Easy
Difficulty level
Cycling
Activity (Bike)

Canada, Nova Scotia: South Shore Bike

Four nights; five days of easy cycling on the South Shore Lighthouse Route and Rum Runner’s Trail, featuring gentle beaches, fishing villages, and the UNESCO site of Lunenburg. Optional extra: sea kayaking on the Atlantic coast.


“ …a fantastic trip – a great mixture of cycling, hiking, and even kayaking, which was incredible.” – Becky M.

WHY THIS TRIP?

  • The best parts of South Nova Scotia for a rural and coastal cycling holiday.
  • Lighthouse Route – myriad empty white sand beaches, hidden coves, boat-builders, small villages, art and antique shops, and gentle cycling.
  • The Rum Runner’s Trail – traffic free connection between villages and stops.
  • UNESCO heritage town of Lunenburg, with shipbuilding and fishing heritage.
  • The very cool LaHave cable ferry. Many other cool sights, too!
  • Great seafood.
  • This is our home, and we love showing you the secret swimming holes, little-known cafés, and fantastic rides along obscure coastal stretches.

 

ROUTE EXPECTATIONS:

The easiest routes we offer, these are generally flat and cover relatively relaxed distances. You will be comfortable riding a hybrid bike, walking in sneakers, or paddling a light kayak, and will normally have time to take many photos and enjoy extended lunches.


The road follows the coast closely much of the time, so swimming, beaches, and good coastal photo ops are all frequently possible. There are short but manageable hills on the paved, quiet roadways, but no perceptible hills on the traffic-free Rum Runner’s Trail. Expect a bit of each.


Daily Distance:

  • DAY 1: ~24km afternoon ride
  • DAY 2: Short ~54km; Long ~81km
  • DAY 3: ~12km, ~25km, ~32km, or ~45km
  • DAY 4: ~40km, Optional extras
  • DAY 5: ~62km

Start: Halifax, The Lord Nelson Hotel, 9:30, day one.

Finish: Halifax, The Lord Nelson Hotel, 17:00, day five.

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.

“ The organization was top notch, the rental gear in good condition and the routes were varied and well thought out. Our guide was fantastic…I felt very spoiled by grand lunchtime spreads and the little stops…” – Jill M.


1

Morning walking visit to Peggy’s Cove. 24km afternoon ride along St. Margaret’s Bay to Hubbards.

Morning pickup from your hotel in Halifax for a transfer to the rural fishing village of Peggy’s Cove, home of the one of the world’s most iconic lighthouses. After lunch, cycle along the Rum Runner’s Trail to the picturesque community of Hubbards where you can watch the sun set over the boats in Hubbards Cove.

Anchorage House & Cottages, or The Tuna Blue Inn; Hubbards

2

Hubbards to Mahone Bay. 54km on the Rum Runner’s Trail, or 81km including the Aspotogan Peninsula roadway.

Ride on an abandoned railbed with beautiful bridges, and the wonderful variety of wilderness and open vistas of the sea. The longer route also includes 40km on the Aspotogan Peninsula – a popular coastal ride with locals. You will pass through traditional fishing villages of Blandford, Aspotogan, and Northwest Cove, and by the beach at Bayswater. You can make extra side trips to see where the biggest whaling station in Eastern North America used to operate in “New” Harbour; to gaze at the distant lighthouse on East Ironbound Island, and to see one couple’s fantasy, a fairytale castle that inspires myths and tales. Your destination is the oft-photographed town of Mahone Bay where there are hidden coffee shops, proud artisans, beautiful boats, and a maritime village feel.

Fisherman’s Daughter B&B, or Oak Island Resort; Mahone Bay

3

Mahone Bay to Lunenburg. 12km, 25km, 32km, or 45km.

Today begins with one of Nova Scotia’s nicest rides, on our favourite stretch of coastal country road. The pavement seems built for bikes to follow the pretty coast. The basic ride is short – just 12km to Lunenburg, and it’s nice to allow time to explore that tiny but bustling shipbuilders’ town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, but you will have several excellent options to extend your ride to include the private beach at the end of Second Peninsula, and/or the iconic fish shacks on quiet roads in Blue Rocks and Stonehurst.

Bluenose Lodge, or Mariner King; Lunenburg

4

LaHave Loop ~40km. Additional hiking available. Optional alternative sea kayaking.

This is a beautiful loop ride, with side trips to the seacaves at The Ovens Natural Park, and the quiet beaches near Kingsburg where you can also opt to explore a magnificent headland hike. Lunch options include a rural bistro and across the cable ferry to the sweet-smelling LaHave Bakery. Return to Lunenburg this afternoon.
If you prefer, one of the best sea kayak experiences in Nova Scotia is available. You will meander between many islands, both inhabited and wild, and will often be visited by dozens, maybe hundreds, of seals. There is a supplemental fee for the sea kayaking.

Same Lodging

5

Lunenburg to Port Medway and Long Cove. to LaHave, ~62km.

Ride Lunenburg to Port Medway, with the short cable ferry across the LaHave river, past the LaHave Bakery, Ploughman’s Lunch, Crescent Beach, the LaHave Islands, and several seaside hamlets: Little Harbour, Petite Riviere, Broad Cove, Cherry Hill Beach, and Vogler’s Cove. Finish at the lighthouse at Port Medway, with a short stretch to the hidden gem of Long Cove and its lighthouse. After a farewell dip in the ocean, there is a 90-minute transfer back to Halifax.


All details and pricing are subject to change without notice.

SCHEDULED DATES

2023 Guided:

  • Jun 12-16
  • Jun 26-30
  • Jul 10-14
  • Jul 24-28
  • Aug 7-11
  • Aug 21-25
  • Sep 4-8
  • Sep 18-22
  • Oct 2-6

Self-Guided available any dates, except for those listed above. New dates are also welcomed for guided or private departures.



PRICING

Guided: C 3195 (per person, double occupancy)

5 days, 4 nights, 4 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 4 dinners, luggage handling, guide/driver support, maps, route notes, 15% sales tax.


Self-Guided: C 2495 (per person, double occupancy)

5 days, 4 breakfasts, inn to inn luggage transfers, essential transfers, emergency on call support, route notes, maps, 15% sales tax.


Optional Sea Kayaking Addition: 165


Single Occupancy: 545


Bike Rentals:

Hybrid-Fitness: 155

Gravel (Drop-Handlebars): 295

Electric-Assist: 455


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, price remains the same as advertised if you have at least six. 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.

 
PLEASE NOTE: Trip Cancellation Insurance is highly recommended. If this is not provided by your credit card or elsewhere, please let us know and we can provide recommendations.

All details and pricing are subject to change without notice.

Difficulty This route is rated easy (green circle).
Daily Distances 30-100km/day
Optional Extras Fishing, Swimming, Golfing
Best Months June-October

BEST TIMES:

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.

BEFORE & AFTER THE TOUR

Getting There:

If you fly: The best option is to fly to Halifax (YHZ). Halifax’s downtown core is located about half an hour from its airport. Taxis are readily available between the airport and Halifax city; Maritime Bus offers an airport express shuttle ($40 roundtrip or $22 one way); and Halifax Transit provides hourly departures on its MetroX bus service ($4.25 fare). We meet you at your inn in Halifax, 9:30am, Day One.

If you drive: We will meet you at your Halifax inn. Halifax is 1400km from New York, and 1900km from Toronto. You can park here for the week; call us for help if your inn does not offer the option.

To Do:

If you have one day:

Rent a car and go tidal bore rafting, visit Peggy’s Cove, or explore the waterfront city of Halifax. The Citadel is a good place for a scenic overview, and to learn about its history.

If you have several days:

Extend your trip by joining one of our other rides in Nova Scotia, or the adjacent provinces, Prince Edward Island or Newfoundland.

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
• Halifax’s Waverley Inn, 1266 Barrington Street Ph: 902-423-9346 or 800-565-9346
• The Halliburton Inn, 5184 Morris Street Ph: 902-420-0658 or 888-512-3344

More Reading:


One of the best parts of Southwest Nova Scotia are its Lighthouse Route, that so frequently follows the water’s edge. Quiet roads skirt myriad white-sand beaches, and there are many hidden coastal treasures. It is perfect for a gentle bike ride. Friendly people, fishing villages, secluded anchorages, boat builders, antique shops, artists’ hamlets, and beautiful beaches all contribute to the feeling of being in paradise.

This is our home, and we love showing you the secret swimming holes, little-known cafés, and fantastic rides along obscure coastal stretches You can dine on lobster, swim in warm lakes or the cool ocean, feel the warm sand between your toes, and appreciate the cooling sea breeze in your hair.

You will rest in the UNESCO heritage township of Lunenburg, whose uniquely crafted architecture reflects skills of numerous shipbuilders and fishermen whose lifestyle built the town. You will cross the cable ferry near the beaches around LaHave, and can venture on foot to two of the most spectacular headlands in the province. This is a perfect introduction to Nova Scotia’s coastal charms, and will show you why many visitors return again and again.