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Car trip from St John New Brunswick to Cape Brenton Nova Scotia

Car trip from St John New Brunswick to Cape Brenton Nova Scotia

Aug 5th, 2009, 10:21 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 3
Car trip from St John New Brunswick to Cape Brenton Nova Scotia

We are starting in Portland Maine early Sunday morning (8. 9.09) and need to be back the following Sunday morning (8.16.09). We'll be in St John Sunday night & Trenton (near New Glasgow) Monday night, then up to Cape Brenton from there...and then back to Portland. Other than that we don't have any plans. We'd love to get ideas on sites not to be missed, travel times and roads, and places to stay. (We are couch surfing in St John and Trenton, so those nights are covered.) Thanks! Jean
JeanGrow is offline  
Aug 5th, 2009, 12:47 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,759
You still have time to get a copy of the Doers and Dreamers Guide from the Nova Scotia Tourism website. Your destination, BTW, is Cape BRETON. It is quite a large area and it would be helpful to know what you are looking for: are you hiking? history buffs? beach folks? foodies? interested in Celtic music?

You are probably beginning to see the wisdom of the guide!
LJ is offline  
Aug 5th, 2009, 12:53 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,759
OOPS...looks like you actually don't have time (dates are posted the other way round here in Canada-I thought you were going in September-you are leaving this weekend!)

Will try to help but need more info!
LJ is offline  
Aug 7th, 2009, 10:07 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 3
Thanks to all! And my apologies on the spelling of Cape Breton. We've got the Doers & Dreamer Guide, but personal experiences are always the best. Yes, we are leaving this weekend--tomorrow, in fact.

Is it reasonable to expect to drive from Portland to St John & St John to Trenton in one day each (without being glued to the car seat)? Can't wait to hit the road!
JeanGrow is offline  
Aug 7th, 2009, 10:12 AM
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Forgot...Celtic music sounds grand and we're looking for great photos, hiking and beaches, but nothing strenuous (at least this trip). In short--beauty and solitude as one. Thanks.
JeanGrow is offline  
Aug 8th, 2009, 11:36 AM
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 367
I'm doing a very similar trip in October, so I'm not sure of the feasibility of my own plans, but I set up an itinerary of things I'd like to do - still willing to be flexible along the way due to time/traffic/weather. I do have a few extra days than you do, but I'm also starting in Boston.

- I'll cut out the few bits of info between Boston in Portland...The following are the highlighted stops along the way...Will be stopping often for pics, short walks, etc.

- Portland Head Lighthouse & Museum
- Possibly stop at Farnsworth Art Museum in Rockland, ME (Robert Indiana exhibit)
- Penobscot Narrows Observatory (there is also a fort on the same complex)
- Sunset at Bass Harbor Head Light
- Evening/Night in Bar Harbor (Canterbury Cottage)
- Sunrise/Early morning from Cadillac Mountain (Acadia National Park)
- Most of the day at Acadia National Park (circle drive, Jordan Pond House, short hikes, etc)
- Evening drive to Lubec, ME and night at Home Port Inn
- In the morning, West Quoddy Lighthouse.
- Cross over to Campobello Island (lose an hour due to time zone) - East Quoddy Lighthouse, watch/listen for whales from shore
- Roosevelt Campobello Park
- When I am going, the ferry from Campobello Island to Deer Island will not be running, so I'll have to go back to Lubec and head up to St Stephens in order to head north in New Brunswick. I might stop at the Ganong Bros Chocolate Museum gift shop. However, you'll have the choice of crossing Deer Island for another ferry to mainland New Brunswick instead.
- Fundy Trail Parkway near St Martins (stop a lot along the way..drive to end...walk out to footbridge)
- Possibly sea caves at St. Martins
- Night near Alma, NB at An Artist's Garden
- Cape Enrage (lighthouse, fossil beach, look for seaglass)
- Hopewell Rocks
- Head to Cape Breton...Night at Bear on the Lake Guesthouse in Aberdeen (before you get to Baddeck) - It's a hostel, but also has private rooms...As a couchsurfer, this is probably someplace that would interest you. I'm only staying one night, but I think it might be feasible to stay there while in Cape Breton. I just want to take it slowly around Cape Breton and not worry about driving back to a home base (distances are long). This will give me a break from all the long driving I've been doing and will be doing to get back to Boston.
- Morning, stop in Baddeck - maybe a sailing tour
- Ingonish Beach and Ingonish
- Night at Driftwood Lodge in Ingonish
- Slowly make way up to Bay St. Lawrence - lots of stopping, some hiking...Whale watch tour with Oshan Whale Watch
- Meat Cove - Hike
(There is a campground in Meat Cove and it also has some very simple cabins - all low cost - that might interest you)
- Night at the Inlet Bed and Breakfast in Dingwall
- Continue on Cabot Trail to Cheticamp, stopping at lookouts and hiking trails
- Night at L'Auberge Doucet Inn in Cheticamp
- Explore Cheticamp...might backtrack on the Cabot Trail to Pleasant Bay for views from opposite direction and to spend a little time in Pleasant Bay; might explore in Margaree Valley area; stop at Joe's Scarecrows
- Performance at Red Shoe Pub in Mabou at night
- Night at Mabou River Inn
- Drive all the way to St. Andrews by the Sea, NB - not much stopping
- Evening in St Andrews by the Sea
- Night at Europa Inn in St Andrews
- Drive back to my starting point (which for me is Boston) - gain an hour due to time zone change
- Evening in Boston
- Morning flight home

There are a lot of quick little stops that might appeal to the couchsurfing crowd on RoadsideAmerica.com (Perry's Nut House in Bangor, ME; World's Largest [insert here]; Muffler Men; etc).

Of course, you'll probably want to set some time aside in the evenings to spend with your hosts. I considered couchsurfing some nights as well, but with my hurried pace, I felt that I wouldn't have enough time to make the experience enjoyable for my hosts. I don't want to just sleep on a couch for free - I want to actually take time to get to know people when couchsurfing. I do plan on asking some to meet for dinner along the way though.

All of the locations listed above have their own websites that are easily found by just Googling the name and possibly location. If you want to hike in Acadia National Park and Cape Breton Highlands Park, make sure you check their websites. They have descriptions of trail length, time, what you'll see...so you can choose which ones fit your schedule.

Make sure you print out the tide schedules for your locations as well. If you are hoping to see Hopewell Rocks at low tide, beachcomb, explore sea caves, fossil cliffs, etc., you need to know when the tides are.

There are some stops that I would have like to included in Nova Scotia - both on the Northumberland Shore and the Bay of Fundy, but I'm skipping over those. Much of it will be closed when I am there. But if you are interested in fossils of the area, then be sure to check out the areas around Joggins and Parrsboro (see your Doers and Dreamers guide for more info - there's a museum, guided walks, areas to search for fossils, etc.) Be warned that fossils belong to Nova Scotia, so you'll need to show them to someone - if they are not rare, my understanding is that you can keep them. I'm not clear on where to show them, etc., but you could get that info at the museum.

On one of my trips past Truro, I plan to stop and see the parts of the Berlin Wall that they have displayed in a park. Also, there are a lot of tree carvings in the town and I'll stop and see some of them. (There was a tree disease that resulted in the need to cut down a lot of trees...rather than completely cutting them down, they left enough of the trunk to carve statues...one way to "make lemonade out of lemons"...) They also have tree carvings in Amherst...and probably other towns as well...those are just the ones I know about.

I hope you report back on your trip! Have a great time!
mrkindallas is offline  
Aug 19th, 2009, 05:17 PM
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 67
mrkindallas: thanks for the music tips.
Happyfella is offline  
Aug 21st, 2009, 06:40 AM
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 1,267
Hi, haven't had a minute to do a trip report, but wanted to fill you in on the NB Alma portion of our trip. We had driven from Quebec - Alma with a stop in Grand Falls (stayed at a lovely lakeside lodge). We really liked Alma a lot, it's a very cute town.

We had a magnificent day we were there, clear blue sky, weather in the high 70's, low 80's. We hiked in the Fundy National Park in the AM (brought a picnic lunch), then headed to Hopewell Rocks in the pm as low tide was late that day. We passed the sign for the B&B you're staying in, it's kind of in the middle of nowhere, there weren't a lot of restaurants between Alma/Hopewell Rocks. We liked staying in Alma as it gave us a few choices for dinner that we could walk to. We weren't heading any further North from there though.

Hopewell Rocks was cool, had a fun walk on the "bottom of the ocean" there.

From Alma, we drove to St. George and took the ferry to Deer Isle (sorry it won't be running when you go), it saved us a lot of driving time, then went from Deer Isle - Campobello and saw the Roosevelt home, light house, etc. Couldn't get a room there, so we crossed the bridge into Maine and stayed in Lubec, again a very cute town. Home Port was full, so we stayed at another B&B two blocks away, but had a very nice dinner at the HP and met the owners.

From there, we did head to Boston, but stayed a night in Rockland, Maine as we didn't want to drive 6 hours in one day. It's very doable, but we had the time and choose to "take it slow".

Hope this helps your trip. Let me know if you have any questions.
owlwoman is offline  

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