Montreal, Nova Scotia, Maine.

Tombstone

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#1
This June I'll ride to Montreal, pick up my wife at the airport, then we'll ride to Nova Scotia - several days later she will fly home from Bangor, Maine.
So far I have on our 'must see' list: The Cabot trail (185 miles?), Peggy's Cove, and Halifax boardwalk.
From Peggy's Cove it look like a person could follow the 103 and 101 making a loop and back to Dartmouth.... is that a good ride? How long at a relaxed pace would that take?
Any tips or suggestions?
Thanks!
 
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#3
Take 6 from over the center hump of nova Scotia from Amherst to new Glasgow on the way to cape Breton. Do the Cabot trail counter clockwise so you're on the looking out side.

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Qship

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#4
It's a solid day in the saddle doing the 103/101 route in NS, and you will see very little, unless you get on the old secondary highways that go through the small towns and villages. Mahone Bay and Lunenburg are popular destinations as well if you're going to Peggy's Cove. Just a little farther down the road. If you're heading back to Bangor after Nova Scotia the Hwy 114 thru Alma, New Brunswick and the Fundy trail are nice. The Hopewell Rocks are a nice stop along the way. Just check tide times as you can't see much when the tide is in. You say a few days from Montreal to Nova Scotia and the Cabot trail and a few other points of interest as well. That's a lot of ground to cover. You would almost need 4-5 days minimum to do all the points on your list. June can also be a wet month in the Atlantic provinces. July/Aug is better if possible. Hope this helps with your planning.
 
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#5
Baddeck is a neat place to check out as well as do the under the ocean coal mine tour in Glace Bay, I thought that was totally amazing. If you are a history nerd go to Fort Louisbourg, we spent an afternoon there and I could have stayed longer.
Mother Webb's has good BBQ. If you are going to go to PEI, take the ferry there and the bridge back as it is free to go over to the island but you have to pay to leave. If you leave via the ferry it is $40, if you take the bridge it is $18. Cheticamp was a great place to stay while on the Cabot Trail, I believe it was the Acadian Motel we stayed at, cheap and in the morning you will find an old towel on your bike to wipe it down. Nice brewery around there, I think it was Glenora but not sure. You have to hike the Skyline Trail, very picturesque. Go to www.cabottrailbiker.com and you can order a travel book for about $10, well worth it with the discounts plus you can get the other provinces in there too.

Hope this helps...
 

Tombstone

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#6
Super info! Thanks.
Using the above suggestions we planned a route tonight; From Montreal we'll take 4 days to reach Amhurst, (6) then Baddeck the Cabot Trail (counter clock wise), back to Baddeck to Halifax to Digby (via the shorter route), the ferry to St John and then Bangor (I'm planning on going from Digby to St John to Bangor in one day....).
I wish we had more than 11 days, but that's life.
 
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Qship

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#7
Baddeck is a interesting place. Alexander Graham Bell had his summer home there and so a museum is there with all the history behind him. Also a great jumping off point for the Cabot Trail.
Tombstone, not sure what kind of tour your looking to get in and the time frame you've given yourself, But Montreal to the Cabot Trail will be at least 14 hours straight ride time on the superslab.
 

Qship

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#8
Digby ferry not cheap and does not save you a lot of time. You're on their schedule. If you cross in the AM, getting to Bangor shouldn't be an issue. Not sure if the Yarmouth, NS to Bar Harbor, ME ferry is running again, but that may be an alternative.
Digby scallops are famous. Gotta have a feed of scallops if you like them.
 

Tombstone

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#9
Tombstone, not sure what kind of tour your looking to get in and the time frame you've given yourself, But Montreal to the Cabot Trail will be at least 14 hours straight ride time on the superslab.
We won't be hiking much, I keep the days less than 250 miles when my wife is along.
From Montreal to La Pocatiere 240
La Pocatiere to Cambleton 234
Cambleton to Amhurst 230
Amhurst to Baddeck 240
Cabot Trail back to Baddeck 185
Baddeck to Halifax 250
Halifax to Digby 240
Digby ferry to St John to Bangor 170

I've tried to take local ground tours or museums and the like, but then I just spend the time wishing I was riding.... LOL.. So we've learned to just ride for the most part.
 
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#10
I've tried to take local ground tours or museums and the like, but then I just spend the time wishing I was riding.... LOL.. So we've learned to just ride for the most part.
LOL, I get it! I do have to say that the under the ocean coal mine tour was probably the most impressive tour I have ever taken and has left a lasting impression with me. I am not a fan of unions however what those men had to endure at the hands of the owners was appalling to say the least and it is no wonder they did what they needed to. I believe the tour was about 2 hours and well worth the time. Whenever you see pictures of the Cabot Trail they are typically taken from the Skyline Trail. It is extremely easy to walk, also nice to stretch the legs.
If you are able to stretch it out on the first day and make it to Edmonston you might be able to make it to Amhurst the second day by sticking to Hwy 108. Just a thought. Also good call on going counter clockwise, that way you are closer to the ocean (less obstructed view) and most of the pull offs will be to your right so you are not having to cross traffic to get in and out.
 

Qship

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#11
Once you get off the main Highway thru Quebec(20) and onto the 132 from Rivière-du-Loup to Campbellton New Brunswick there are many small towns which will slow you down and the Quebec police force like to set up speed traps coming into every one of them. Rode down thru there a couple of years ago and couldn't believe the number of cops waiting to nail you.
Also all highway signs are in French thru Quebec, so know your directions in French. North=Nord, South=Sud, East=Est and West = Ouest.
If you can push past La Pocatiere to Rivière-du-Loup the one day it will give you time to take the slower route thru 132.
 

jrusell

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#12
If you have time a better route from Cape Breton to Halifax is to get off the hwy at Antigonish and take Rte 7 alone the Eastern shore to Dartmouth and then Halifax. No traffic, nice twisty roads along the coast. Even better the 316 to the 211, across the ferry and then connect to Rte 7 and down into Halifax.

Advocate Harbour loop is good as well from Truro to Parrsboro onto Advocate harbor, up to Joggins and stop at the Joggins fossil cliffs UNESCO World heritage site. Then back to Amherst. Looks like you will be pressed for time, but hope you have a good time.

I am Just outside Dartmouth. If you have any issues Get in contact and I will do my best to help.
 

Tombstone

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#16
Thanks VERY much for all the advice. We've read and reread your posts and have reworked our schedule as a result, and are in the process of getting reservations. We still only have 11 days, but stretching the riding for a couple of them will allow us more time in NS. I'm confident our trip will be much better due to the contributions on this thread!
Thanks again!
 
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#17
I am more of a 'cabin in the woods' kind of person and as such I avoid cities like the plague.
Route 30 on the south shore of Montreal is a good way to miss the worst of the traffic in that area.

https://www.google.com/maps/dir/45....20900c343b5!2m2!1d-74.057891!2d45.3935551!3e0

Halifax, being a city, is over flowing with people and traffic, with narrow streets and impossible to find parking.

Following the Trans-Canada through the Maritimes is the quickest way to Cape Breton and that is your goal. A word of warning, Cape Breton will steal your heart and you'll leave it behind.

The Cat ferry from Yarmouth to Bar Harbor starts up in the end of May and could be a better option than Digby to St John.

https://www.ferries.ca/thecat/schedule/

Most start the Cabot Trail at the Englishtown Ferry when going counter clockwise but I advise you to start at St. Ann's Bay where the St. Ann's Motel is located. This section of the 'Trail' is recently paved, very twisty and the scenery is stunning.

If you show up here on a weekend, it would be my joy and pleasure to escort you around Cape Breton.
Cheers,
Ricky
 
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#18
The Coastal Restaurant and Pub is a great place to stop and eat along the Cabot Trail and has the Epic Ride T shirts. Must be on a bike to buy one.
https://cabottrailbiker.com/the-original-cabot-trail-biker-t/
When I did the trail several years ago, I made the mistake of doing it in one day. We stayed at the Canso Causeway Cove Motel and rode completely around the trail and back to the same Motel that night. We stopped at many of the popular spots and took in the sights. It was a very long day. Hope you enjoy your ride around the Trail and if you would like to know more about the local roads, just ask away and we'll answer as best we can. There's two seasons in Canada; Winter and Construction. ;)
 
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