Canada, Nova Scotia: Fundy & Glooscap Bike Tour
Six nights; seven days of cycling, with hiking, sea kayaking, and tidal bore river rafting opportunities.
“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.
- This is a lesser travelled route
- Acadians were expelled from Grand Pre in 1749. Visit the historic site of their deportation, and walk the dykes they built 400 years ago to withstand the high tides.
- 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.
- Gaspereau Valley, where you can float down the river on inner tubes when the water is high.
- Burntcoat Head – highest tide measurements.
- Semiprecious stones sometimes revealed on the beaches, especially on your walk at Partridge Island.
- Rest in a clifftop lighthouse at Cape d’Or.
- Joggins fossil museum – a UNESCO World Heritage Site
- Abundant fresh seafood.
This is a spectacular ride, moderate most of the time, but with some big climbs. It is almost entirely paved, except for the approach to the lighthouse. The route is traffic-shared, but traffic volume is light. Road bikes are suitable. Electric bikes are available if you prefer to make things easier. Hybrid/fitness bikes are the most popular.
- DAY 1: Up to 33km
- DAY 2: Short ~47km; Long ~66km; Optional hike
- DAY 3: Short ~40km; Long ~66km
- DAY 4: Short ~25km; Long 43km; Optional hike
- DAY 5: ~50km
- DAY 6: ~55km; Optional extras
- DAY 7: ~56km; Optional extras
(Click image to enlarge)
Start: Halifax, The Lord Nelson Hotel, 09:00, day one.
Finish: Halifax, The Lord Nelson Hotel, 19:00, day seven.
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.
Flexible cycling distance, up to 33km; optional swimming or inner tubing
09:00 meet in downtown Halifax for transfer to Wolfville, unless you are joining from the Yarmouth to Wolfville tour. 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 from one winery to the next. If water levels permit, you can also float leisurely down the Gaspereau, past the bountiful orchards on an oversized inner tube, or go swimming at nearby Lumsden’s Dam. Return to Wolfville for in time to refresh before dinner. LD (Meal inclusions provided for guided trips only. Self-guided trips include breakfasts)
Blomidon Inn, or, Tattingstone Inn, Wolfville
Blomidon and Hall's Harbour ~66km, or Pereaux and Kingsburg on the Acadian tidal flats ~47km; 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 300m 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
North Shore. Short ~40km; Long ~66km; optional river rafting not included in tour cost
Transfer to Cheverie Lookoff to begin riding on the Avondale Shore through Brooklyn to Kempt, with a visit to a lighthouse and boatbuilding shop enroute. Follow the quiet coast through Walton and Noel, up the Shubenacadie River to Maitland. 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 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
Black Rock and Two Islands. Short ~25km; Long ~43km; optional hikes to Partridge Island or Ward’s Falls
Short but hilly rides take you to spectacular views over the Bay of Fundy today. The beaches are beautiful – small pebbles, lots of driftwood, and very different with changing tidal states. You may complement or punctuate your ride with a walking tour at the base of Partridge Island to search for gems and fossils, or the exquisite wooded riverside walk to Ward’s Falls. BL
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. BLD
The Light Keeper’s Kitchen and Guest House , Cape d’Or; or Driftwood Park Retreat, Advocate Harbour; self guided tours will lodge at Wild Caraway, Advocate Harbour
Parrsboro to West Apple River ~55km; optional 6km hike; optional afternoon sea kayaking is not included in tour cost
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 sea kayak group 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. Return to your lodge for the night and enjoy one of the most beautiful sunsets in the world. BLD
Advocate to Joggins ~56km; plus hiking at Joggins.
Ride one of Nova Scotia’s quietest stretches of beautifully-paved road through the Chignecto Game Sanctuary to Joggins, recently added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites, thanks to the remarkable abundance of rare fossils accessible to anyone walking on the beach. For more intriguing information, visit the Joggins website here. 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 3545 (per person, double occupancy)
Includes 7 days, 6 nights, 6 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 4 dinners, museum fees, inner tubing, luggage handling, full-time guide and van support, maps, route instructions, 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 3195 (per person, double occupancy)
Includes 7 days, 6 nights, 6 breakfasts, inn to inn luggage transfers, essential transfers as outlined in the plan, maps, route instructions, 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: 695
Flat bars. Trek FX3 or similar, with rear rack/trunk bag. Lowstep frames available by request.
Drop bars. Trek Domane AL5, SL5, or similar, with rear rack/trunk bag (no rack/bag on carbon frames).
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 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.