Itinerary Advice for NS & Cape Breton

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Jul 14th, 2004, 11:38 AM
  #1
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Itinerary Advice for NS & Cape Breton

Am planning a trip to Nova Scotia and CBI in late Aug/early Sept. Will be taking the ferry to Yarmouth. Is it best to do the counter-clockwise trip from Yarmouth, i.e. Cape Fundy coast (Digby, Annapolis Valley, Wolfville) then up to Cape Breton (Cabot Trail etc.) and then back to Halifax before heading back to the ferry in Yarmouth or the reserve w/ Halifax first?

I'm thinking spacing it out as follows (or the reserve):

Night #1 in Digby area
Night #2 in Wolfville or nearby
Night #3 & 4 in Baddeck
Night #5 in Ingonish or nearby
Night #6 & 7 in Halifax
Night # 8 in Bar Harbor

Suggestions please!! It is possible to a 2 - 3 extra nights if that would make things less rushed. If we do Halifax at the end of the trip, that would have us at CBI over the Labor Day weekend - is that a bad thing (especially since I don't yet have reservations)?

ALso, I'll be traveling w/ my 77 yr. old mother. Any suggestions on SHORT hikes in CBI and other ideas?

Thanks for all your help. This is truly the best site around!
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Jul 14th, 2004, 11:44 AM
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I think my watch got confused. The initial plan was clockwise, not COUNTER clockwise!! But should it be reversed?
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Jul 14th, 2004, 04:09 PM
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I would add the couple of days to your itinerary. You may find some place you want to spend a few more days. What does your mother like in ways of sightseeing. That may help?
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Jul 14th, 2004, 05:49 PM
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My mother likes scenery (just not long hikes), perhaps canoeing (if she can get in and out of the canoe!!). Also, enjoys poking around small towns, good seafood, antiques.
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Jul 14th, 2004, 06:12 PM
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Message: I agree with Tanya that if you could add a couple of days you wouldn't feel so rushed. The distance between CBI and Halifax, for example, is approximately 5 hours of solid driving without taking side tours.

I do have one recommendation pertaining to your Mom's desire for short and easy hikes and perhaps a canoe ride. There's a gem of a smallish national park call Kejimkujik ("Keji" to the locals)located on Highway 8 about halfway between Liverpool and Annapolis Royal. Some say it's where canoeing began in Canada a few hundred years ago. The park is beautiful with short hikes over flat terrain in the boreal forest, and has flatwater canoeing. Canoes may be rented on site. We visited last year and very much enjoyed the park, which was not crowded even in mid-summer. Perhaps you might consider spending a day and night there after leaving Halifax. We stayed in a very nice cabin (Mersey River Chalets) just a few minutes up the road from the park; very beautiful setting, wonderful dining, and has all conveniences for the handicapped.
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Jul 15th, 2004, 01:50 AM
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The Digby area is lovely. Spend a day and trip out to Tiverton, Digby Neck and take a whale watching tour - great time of the year to do so. Have afternon tea at the Digby Pines - beautiful grand hotel. Don't forget to visit Bear River, Annapolis Royal. Make sure you take the back roads through the Valley into Wolfville and stop at the various road stands selling the season's harvest. Canning Lookoff is a great destination. The Winery at Grand Pre, Grand Pre itself and make sure you visit the Tangled Gardens. In Cape Breton, Baddeck is a great village and central for the trail. Ingonish isn't that far away, and if you do the trail counter clockwise you are only a short distance away. There is much to see in Cape Breton and your mother may enjoy Fortress Louisbourg - about 2 hours max from Baddeck. It is a full day excursion - you can spend 4-5 hours at the historic site. A lovely little village to spend a night in as well. If you are only planning on the trail, I would suggest spending night #1 in Baddeck, make sure you visit the Alexander Graham Bell museum. The next day I would start the trail and either stay at Ingonish or travel around to Cheticamp or Margaree. Then you can exit the Island the following day.

Halifax is great to explore - side trip out to Peggy's Cove if the weather is nice. If you are heading back to Yarmouth via the south shore, your mother will love to stop in Mahone Bay, Lunenburg, Liverpool, Shelburne, etc.

Hope this helps!
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Jul 15th, 2004, 12:28 PM
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Waltd: Thanks for the recommendation about Kejimkujik. I, too, thought this would be a great idea based on what I've read! Would you recommend starting from Yarmouth (ferry) and heading to Digby and Keji, Wolfville and over to CBI before heading back to Halifax and onto Yarmouth for the ferry to Maine or is the reverse a better plan (i.e. Halifax, CBI, Wolfville,(plus Keji) and Digby before Yarmouth ferry. Your suggestions are greatly appreciated!

Tanya: Thanks for all of your ideas.

I'd love to have suggestions as to timing - i.e. in what towns to spend nights and how many in each location - assuming a midday Yarmouth arrival (ferry). Thanks in advance!

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Jul 15th, 2004, 06:57 PM
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travelbug: Tanya has made some great suggestions for the areas of interest to you. I'd plug whatever you might like to do into your itinerary and then decide on the route.
We are heading to NS again this year since we liked it so much last summer, but will be traversing much of your route about a month ahead of you.

Given your points of interest, I can see that Keji hadn't been figured in your initial itinerary. And as the map shows, getting there takes you sort of out of the way since it's down the middle of Hwy 8 and away from Digby and hence Wolfville. One possible route: Disembark the ferry, head over to Digby area, then past Annapolis Royal to Wolfville, and from there on to CBI. From there you'd take the TransCanada Hwy back to Halifax. From Halifax you'd then head to Keji, then returning to the ferry, perhaps via the Lighthouse Route. OR, you could perhaps bypass Digby on the front-leg and head straight for Wolfville. From the ferry it's about 3 hours, probably a bit less. Then you could hit Digby on the back-leg after Halifax and Keji, driving from Digby back to the ferry. Trace it on the map-it makes more sense that way.

All this said, I'd only add Keji if you are able to add a couple of days to your initial itinerary. While getting to Keji isn't difficult, it is a bit awkward in relation to Wolfville and Halifax.

One thing I mentioned about Mersey River Chalets is that its wonderfully equipped for the handicapped (the owner is wheel-chair bound). It sits on a lake and river and they have a great set up for aiding the handicapped getting into and out of canoes, a great help to the elderly, too. The lake isn't too big so there's not much wind problems.
As Tanya suggests, traveling down Digby Neck is fun-there are two small ferries one must negotiate to arrive at Brier Island at the bottom (only about an hour's drive from Digby). We stayed at the lodge on the island to take a whale watching tour from there the following day (alas the weather didn't cooperate -lots of fog and high winds). But if you decide to make the short drive, once you get on the island, turn right and drive about a mile (perhaps less) to the lighthouse. Park the car and walk past the lighthouse out to the point (about 1/2 mile) and you'll see a small colony of sea lions.
Finally, while you didn't mention Annapolis Royal, it is a very pretty smallish town with a wonderful city gardens, which you mom might like to stroll through.
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Jul 15th, 2004, 07:05 PM
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Waltd: Do you think the fact that we will be visiting over the Labor Day weekend should influence the order of our travels? Might that weekend be more crowded in Halifax or in CBI - if so, perhaps that should influence the order of our travels. Your thoughts.
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Jul 16th, 2004, 01:05 AM
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Don't worry about crowds in Nova Scotia! The highways will be busy with most people spending their last summer weekend at their cottages or camping - but not that busy! Depending where you might be on that weekend, you may want to make reservations in advance if you have a particular place you want to stay in. Or as you travel, call the 1-800-565-0000 line before noon to make reservations for that evening. I hope you enjoy your time in Nova Scotia - it is a beautiful province with much to sea!!
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Jul 19th, 2004, 02:29 PM
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I'm a little confused as to the best route - it's hard to tell from the map:

Arriving in Yarmouth & do to Digby (Digby Neck) etc to Annapolis Royal (nite 1) to Keji Park (nite 2) to Wolfville (nite 3) to Baddeck (nite 4) Cabot Trail to Cheticamp (nite 5) to Louisburg (nite 6)to Halifax (Peggy's Cove etc) (nites 7 & 8) to Yarmouth ferry.

Or is it better to go from Wolfville to Halifax and to CBI from there returning to Yarmouth via New Glasgow or Truro to Halifax to Yarmouth.

Do we need to go thru Halifax both to and from CBI?

It looks like a really long drive from Wolfville to Baddeck. Should we break this up?

Definitely want to do Digby area and Keji, Wolfville and of course CBI and Halifax. Also want to do scenic route w/ stops when possible rather than major highways.

Appreciate any and all advice! Thanks!







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