After 36 fabulous years Atlantic Canada Cycling is no longer doing tours. We are now spending our retirement years enjoying cycling and helping people make use of our knowledge of bicycle touring. If you wish to follow in the tracks of our tours fell free to ask us questions on this great cycling route.
The Nova Scotia Bicycle Tour is a “best of” adventure. It takes in several remarkably different areas of the province. The choosing of the tour route is the result of three decades of experience running cycling events in Nova Scotia. Participants experience cycling along the Atlantic Ocean coast, across the forested interior, past orchards, farmlands, and then with visits to the Bay of Fundy.
The first part we will explore is along the Atlantic Coast. Perhaps the best known part of Nova Scotia, this shoreline is very scenic, with fishing boats, lighthouses, deserted beaches, and wharves piled high with lobster traps. We follow the coast for two days, staying at the historic seaport of Lunenburg. We next begin crossing the provinces’s thick forested, lonely, interior.
We emerge into Nova Scotia’s lush Annapolis Valley. One of the best bicycle-touring parts of Canada, the valley is delightful, crammed with orchards, tiny villages and scenic back roads. Over the next couple of days we will also make several visits to the Bay of Fundy, taking in several sections along the coastline of this mighty body of water. We will here visit villages touched by its 13M (40 ft.) tides.
Past the end of the valley we then base ourselves at cabins deep in the woods for two nights. We end with a day’s ride to Bear River and possibly Digby. The last morning offers transport to our start point at Liverpool, and on to Yarmouth, Digby or Halifax.
Distances will mostly be moderate. For those who like longer distances, most days will have a few options for extending routes which can be combined with riding with the group. There will be some hills on this tour. Casual cyclists should find this tour quite feasible. If legs start getting tired we can find a few short cuts here and there. We hope you can join us on our “best of ” Nova Scotia adventure!
Day 2 Risser’s Beach to Lunenburg
Day 3 Lunenburg to Newburne
Day 4 Newburne to Aylesford
Day 5 Day Tour Annapolis Valley
Day 6 Aylesford to Bridgetown
Day 7 Bridgetown to Milford
Day 8 Day Tour to Bear River
Day 9 Return Transportation to Liverpool, Yarmouth and Halifax
Liverpool to Risser’s Beach 61 km (38 mi.)
Our first day explores Nova Scotia’s Atlantic Ocean coastline. We will have time to visit a few fishing villages along the way, such as lovely Port Medway. We end at one of the best beaches in all of Nova Scotia.
Risser’s Beach to Lunenburg 53 km (33 mi.)
Today’s spectacular coastal scenery is among the finest cycling places in all of Canada. Dublin Shore, LaHave, Riverport …there are numerous photogenic villages and seaside views all along the way. Today will be a relaxed day, allowing several scenic diversions to offer extra cycling. There is Kingsburg Beach, Hirtle’s Beach, or to the LaHave Islands. After visiting a great bakery a small river ferry takes us across the Lahave River.
We end the day in one of the most attractive small towns in the country – Lunenburg. For the rest of the day we can explore Nova Scotia’s “City of the Sea”. A true seaport town, Lunenburg is a cozy place, filled with eclectic architecture and an atmospheric marine setting. It is an unique place. Another optional ride after reaching town is out to the village of Blue Rocks. It is a must-see village east of town, visited by marine painters and photographers. The Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic is the ultimate waterfront experience in Lunenburg. In the evening there are a large number of restaurants, all with seafood specialties, or we can suggest meeting at our favourite pub.
Lunenburg to Newburne 63 km (39 mi.)
We begin our run through the forested interior across to the other side of Nova Scotia. Before entering the woods we explore fishing villages around Mahone Bay, a very attractive town at the head of a bay with 365 islands. We linger at the cafes in this lively sailboat haven then head into Nova Scotia’s lonely interior.
Newburne to Aylesford 71 km (44 mi.)
The route we will be taking is a hilly area past old pioneer farms scattered between forests. Here are where much of the world’s Christmas trees come from. After a long barren stretch of wilderness, we emerge in late afternoon into Nova Scotia’s lush Annapolis Valley. The campground is walking distance to the village of Aylesford.
Thursday, August 15 – Day Tour in the Annapolis Valley – various routes 99/77 (62/48 mi.)
We will explore Nova Scotia’s beautiful Annapolis Valley. This is one of the favourite cycling routes in all Canada of Gary, ACC’s founder. While a bit if a map-reading challenge, the winding route today will be a joyful meandering along many different country lanes. We ride through orchards, and stop at a winery. Late in the morning we make our first visit of the tour to the shores of the famed Bay of Fundy. We will descend to the Bay at the tiny lobster port of Hall’s Harbour. We can relax there on the docks and watch the fishing boats. Here the tides rise dramatically, one of the highest in the world. After climbing the ridge we will return to the Annapolis Valley and wander its maze of orchards and family farms. There are also options for more cycling through the orchards and farmlands for anyone wanting more than the planned distance.
Aylesford to Bridgetown 77 km (48 mi.)
Today we explore a “hidden corner” of Nova Scotia, an unspoiled coastline, with quiet roads and with beautiful scenery. The famous Bay of Fundy will be today’s focus. It is a short day, but there will be some hills – we dip in and out of shoreline villages from part way up the ridge. This will provide us with spectacular views and great downhills.
Bridgetown to Milford 65 km (40 mi.)
Today we make our last run over the ridge from the Annapolis Valley to the Bay of Fundy. It may again possibly be a welcome sight, as coastal temperatures vary from the valley dramatically. Historic Annapolis Royal, founded in 1605, is the oldest European settlement in Canada. Here it may be interesting to visit a demonstration project, where a tiny portion of the Bay of Fundy’s immense tidal power has been harnessed. This is the only such project of its kind in North America. There is an option here for 20+ more kilometers to the Port Royal settlement. At Milford we have a great spot, sharing cabins with options for relaxing by a lake, swimming, and canoeing.
Day Tour to Bear River 65 km (40 mi.)
Bear River is a fascinating village today worth the hill getting back out. There will be two wineries today. People can also take a run in to the port of Digby, with the largest scallop fishing fleet in the world. This will allow higher distances for those wishing more biking. It is a hilly route today, so we expect most will be content with the 65 km. We return to Milford, where we again have the great setting for our last night together on the lake.
Return Transportation – shuttle back to Liverpool, the ferry to Maine at Yarmouth, as well as to Halifax.
More About the Nova Scotia Bicycle Tour