude toward driving.  Do it both ways and it is quite a different perspective from the drivers view.



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Look me up if you travel near Digby NS.

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