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Thread: planning a trip 2 Nova Scotia> Niagra Falls

  1. #16
    Out There Somewhere bmwrider88's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul_F View Post
    Canadian universities and colleges offer residence accommodations during the summer months. Check out http://www.aucc.ca/canadian-universi...r-universities to find colleges/universities along your route. Once you have zeroed in on a campus, look for the Tourist/travellers information. I often pay between $30-$40, depending if breakfast is served. Lots of good two lane roads through New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. If you follow the Gaspe Pennisula, you will most likely be taking Hwy 132. If this is the case, take the three hour ferry from Matane to Baie-Comeau on the north shore of the St. Lawrence. It is a more scenic ride. Do stop and stay in Old Quebec City. No that will not be inexpensive, but worth the visit to stay in a European city. In Ontario, yes you will most likely have to take the 401 unless you detour north to scenic back roads and then head due south to Niagara Falls. When in the Toronto area, pay the exorbitant toll fee for the 407. That way you will live to see another day. The 401 around Toronto is the most heavily travelled road in North America. LA freeways were a Sunday afternoon ride compared to our Toronto 401. Allow yourself lots of time to really enjoy the ride. Don't forget to ride the Cabot Trail on Cape Breton Island when in Nova Scotia. You will overwhelmed by just how friendly our neighbours on the east coast are.
    Hi,
    and thanks for the advice. We may look into your suggestion to stay at some universities along the way. And we will almost certainly take the ferry from Matane over to Baie-Comeau to travel down to Quebec on the North side of the St Lawrenece on the 138. I am up for a stay in Olde Quebec, but also must consider the opinions of those whom i'm traveling with.

    From Quebec, it appears to get complicated. A preferable route would most likely be a northern one, away from busier roadways, staying away from Montreal? My Atlas makes it look pretty dense, as tho the suburbs merge from one to another along the way, between cities. From Quebec to Ottowa, it appears there is a series of roadways in the 300s which seem to be smaller but not extremely rural- tho they are many between the two cities.

    Out of Ottowa, it appears the Rte 7 is a direct route that may be similar to our US hiways- smaller than a major motorway with at-grade intersections, down to Peterborough or Lindsay? from there a wide swing around North of Toronto somehow would be welcome, to arrive at lakeside in order to come into Niagra from the West, perhaps on Rte 3?

    Don't know how easy that would be but any suggestions are welcome.

    It has been suggested that we might go all the way up to Sidney on Nova Scotia, everyone says the Cabot Trail is worth the ride. From there we may just bee-line across New Brunswick to Matane, then slow it down a bit from there to Niagra. Out of Niagra, it is a good day's ride out of Buffalo on US 219, then cutting more Southeast to my home.

    I'm trying to figure loose mileages and times from point to point, not really knowing just yet what our total time allotment will be... of course we want to leave some wiggle room, but IMO our main interests lies in Nova Scotia, and then perhaps Quebec, and Niagra. Looks like we'll have 3 days to Saint John, then 2-3 days on NS, with perhaps another 3 from Sydney over to Quebec?

    If we ride the Cabot Trail out of Sydney, Google maps lists it as 16 hours over to Matane, on secondary roads, using the *avoid Highways* option! which means two days for us.

    This suggested route cuts across the base of the Gaspe Peninsula. Unfortunately, but i fear that time constraints will allow only so much. Some discussion will illuminate our priorities as a group, i suppose, and all will be revealed eventually!

    Cheers.

    Tom

  2. #17
    Registered User dwyandell's Avatar
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    A couple of thoughts from someone who thinks Cape Breton is one of the most beautiful places on earth.
    First, you'd be absolutely nuts to blow through any part of Nova Scotia from the Bay of Fundy eastward. Take your time here, it is gorgeous, with little traffic, and so much to enjoy.
    Route-wise, as pointed out already the border crossing at Lubec via Campobello Island and the various connecting ferries is SOOO much better than the Calais crossing and Route 1 route. Slower, but. . .who can resist a tiny ferry that putters by fishing villages? If you're a trucker, take Route 1 via Calais but otherwise, go through Lubec and take the ferries.
    Second, the whole Bay of Fundy area/Fundy Nat'l Park is a natural wonder that is not to be missed, and ripe for exploring on a motorcycle (yes, the roads are paved). The Provincial and national parks around the Fundy area are clean, uncrowded, well maintained and are terrific to stay at ; I'm sure there are good B&B's also. I've hit a few parks on the Northern side (the PEI side) that were overcrowded with none of the beauty of the Bay of Fundy. . .maybe just bad luck, tho.
    Re: Cape Breton .. . .be aware that tourist season starts in June, and you WANT to go at that time (things close in the off season, including many restaurants, pubs and lodging) Bras d'Or is beautiful and the Cabot Trail (northern circle) is a must for scenery, but--do you like music? Following Route 19 down the west side (this is called the Ceilidh trail) will bring you to the musical heart of Cape Breton, including Inverness and Mabou. I highly recommend the Inverness Beach Village for lodging and a stopover. . family run, humble cottages but on a swimmable sandy beach. Be sure to stop in Mabou at the Red Shoe pub, and explore to the West as far as Mabou Mines, Mabou Harbour, and West Mabou. And go to a square dance--not just to dance, but to see the whole community--all ages from 3 to 90-- come out at once and have fun together.
    The only problem with stopping and exploring in Cape Breton is that you won't want to leave.
    Dave in Vermont
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  3. #18
    God? What god? roborider's Avatar
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  4. #19
    Go Leafs Go CANADIANSTEVE's Avatar
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    Have good suspension for your bikes ... my wife has back issues, we are considering not taking our R100RS to Nova Scotia anymore because the roads are so terrible, frost heaves are unreal !!! Our place is near Antigonish, we find the back roads to be almost unrideable. Also visit Tor Bay if you get the chance ... beautiful sand beach and open ocean views !
    Steve
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  5. #20
    Registered User tourunigo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CanadianSteve View Post
    Have good suspension for your bikes ... my wife has back issues, we are considering not taking our R100RS to Nova Scotia anymore because the roads are so terrible, frost heaves are unreal !!! Our place is near Antigonish, we find the back roads to be almost unrideable. Also visit Tor Bay if you get the chance ... beautiful sand beach and open ocean views !
    Steve
    your brush stroke is far too broad and gives the wrong impression. Lots of roads that I would say have a 'challenging aspect' to them but that's it. If you're in a hurry go to Nevada (for example) but things are a bit different here. Ask any of the Salty Fog Riders Rally attendees if the roads are unrideable. I found the roads around Oklahoma City somewhat unrideable so it happens everywhere. (btw, there really are some disgusting backroads in places; politics often trumps citizen needs. Also, Tor Bay is wonderful and we encourage anyone traveling through our area (Larry's River; about six miles from Tor Bay) to visit that beach. - Bob
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  6. #21
    Registered User tourunigo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dwyandell View Post
    A couple of thoughts from someone who thinks Cape Breton is one of the most beautiful places on earth.
    First, you'd be absolutely nuts to blow through any part of Nova Scotia from the Bay of Fundy eastward. Take your time here, it is gorgeous, with little traffic, and so much to enjoy.
    Route-wise, as pointed out already the border crossing at Lubec via Campobello Island and the various connecting ferries is SOOO much better than the Calais crossing and Route 1 route. Slower, but. . .who can resist a tiny ferry that putters by fishing villages? If you're a trucker, take Route 1 via Calais but otherwise, go through Lubec and take the ferries.
    Second, the whole Bay of Fundy area/Fundy Nat'l Park is a natural wonder that is not to be missed, and ripe for exploring on a motorcycle (yes, the roads are paved). The Provincial and national parks around the Fundy area are clean, uncrowded, well maintained and are terrific to stay at ; I'm sure there are good B&B's also. I've hit a few parks on the Northern side (the PEI side) that were overcrowded with none of the beauty of the Bay of Fundy. . .maybe just bad luck, tho.
    Re: Cape Breton .. . .be aware that tourist season starts in June, and you WANT to go at that time (things close in the off season, including many restaurants, pubs and lodging) Bras d'Or is beautiful and the Cabot Trail (northern circle) is a must for scenery, but--do you like music? Following Route 19 down the west side (this is called the Ceilidh trail) will bring you to the musical heart of Cape Breton, including Inverness and Mabou. I highly recommend the Inverness Beach Village for lodging and a stopover. . family run, humble cottages but on a swimmable sandy beach. Be sure to stop in Mabou at the Red Shoe pub, and explore to the West as far as Mabou Mines, Mabou Harbour, and West Mabou. And go to a square dance--not just to dance, but to see the whole community--all ages from 3 to 90-- come out at once and have fun together.
    The only problem with stopping and exploring in Cape Breton is that you won't want to leave.
    Additionally, consider September as a good touring time. Campgrounds are still open and many of the tourists have taken their kids home for school and thus less traffic. Better weather too. Red Shoe in Mabou is a fine stop. Don't forget to stop at the Glenora Distillery on your way. - Bob
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  7. #22
    Unfunded content provider tommcgee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dwyandell View Post
    If you're a trucker, take Route 1 via Calais but otherwise, go through Lubec and take the ferries.
    There's a brand new crossing SW of Calais/St.Stephen at Milltown that's designed for high volume unlike the old crossing on two lane city streets. It connects directly to Rte 1 in New Brunswick, which has had major construction the past few years to make it a divided highway. It's still being worked on in some sections. (Update your GPS maps) Very pleasant crossing and ride to the Salty Fog in 2011.

    And yes, I've taken the ferry from L'Etete to Deer Island to Eastport -- beach departure and beach landing on Deer island and in Eastport. It's a good ride if you can take the time and the weather is nice.

    Bumpy roads? I like bumpy roads.

    Old crossing is near "A" -- New crossing at St. Croix reservoir. There is also another tiny crossing at Milltown between the two.

    Last edited by tommcgee; 12-03-2011 at 03:10 PM. Reason: speling
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  8. #23
    A bozo on the bus deilenberger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tourunigo View Post
    Don't forget to stop at the Glenora Distillery on your way. - Bob
    And if you're REALLY lucky - the Distillery might have a room cancellation the day you stop. If they do - TAKE IT. The whiskey is amazing ($$$ but still amazing), and the food and entertainment in the bar even more amazing.

    One of those "glad I did it.." sort of stops. Something really memorable. You don't have to worry about drinking too much - no one I know could afford to..

    Gotta get back to NS soon..
    Don Eilenberger http://www.eilenberger.net
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  9. #24
    Registered User dwyandell's Avatar
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    +1 on the Glenora stop. . . forgot that one.
    One more important thing though- - the people in Nova Scotia are as nice as you will ever meet, from an ice cream stop to an emergency. Another reason to slow down a bit and take some back roads up there.
    Dave in Vermont
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  10. #25
    Registered User tourunigo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dwyandell View Post
    +1 on the Glenora stop. . . forgot that one.
    One more important thing though- - the people in Nova Scotia are as nice as you will ever meet, from an ice cream stop to an emergency. Another reason to slow down a bit and take some back roads up there.
    slowing down a bit can be meditative and pleasant. It may take a few days to decompress but when you do you can get into a nice little zone. People and places seem somehow more vibrant. However, your planning must include a stay much longer than plugging in a couple of days to "do Nova Scotia". With about 5,000 miles of shoreline roads it might take a spell to get to even half of it. Personally I think a /5 a perfect bike for the task..... but I'm biased.

    Glenora's too pricey for my wallet but the visit is excellent, entertaining and very educational.... with top drawer Scotch (yes, they have now received Scotland's blessing to call it Scotch

    One more note: it is quite possible that a 'slow ferry' between Portland and Yarmouth may happen by summer. Worth keeping an eye on. - Bob
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  11. #26
    Prefers to play martinph's Avatar
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    I found that 2 weeks is Nova Scotia, Was, if anything, just enough! I didnt want to leave.
    Bob tell them about the Bakery near the ferry; I cant remember the name.
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  12. #27
    Registered User tourunigo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by martinPH View Post
    I found that 2 weeks is Nova Scotia, Was, if anything, just enough! I didnt want to leave.
    Bob tell them about the Bakery near the ferry; I cant remember the name.
    That must be the one down in Lahave on what we call the South Shore. Going south on route 103 take exit 10 and then #3 highway ( one of those backroads). Visit Mahone Bay and then onward into Lunenburg (stop here for a while and walk around and stay if you can!). Now, just out of Lunenburg on #3 take a left on #332 (Lighthouse Route) Soon you'll be in East Lahave. There's a little cable ferry that crosses the Lahave River. Get off the ferry and turn left and the bakery will be there on the riverside. Go in and listen, smell, look around ...... mmmmmmm. Great folks with equally great food (more in the bakery line) Sit and enjoy. A slight drift back in time can be had. Buy a little sumpin' fer later. That whole beautiful journey was only 16 miles long but you could easily spend the day.

    Those that 'do Nova Scotia' on the main highway system (103 for example) are condemned to the most modest of experiences and will leave this beautiful Province without ever seeing it. Come and enjoy! Consider our Salty Fog Riders Rally in September as an option - Bob
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  13. #28
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    More time or skip Niagra

    My opinion based on a September 2011, 3 week trip to the Salty Fog.
    Bob W. is the guru & his two thousanth seven hundred fifty post is true... slow down & enjoy a coastal ride like you can only dream of! You wont be sorry. The roads are fine for "sightseeing" speeds there, especially 2 up... they add character

  14. #29
    Registered User tourunigo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flyhi2cfar View Post
    My opinion based on a September 2011, 3 week trip to the Salty Fog.
    Bob W. is the guru & his two thousanth seven hundred fifty post is true... slow down & enjoy a coastal ride like you can only dream of! You wont be sorry. The roads are fine for "sightseeing" speeds there, especially 2 up... they add character
    .... However, speaking of characters...... Looking forward to meeting up again with you and Dara. - bob
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  15. #30
    RK Ryder
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmwrider88 View Post
    From Quebec, it appears to get complicated. A preferable route would most likely be a northern one, away from busier roadways, staying away from Montreal?

    Out of Ottowa, it appears the Rte 7 is a direct route that may be similar to our US hiways- smaller than a major motorway with at-grade intersections, down to Peterborough or Lindsay? from there a wide swing around North of Toronto somehow would be welcome, to arrive at lakeside in order to come into Niagra from the West, perhaps on Rte 3?

    Don't know how easy that would be but any suggestions are welcome.

    Tom
    I have taken motorcyclist friends' advice and routes and gone around Montreal and I have also just taken the most direct route through that city. I prefer the most direct route.

    Hwy 7 from Ottawa to Peterborough is a not too heavily travelled two lane road. You should enjoy that route. From Peterborough, there are a number of back roads, all north of Toronto that could take you to Orangeville and Erin and from there, head south to the Niagara region. Do visit Niagara on the Lake.

    It will not be necessary to go as far south as Hwy 3 to reach Niagara as there a number of paved county roads north of Hwy 3 that will lead into Niagara, once you have an Ontario map.
    Paul
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