Short trip to Nova Scotia

Old Jun 17th, 2012, 12:36 PM
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Short trip to Nova Scotia

First time travelling to Nova Scotia in early september. We'll be coming from Bar Harbor, maine. Is there a ferry to NS? We'll only have 3 or 4 days....what area should we visit ...my husband are both retired and we love history, scenic views, and just puttering around! thanks for any advice
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Old Jun 19th, 2012, 04:32 AM
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Sorry, no ferry to to Nova Scotia anymore. There used to be one from Bar Harbour to Yarmouth but it was used mostly by day trippers and when the passport requirement was brought in it lost too much business to be viable. If the 3 or 4 days you have includes travel time, that doesn't allow you time to do much of anything.
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Old Jun 19th, 2012, 11:01 AM
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Man, you're gonna have your work cut out for you... do you both drive??? (hopefully)

That makes long driving days easier to handle.


That said, I think I would gun for Moncton, New Brunswick, on your first night. It's about 290 miles and 5 1/2 hours of mere driving time. From there, you must get to Hopewell Cape, NB to gain a sense of The Bay of Fundy.

You probably already know your window of time, so you can go to the following website right NOW and print-out the tide schedules (use Hopewell Cape and Truro for sure).

http://www.lau.chs-shc.gc.ca/cgi-bin...gion=5&zone=30

Ideally you'd awaken in Moncton, and then go down to Hopewell Cape, NB to see it at low tide, before backtracking through Moncton and on.

IF you wanted to try for Nova Scotia's highlight, it would be the far northern Cabot Trail, but that would mean a long haul.

More do-able would be, perhaps, the town of Pictou, NS, which you could reach on the 2nd night (either via highway #6 OR via the main #104).

Because your time is so limited you'd basically have to turn around and head back toward Bar Harbor after that, perhaps via the path including #104 to Truro, and then Truro to Parrsboro, NS on highway #2, and then up to Amherst from there, before heading back.

Maybe this time you'd try to reach Fredericton, NB by nightfall, stay there, and return to Bar Harbor via I-95 to Bangor.

You're going to have to spend lots of time on the road if you go for it, but there is plenty of nature to see, and you can at least give yourself a taste of it.

Hope this helps.
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Old Jun 19th, 2012, 11:02 AM
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(oops, didn't mean to have so many dark letters
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Old Jun 20th, 2012, 09:12 AM
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Thanks, for the replies...we both drive ...we want to see a bit of the coast and the beautiful scenery. Since our time is limited, What would be a do not miss area?? the driving times are REALLY helpful....what about hotels, do they fill up at this time of year...or can we just wing it? again, THANKS for the advice
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Old Jun 21st, 2012, 04:46 AM
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Well, you spoke of "early September"... does that include Labour Day weekend?

After that it shouldn't be too problematic.

Do clarify which coast you are talking about as well.

IF, for example, you are wishing to see some of the eastern shore of NS then you'll be additionally challenged. If you went at break-neck speed, maybe you could get up to Cape Breton and The Cabot Trail, but one foggy day could ruin your efforts... and... well... they have lots of foggy days there.

Otherwise, water views at/near Fundy Nat'l Park, NB, Hopewell Cape, and along the Bay shore between Parrsboro and Truro, NS are there for you.

The very best is sure to be the Cabot Trail in northern NS, but that is a giant bet on ONE day of weather, if you drive like crazy to get there.
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Old Jun 21st, 2012, 09:19 AM
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As already pointed out, I also think that the Cabot Trail in Cape Breton Island has particularly spectacular scenery, but with only 3 or 4 days, this may not be possible. So - You might want to focus on the unique Fundy Shore of New Brunswick. Alma, which is adjacent to very scenic Fundy National Park has a few nice accommodations (we really enjoyed Cliffside Suites) and you could enjoy this area for a couple of nights, then maybe move on towards Hopewell Rocks, overnighting somewhere in that area (or in Moncton) - perhaps stopping for a couple of hours at the Fundy Trail Parkway on the way. For your last night before returning to Maine you could stay in the quite charming town of Saint Andrews by the Sea, New Brunswick.

If time allowed you to be more flexible with you overnight stops, I would say you could wing it for accommodations "after" Labour Day weekend. But Alma does have somewhat limited accommodations and if you decide you will stay there, I think I would book those nights. Also weekends could still be a bit busy in early September.
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Old Jun 21st, 2012, 01:51 PM
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Ok, here we go again! Cabot Trail sounds great, so do all the other suggestions. We've decided to extend our time to a week! Now, as much as I hate to admit it, the cabot trail sounds scary! As a floridian, I tend to think a speed bump as a hill! What are the roads like? I usually don't like to meet myself coming around the corner or being 3 feet from a cliff.... also we've never been to NS and are pretty flexible as to where we visit.... thank you all for your suggestions and advice
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Old Jun 21st, 2012, 02:25 PM
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R
O
F
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... I have another presently ongoing thread in which a Floridian is fearful of cliffs in a whole different area of the continent.

The week is such a good move... and at least the speed bumps you encounter in NS won't have long and strong jaws.


The week is a million times better...


SO, still starting from "Baaaaaaaah 'Ahhhhhbah"... but now for a week:


Still make the first night at Moncton... then be sure to dip down to Hopewell Cape for a visit at low tide early-ish the next day.

Then, I'd shoot for Baddeck, NS (Cape Breton {north part of NS} ) the next night... = 260 miles / 4 1/2 hours of driving.

I'd stay there for two nights... just to get a bit of rest, and because FOG can wipe-out a day's worth of chance to circle the Cabot Trail.

If you awaken to sunny/clear skies on that first morning in Baddeck, then you high-tail it to do the Cabot Trail that day. Otherwise you visit the Sydney/Louisbourg area on the foggy day and then do the Cabot Trail the next day, when we hope it will be clear.

(and, uh, yeah, good luck with that...)


For the 4th night... possibly Pictou, NS (133 miles/2 1/2 hours from Baddeck) OR Halifax (220 miles, 4 hours from Baddeck).

Halifax is worth 2 nights, but if anything about Pictou inspires you, then perhaps a night spent there.

(maybe in a perfect world, you get to Baddeck on the first night there, and find sun and clear skies greeting you in the morning, and then you circle the Cabot Trail and then don't need a 2nd night in Baddeck, and instead you spend that night in Pictou, and then still have time for two nights in Halifax.


Otherwise, lets say nights 4 AND 5 in Halifax.

The day you leave Halifax... if it were me, I'd drive to Truro on the main freeway, and then take highway #2 along the shore of the Bay of Fundy to Parrsboro, NS... and then up/north from there to Amherst and beyond. Stay in Moncton or Fredericton on the path back to Bar Harbor.

I used "6" nights there... and you may even find you have another night to squeeze in, depending upon your "week".

If so, you can surely find one of the spots I already mentioned suitable for that added night. Oh, and a day trip from Halifax to Peggy's Cove and/or Lunenburg is worth doing.

Hope this gets you planning more precisely.
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Old Jun 21st, 2012, 06:30 PM
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No, the Cabot Trail is not "that" scary. I've driven the Apache Trail in Arizona - and THAT is SCARY. Or "was" as I've heard they've improved it a lot over the years. But the Cabot Trail road is perfectly good, there are certainly "vistas", some them fairly steep, but I am like you, I don't like being on the edge of sheer cliffs and I can handle the Cabot Trail with little more than a little bit of exhilaration and apppreciation of the spectacular views. Lots and lots of people do this, families, retirees, cyclists, motorcyclists, RVers, etc.

The 3 most popular places to stay along the Cabot Trail are Baddeck (small but charming little upscale tourist town on an inland lake), Cheticamp (Acadian Fishing Village which has grown into a tourist/service town for the adjacent National Park) and Ingonish (a string of very small seaside communities with scattered resorts and cottages).

The South Shore (or Lighthouse Route) southwest of Halifax is also very nice - charming historic towns, quaint fishing villages, seaside scenery etc. But even a week does not allow you to see everything. However, the 3 areas discussed - the New Brunswick Fundy Shore, the Cabot Trail in Cape Breton, and the South Shore, are the 3 I always recommend as highlights of Atlantic Canada so you would do well to choose from these, I think.

By the way, fog is often mentioned as a frequent deterrant to touring the Cabot Trail. It is very possible we have been lucky, however we have visited 4 times in late August/early September and fog has never been a major issue for us. Sometimes we've encountered a bit in early morning or late evening. But you never know, though, so it is something you should be aware of.
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Old Jun 24th, 2012, 04:43 PM
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I'm not surprised at reports of good fog fortune in August/September but, well, lets just say, that upon my very first visit to the maritimes, I came to understand what one does while driving in fog when he/she can no longer align the hood ornament with the line on the pavement while maintaining a steady, slow pace:


(You look out the side window and watch the center line, banking a great deal on nobody else being dumb enough to be on those roads at the same time
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Old Jun 24th, 2012, 04:44 PM
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* ... because the fog is so thick you can no longer see the ground in front of your car.
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Old Jun 26th, 2012, 08:09 AM
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Ah, decisions, decisions..have decided on bay of Fundy, hopewell cape, the lighthouse route, Lunenburg, Peggy's Cove and Hallifax...Is this still too much travelling? We have 5 days. Should we stay in one place and take day trips? we want to SEE EVERYTHING! We are getting overwhelmed with all the choices..We will be arriving on the 4th of Sept. Also, being from sunny florida...we don't own a coat....how cool will it be? any advice would be GREATLY appreciated! Thanks
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Old Jun 26th, 2012, 01:44 PM
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GOOD timing about arriving on Sept. 4 (after Labo(u)r Day)

With five days, (round trip from Bar Harbor, ME - so I interpret)... you won't really have time to "stay in one place and do day trips" )


By my trusty Bing Mapping device, you're looking at 480 miles and 9 hours of just driving alone from Bar Harbor to Halifax via Hopewell Cape and Fundy NP.

You should still probably gun for Moncton, NB on the first night... find out what time the "Tidal Bore" happens there, and go and watch it day or night (a bright moon helps in the latter situation).

TIMING is important for viewing Hopewell Cape at low tide, be sure to have the tide tables printed out for the entire window of your trip (for perhaps Hopewell Cape, Truro, and one other, random spot).

IF all goes well timing-wise, you should alter your route a bit upon entry into Nova Scotia... from Amherst/Springhill, go down to Parrsboro from which you can approach Truro along the shore of the Bay vs. the duller freeway. Do that on the way in so you won't sacrifice it upon needing to go like a bat out of h*ll to get back in your window of time.

If we're talking 5 days and 4 nights, I'm going to pen them in like so:

1. Moncton, NB

2. Halifax

3. Halifax

4. Fredericton, NB


With just two nights in Halifax, a day trip to Peggy's Cove (/Lunenburg?) is in order in between. (Maybe just Peggy's Cove, since time is precious)

A lot of your satisfaction will result from merely going through those motions and there won't be too many decisions/choices above and beyond those basics.

It will still be a great journey!!
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