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Finalizing 9 day Nova Scotia itinerary

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On my first post we were planning on PEI too in 9 days, but decided to skip it this trip.
Now we'd like some advice before we finalize. We hope to hope in several areas, and bike when weather permits.
Arriving 12:30 Oct 5 and planning so far: (visitor info people made some recommendations...)
- first two nights in Baddeck
- 1 night Ingonish
- 3 nights Wolfville (or should we stop on the way one night. visitor info suggested Antigonish)
- 2 nights Lunenburg
- 1 night Halifax

Biggest question right now is the 3 nights in Wolfville. We hope to hike Cape Split one day. What else is must-do/see in that area?

thanks in advance....

  • Report Abuse

    Hmmmmmmmmmph...

    Well, the main reason I ever mention "two nights in Baddeck" is the chance that FOG renders your would-be drive around the Cabot Trail somewhat pointless.

    SO, IF you are already scheduling a night in Ingonish, why do you need two nights in Baddeck to lead-off?.


    Then, if you couple that with reducing one night from Wolfville, suddenly you have two nights to play with, and since you've not even mentioned Hopewell Cape, NB, you might do very well to plot those two nights ON PEI and do bike riding there on the day in between.


    What if you wake up in Baddeck after that 1st night, and let weather dictate in which direction you drive to Ingonish? (if it's clear, then go the long way around - if it isn't clear, then go the short way and pray like hell for the day after that)


    I'm not sure of the timing and aggravation of the ferry to PEI from Pictou, but I KNOW that if you put-off Hopewell Cape until the END of PEI, then you might run short of time and just skip it (missing something that really drives-home the Fundy Tides).

    BUT IF the ferry is easy, and manageable, and you can, say, make a reservation for a car, then the Pictou ferry to PEI might be wise.

    Then you'd stay two nights in the same spot, somewhere on PEI, and do lots of riding on the gentle hills and flat land there on that day in between.

    IF you consent to get off the blocks early after your 2nd night on PEI, you can time things for low tide at Hopewell Cape (you can even research far in advance the tide times for Hopewell Cape http://www.tides.gc.ca/eng/station?sid=170 )


    Then, I always like to suggest the path from Amherst-Parrsboro-Truro when convenient, for those needing to get to Truro and points beyond.

    I very much endorse Cape Split... I loved it, despite snow on the ground when I went, and I'm not even a hiker.


    ... and everything else on your list looks about right.


    Hope this helps.

  • Report Abuse

    As you are visiting Nova Scotia in October, I will offer a different approach.

    First of all, with 9 days, I think you are right to skip PEI. It will not be at its best at that time, and you really don't have enough time anyway.

    Secondly, I think you should plan for a minimum of 3 days in Cape Breton, and perhaps more. You will of course want to tour the Cabot Trail and at that time the fall colours will be at their best. You should also try to visit the historic Fortress Louisbourg, which will remain open until 12 October. However, the main reason for spending more time there is that your visit will coincide with some of the Celtic Colours festival, a major traditional music and folklore festival held every October. This year it runs from 9 to 17 October with events large and small throughout the island. Try to take in a ceilidh (musical evening) in one of the small towns--an unforgettable experience.

    http://www.celtic-colours.com

    So rather than starting your trip in Cape Breton, I would head from Halifax to Lunenburg, taking in such towns as Chester and Mahone Bay along the way. You will probably want to stop at Peggy's Cove as well, although I think it is far too touristy and over-rated. 2 nights is about right.

    From Lunenburg, cut across to Annapolis Royal. Don't miss Fort Anne and the Port Royal Habitation while you are there. Then continue up the Annapolis Valley to Wolfville. I would spend two nights there there instead of three. This will give you time to hike to Cape Split. From there head on to Cape Breton. I would go straight to Baddeck, as the Festival will be starting by then.

    If you spend three nights in Cape Breton, then you will have an extra night for Halifax, which certainly has lots to recommend it. If you spend four nights, then stay close to the Halifax airport for your last night, rather than heading into town. You could even stay in Truro from where it wouldn't take much more time to get to the airport than from downtown Halifax.

    Because of the Celtic Colours Festival, you may want to secure your accommodation in Cape Breton in advance. Elsewhere in the province you should have no troubles.

    Frankly, I think you should save New Brunswick and its considerable attractions for another trip. You might combine that with a trip to PEI in the summer.

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