Canada, Nova Scotia: Fundy Bike Tour
Eight days of cycling, and a raft on the world’s highest tide, following the shore of the Bay of Fundy.
“The incredible scenery, great food specialties, and quiet (some super-quiet) roads are under-rated…a secret gem that rivals the Cabot Trail. What I love is that through the week, it just gets better and better!” – Alana Y.
WHY THIS TRIP?
- The Bay of Fundy has the highest tides in the world, resulting in spectacular scenery along its coasts.
- Lesser travelled route
- Acadians were expelled from Grand Pre in 1749. Visit the historic site of their deportation.
- Rest in the university town of Wolfville, with many charming places to eat and drink.
- Hall’s Harbour, where 50 foot tides create a rapidly changing scene, while you dine on lobster on the wharf.
- Burntcoat Head – highest tide measurements.
- Semiprecious stones sometimes revealed on the beaches.
- Abundant fresh seafood.
- DAY 1: ~37km
- DAY 2: ~52km
- DAY 3: Short ~50km; Long ~98km
- DAY 4: ~66km; Optional hike
- DAY 5: ~50km
- DAY 6: ~74km
- DAY 7: ~50km
- DAY 8: ~36km
(Click image to enlarge)
Start: Halifax, The Lord Nelson Hotel10:00, day one, for an optional transfer (included).
Finish: Activity finishes mid-afternoon, day eight. Freewheeling shuttle gets you back to Halifax by 17:00.
Please contact us to arrange alternate plans, if necessary. For those going to the airport: Halifax Transit operates its MetroX service from downtown to Halifax Stanfield International Airport. The #320 bus operates every 30 minutes during peak morning (6 am to 9 am) and afternoon (3 pm to 6 pm) times. The regular schedule departs every 60 minutes. Fares are $4.25 for adults/students and $3.00 for children/seniors. Exact fare is required.
Annapolis Royal to Mount Hanley ~52km
Ride over North Mountain to the Fundy coastline and cycle along a quiet paved road through very beautiful little ports. Stop for a swim at a rocky beach, before a steep climb, and decent to your European style lodging. Option to ride a flat traffic-free trail along the restored railbed now known as the Harvest Moon Trail. Finish near Mount Hanley or Margaretsville. BLD
Mount Hanley to Wolfville, Short: ~50; Long: ~98km
20-minute transfer or one-hour ride to the spectacularly pretty Harbourville. The ride takes you to some very beautiful fishing ports on the shore of the Bay of Fundy, including Hall’s Harbour, for tide-watching, appreciation of how fishermen have adapted to the huge tides, and for a freshly-cooked lobster lunch. The tidal change, even over a few minutes, will amaze you. This is the breadbasket for the province, and good food is available through farmer’s markets along the way. Cycling finishes in Wolfville, the epicentre of Nova Scotia’s burgeoning wine industry and your resting place for the evening. BLD
Blomidon and Hall's Harbour ~66km; optional 14km hike
Ride through Port Williams, Canard, and Canning to Hall’s Harbour, for tide-watching, appreciation of how fishermen have adapted to the huge tides, and for a freshly-cooked lobster lunch. There are two 800ft hill climbs today, but on guided trips the van will be ready to boost you up (or down). Optional alternative: Morning hike out to Cape Split, returning in time for lunch at the Look-off, or even, for energetic participants, riding to Hall’s Harbour before returning to Wolfville, where several dinner choices await your pleasure. BL
Wolfville to Kempt Shore ~50km
Starting from the Farmer’s Market, you’ll cycle the Harvest Moon Trail to historic Grand Pre, where Longfellow’s Evangeline was written, and will learn why Acadian culture has influenced so much of the world. After a visit to the site and a picnic lunch, you will spend the afternoon riding the Avondale Shore past Blue Beach (good fossil and gem hunting), Falmouth, Windsor, Newport Landing, and Summerville to Kempt Shore, with a visit to a lighthouse and boatbuilding shop enroute. BD
Flying Apron, Kempt Shore
The Minas Basin; Kempt Shore to Parrsboro ~74km
Follow the quiet coast through Walton and Noel, up the Shubenacadie River to Maitland, with a stop at Burntcoat Head – site of the highest tides in the world. This is a long and sometimes hilly ride, through scenic coastal farmland and forest. Tidal bore river rafting is an alternative activity, and is only available when tide times are appropriate and there is a group consensus. Finish with a ~90 min transfer to Parrsboro where you may have the option to attend a live performance at Ships Company Theatre – www.shipscompanytheatre.com. BLD
Gillespie House B&B, Parrsboro
Parrsboro to Advocate ~50km
Ride west to Port Greville for a picnic lunch. After a visit at the Age of Sail Museum cycle on towards Cape Chignecto Park on a challenging bit of road well off the beaten track. Your retreat tonight is at a lighthouse overlooking the Bay of Fundy, or at cabins tucked behind a beach littered with driftwood, and perfect for an evening fire with one of the most beautiful sunsets in the world. BLD
*Self-guided tours normally lodge at Wild Caraway, Advocate.
Advocate to West Apple River ~36km; optional 5km hike; optional seakayak (tide dependent).
Ride through New Salem and Apple River to the north side of Cape Chignecto Provincial Park. There is a unique basalt sea-stack formation known as the Three Sisters, visible either by a one- hour hike into the park, or by joining an optional seakayak group (timing dependent) to see them from the marine perspective. This area, near the outer end of the peninsula where the Cobequid Mountains meet the rips and ferocity of the Fundy tides, is known for its fantastic shorelines. Finish with a transfer back to Halifax. BL
All details and pricing are subject to change without notice.
Self-Guided available any dates, except for those listed above. New dates are also welcomed for guided or private departures.
Guided: C 4595 (per person, double occupancy)
Includes 8 days, 7 nights, 7 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 6 dinners, luggage handling, full-time guide and van support, maps, route instructions, hybrid bicycle rental, 15% sales tax
Small groups or private tours, fully supported with drivers/guides and vehicles, all lodging and most meals included. Choose from existing dates or request new departures. Read more on our “What to Expect” page.
Self-Guided: C 4095 (per person, double occupancy)
Includes 8 days, 7 nights, 7 breakfasts, inn to inn luggage transfers, essential transfers as outlined in the plan, maps, route instructions, hybrid bicycle rental, 15% sales tax
Semi-supported, independent tours including welcome briefing, lodging, luggage transfers and necessary vehicle transfers. Choose from existing dates or request new departures. Read more on our “What to Expect” page.
Single Occupancy: 965
Flat bars. Trek FX3 or similar, with rear rack/trunk bag. Lowstep frames available by request.
Upgrade to Road: 150
Drop bars. Trek Domane AL5, SL5, or similar, with rear rack/trunk bag (no rack/bag on carbon frames).
Upgrade to E-bike: 300
Flat bars. Trek Verve+ 2 or similar, with rear rack/trunk bag. Lowstep frames available by request.
All details and pricing are subject to change without notice.
Please see above for accurate pricing and inclusions, unless we have proposed a customized trip for you and those details are provided in your custom proposal.
1. Choose an advertised date to join a small group, or see our Join a Group page to see where groups are already forming.
2. Pick your own dates. We will confirm quickly, and are happy to talk with you as you make your choice. If you would like a private guided date, this usually comes at a surcharge depending on the details, please get in touch for more information. If you prefer self-guided, we usually only require two participants to initiate a new date at the advertised price, and can sometimes reduce prices for you if you have four or more.
The best time to enjoy this tour is mid-June to mid-October.
Spring daytimes warm up to 10 to 20 °C (50 to 70 °F) by mid June. Note that seasonal businesses may still be closed, or on off-season hours, until late June.
Summer, mid June to mid September, is normally 20 to 25 °C (70 to 80 °F). Freshwater and saltwater swimming is encouraged.
Autumn, mid September to mid October, daytimes 10 to 20 °C range (50 to 70 °F). Nights can be chilly, but rarely down to freezing. Mid-October is the best time to see spectacularly colorful fall foliage.
GET TO THE START
We meet you at your inn in Halifax on the morning of day one, for a transfer (one hour) to Wolfville with the Freewheeling shuttle. Halifax’s downtown core is located about half an hour from its international airport (YHZ). Taxis are readily available; Maritime Bus offers an airport express shuttle; and Halifax Transit provides hourly departures on its MetroX bus service.
If you drive:Call us to help arrange parking for the week in Halifax.
We will return you to Halifax late in the afternoon or early evening of day seven. It is best to fly out the following morning, but flights departing 20:00 or later are possible on day seven. Contact us for hotel recommendations.
BEFORE AND AFTER
If you have one day:
Rent a car (we can drop you at Halifax airport on day seven), and visit Lunenburg – a UNESCO township, where you can join sailing tours, or join us for a day trip kayaking on the South Shore, or rent a bike from our HQ and ride the Aspotogan loop.
If you have several days:
We recommend the following accommodations in Halifax for before or after your tour; please let us know if we can assist with reservations:
• The Lord Nelson, 1515 South Park Street Ph: 902-423-6331 or 800-565-2020
• Prince George Hotel, 1725 Market Street Ph: 902-425-1986 or 800-565-1567
• The Halliburton Inn, 5184 Morris Street Ph: 902-420-0658 or 888-512-3344
The Bay of Fundy has tides as high as 50 feet – the highest in the world – and teems with so much life that hundreds of whales gather here to feed every summer.
This adventure follows quiet roads around its perimeter on the Evangeline & Glooscap Trails, and gives you options to explore its nooks and crannies in exciting ways. Begin with a hike along the Acadian dykes built to protect rich farmland from the tremendous tides. Float on inner tubes or swim in sun-warmed water near the small university town of Wolfville. Ride to a tiny harbour where you will see significant tidal change while you eat a lobster for lunch. If you like, you can choose to hike to a cliff-top view over the currents and whirlpools below, and descend to explore pristine beaches where agates and sparkling amethysts are the gifts of the wave-wracked rocks. Cycle to Parrsboro on the Glooscap Trail, where legends tell of the Great Chief Glooscap’s magic. The benevolent hero of the Mi’kmaq tribe is said to have taught them everything they know about hunting, fishing, herbs, and plants. In the legends, Glooscap is credited with changing monsters into harmless animals, and adapting the landscape to be more favourable. From Parrsboro, ride to spectacular look-offs, and hike to waterfalls cascading off the Cobequid Mountains. Near Cape Chignecto Park, you can ride to each end of the park trail, and if inclined, can hike into the park or paddle seakayaks to the spectacular Three Sisters, before a nice, long final ride to the Joggins Fossil Cliffs, recently elected to the UNESCO list.
This adventure takes you to less-visited parts of Nova Scotia, and teaches you about one of the natural world’s greatest phenomena.
These are small and welcoming inns, gracious in Wolfville, friendly in Parrsboro, and out of this world at the lighthouse. The lighthouse is isolated and accessible by a hilly gravel road; self guided tours will stay at another property in Advocate Harbour within walking distance of other amenities.