Nova Scotia Countryside
Come enjoy the quaint countryside of Nova Scotia on a lightly loaded ride from inn to inn through this unique landscape. This tour will explore northwest Nova Scotia where the Bay of Fundy separates the provinces of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. And you’ll want to keep an eye on the water as the Bay of Fundy is known for having the largest tidal changes in the world — up to 50 feet!
From the fortified Citadel in the capital of Halifax, we’ll set out on a long loop through this beautiful and varied province with a chance to see all kinds of wildlife from puffins to whales. We’ll also enjoy excellent cycling on quiet country roads as we visit quaint villages along the way. Enjoy cool autumn weather and some of the world’s most breathtaking coastline on this spin through beautiful Nova Scotia.
"I loved having no responsibilities other than myself and my tent. Just the opportunity to get up every morning with nothing to do but ride my bike!"
Day 1. Halifax, Nova Scotia, 0 miles
Our group will meet in Halifax, Nova Scotia’s provincial capital and home to a unique star-shaped fort built in the 1850s. Arrive early and visit the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic or the Halifax Common, Canada’s oldest public park. We’ll convene in the afternoon to meet our tour leader and one another before holding our first map meeting and heading to dinner at a local restaurant to fuel up for our first day of riding.
Day 2. Halifax to Truro, 60 miles
We start our week-long ride in easy terrain as we set out from Halifax into bucolic, rolling farmland. Our destination for the night is due north in the town of Truro, which bills itself as the “Hub of Nova Scotia.” We’ll head to the small but vibrant downtown where plenty of pubs and restaurants are available to celebrate the first day on the road!
Day 3. Truro to Parrsboro, 58 miles
Today we ride along the Bay of Fundy through rolling landscapes with plenty of chances to stop and marvel at this incredible marine environment. The Bay of Fundy is justly famous for having the highest measured tides in the world, where 50 vertical feet (!!) of water flows in and out of the bay twice a day. We finish today’s ride in Parrsboro, our home for the next two nights.
Day 4. Parrsboro to Advocate Harbour Loop, 58 miles
Nova Scotia’s Cabot Trail to our east might be more famous, but today’s riding is every bit as good as those more crowded roads. We’ll pedal several steep, rolling hills with spectacular ocean views from the top of each one. We’ll stop for lunch at the internationally acclaimed Wild Caraway restaurant in Advocate Harbour before returning to Parrsboro along the same route. Don’t miss the Age of Sail Museum in Fox River, and check out the Ships Company Theater, which has plays on the Parrsboro waterfront all summer long.
Day 5. Parrsboro to Amherst, 45 miles
Today’s mellow ride heads north along a river valley before turning down an interesting gravel backroad called the Boar’s Back built on a glacial deposit called an esker that passes through a game sanctuary. Stop in Joggins for a visit to the Joggins Fossil Cliffs museum and a chance to walk at low tide along the fossil-bearing cliffs of the Bay of Fundy, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Then it’s a scenic ride through gently rolling countryside to Amherst and our hotel for the night.
Day 6. Amherst to Tatamagouche, 52 miles
Beach bums, prepare for a day of riding that will call out to you from around every corner. Pedaling mostly along the coastline of the Northumberland Strait, we’ll have views across to Prince Edward Island as we pass pretty, rural farmland and seaside cottages fronting white sand beaches. Consider a small diversion to check out the Jost Vineyards before arriving in Tatamagouche. You might also consider a cold one at the Tatamagouche Brewing Company to toast another day of beautiful riding.
Day 7. Tatamagouche to Pictou, 46 miles
We start the day with the sea in our rearview mirrors as we jag inland along a scenic road to the base of the Cobequid Mountains. We can stop at Balmoral Mills, a water-powered grist mill converted to a museum. Then it’s back to the coast en route to the historic town of Pictou, which was settled by Scottish immigrants. Look for the telltale granite homes in the downtown area and a replica of the settlers' tall ship Hector on the waterfront.
Day 8. Layover day in Pictou, 0 miles
Take a break in this charming town to explore. There is a fisherman museum downtown or enjoy one of the many bars or restaurants along the waterfront. Take note of the Scottish architecture around town (after all, just a few miles south is the town of New Glasgow) and watch the harbor traffic in this busy port town.
Day 9. Pictou to Truro, 45 miles
There’s more gentle farmland riding on tap today as we pass Scotsburn to Earltown, where the old country store is a must-stop. Sugar Moon Farms, a replica of a maple syrup harvesting and logging camp that serves pancakes with maple syrup (of course) and sausages in a rustic log cabin, is a great lunch stop. A quick climb over Nuttby Mountain sets up a long descent back into Truro for our last night.
Day 10. Truro to Halifax, 65 miles
Follow the shore of the Bay of Fundy to the bridge over the Shubenacadie River, where several companies offer "tidal bore rafting," whitewater rafting upriver on the incoming tidal flow twice a day. Then it’s more rolling forest and farmland to Halifax, where our tour must end after 10 days of Nova Scotia’s very best cycling.