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Road trip tent camping Nova Scotia

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Sep 25th, 2013, 08:34 PM
  #1
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Road trip tent camping Nova Scotia

My girlfriend and I are planning a trip for June or August of 2014. We are planning on driving to Nova Scotia and tent camping at night. We live in CT so it looks like a 12 hour drive to get there and back. I have a small 4 door hatch back with roof racks and a carrier. I am an experienced camper and use this car for snowboard/winter camping trips all the time. I am 28 and she is 25 we are interested in hiking, beaches, breweries, wine vineyards, music, coastal sights, seeing wild life. We are open to suggestions and anyone who has done a similar trip I would appreciate any feedback.
The plan is to drive up in a day, no ferries I get very seasick. I would like to start in bay of fundy area since it would be the closest to get to. What I would like to do is camp in a different location every night and make our way up to cape Breton. I would like to drive the Cabot trail or part of it. Maybe for one day and night do Halifax, probably need to stay in a hotel. I would like only to have to drive a couple hours a day so we can spend the day doing things and making the most of daylight.
Our time table goal is 2 weeks. I'll have two weeks vacation from the army this summer but my CO is pretty cool and may let a couple of days "AWOL" slide for a 6pack trade. I would love ideas and pointers from people. She kind of wants to do PEI as well, I don't think we will have time. If this is possible let me know, if not let me know. Don't hold back criticism I can take it, if it's not doable let know. Thank you for your time.
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Sep 26th, 2013, 02:23 AM
  #2
ltt
 
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i don't think you have enough time for pei. i camped on nova scotia for 2 1/2 week and could have used a few more days. a few tips...new brunswick...funday national park is beautiful, Kouchibouguac National Park is very nice. hopewell rocks, check the tide schedule...it's great to see it at high tide for an hour, then you could set up camp somewhere and return the next day for low tide. nova scotia - caribou/munroes park was really nice campground - great beach and the little town of pictou which is close by is very nice...good spot to camp on your way to cape breton. didn't stay there but macleods beach campsite looked nice...nothing special about the camping area but beautiful beach and view. i camped in the highland national park by cheticamp for 2 nights...drove part of the cabot trail the first day, returned to the campsite, then did the whole trail the next day camping that night in baddeck. the trail needs at least 2 full days to make all the beautiful stops. in halifax, stayed at the waverly inn which was in a great location and quite enjoyed it.
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Sep 26th, 2013, 12:26 PM
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When did you go ltt?

Jayce,
You mention winter camping so perhaps you don't care about cold weather & cold nights but if you do care, August in NS/PEI
ismuch warmer ( 7 nicer in my view)than June when
it can still be cold,not just at night but in the daytime too.

OB1
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Sep 26th, 2013, 12:28 PM
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I meant..." and nicer", not "7 nicer"....can't type...sorry
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Sep 26th, 2013, 07:44 PM
  #5
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Great stuff guys, thank you. Fundy national park looks awesome and a good place to start, 11 hour drive from home. Caribou/munroes park looks like a good stopping point on the way up to cape Breton. Hopewell rocks also looks cool. OB1 nice tip we're just in the planning phase so nothing is set in stone. My girlfriend would really appreciate the warmer weather.
The campsites don't have to be anything special, the location is more important to me. We're not exactly roughing it, I camp different with her. 6 person tent for 2 of us, queen size air mattress with built in pump, blankets and pillows. I also have a 2 plug 115v power inverter for air mattress phones...
I've been trying to figure out how remote it is and I'm not having any luck. Is it hard to find gas stations? Or places to buy food to cook? I have a small propane grill and cast iron pan I've used to cook fish over a fire. Like everything else we're trying to do this as cheap as possible. I think the biggest expense will be fuel. Campsites look pretty reasonable $15-25.
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Sep 30th, 2013, 07:04 PM
  #6
ltt
 
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i believe it was august when i hit nova scotia (it was part of a 3 month cross country trip). never had a problem finding gas stations or food. but, when ever i stopped, i'd fill the tank. the one thing that stood out for me was, when you are looking at distances and it says 100 km on a highway...you'd think it would be an hour...wrong...things move slower on the island which is a great thing...just don't necessarily expect to get places too fast. since camping, you'll have a cooler so i highly recommend having liquids and foods on hand all the time as there are so many beautiful places to stop...picnic more then restaurants.
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Oct 1st, 2013, 03:24 AM
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All of our national parks are wonderful and located in beautiful scenic areas. Camping there costs a little more than some other places, but there are interpretive centers and programs which help you appreciate and understand what you are seeing and make it much more enjoyable, IMHO.

I agree with Itt, take your time, follow a secondary route now and then, and enjoy the small moments and unexpected sights. I have a wonderful memory of seals playing just off shore at a tiny roadside park we happened upon when we were lost, tired , hungry and cranky. Those are the memories that stick and make your trip an adventure.

I recommend a good map which you can probably obtain via the provincial tourism site. With that in hand you shouldn't have trouble finding a spot for gas and groceries, though don't expect a lot of fresh produce or selection in the smaller towns. But what's camping without a few meals out of cans?

August will have shorter days than June, but all the better for sitting around a campfire. If you don't know already, be aware that transporting firewood from one campground to another is prohibited most places to reduce the spread of pests. With luck you will be able to scrounge leftovers from previous occupants.
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Oct 1st, 2013, 03:49 AM
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Here are couple of links :

National parks info: www.pc.gc.ca

General tourism information and maps: www.novascotia.com

Having fun planning and dreaming during the winter months.
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Oct 1st, 2013, 04:19 AM
  #9
ltt
 
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sorry, one more thing...go on the tourism website because their "doer and dreamers" publication is extremely helpful. i'd actually order a paper copy so you can have it in the car. also, one service that was great when traveling during high tourist season, on occasion, i'd want to stay at a motel for a night instead of setting up camp. i called the tourism site, told them how much i wanted to spend...what town i could get to that night and they would tell me which places had vacancies in my price range.
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Oct 8th, 2013, 02:13 PM
  #10
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You guys are awesome thank you very much. Ltt I agree with the picnic's and and keeping food in stock. Also Liz, the secondary roads is our plan so far, so I will look at that info and get a good map. The national parks do look beautiful and all of them seem to be equipped with bathrooms and showers. I know she will love to hear that there are showers. I think she already got the book you mentioned I didn't get to look at it yet. Also the firewood thing is the same rules in New England if you ever plan on camping around here.
This is my first time using a forum and I'm really impressed. I like hear from experiences rather then base every of a travel book. So thanks again no detail is too small.
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Oct 9th, 2013, 05:28 AM
  #11
 
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Some further thoughts:

Be sure to allow some flexibility and enough time for Cape Breton. The Cabot Trail can be done in a day but better if you can take a couple of days, and enjoy the little villages, maybe do a whale watching expedition if the budget allows. Not a pleasant drive in bad weather, so if you have rain and fog, wait it out in Baddeck. It's a pretty little town although somewhat touristy. The Alexander Graham Bell museum is grand and in a scenic location, small enough that a couple of hours should be sufficient. The library has computers for internet access, free if I remember correctly.
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Apr 15th, 2014, 08:44 AM
  #12
 
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If you are in NS on Aug 16 you might check out Bear Falls Campground. (bearfalls.com) They have a music festival there with a good line up and affordable ticket prices.
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