The next tour is my eighth cross-country since retirement. The last two were helped with electric assist. (I'll never go back). I'm requesting feedback from people with experience in either New Brunswich, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, or Newfoundland. The motto is 'Less miles, more neat stuff". My tours are usually 4,000 to 5,000 miles and I'd like to cut that in half. I'm working on a route map and it appears there are really long rail-trails up there.
I camp as little as possible since my 75 year old bones keep me awake outside. I locate Warmshowers Hosts as much as I can to meet the locals. One learns through interaction, not through isolation. Yet, I may not bump into as many folks this time due to sparse populations.
I'm also a photo and video guy with a DJI Spark drone. I want to capture some great shots.
I need references as to Points of Interest . If you have a minute, I would sure appreciate it.
Hi Jack! I just rode from Philadelphia to Newfoundland this summer, passing through New Brunswick, PEI, and Nova Scotia.
I tried to use rail trails as much as possible, but discovered that many of the trails in Newfoundland and the Maritimes consisted of very large, coarse gravel and mud. This meant tons of puddles, some of them very deep. The Newfoundland T'Railway in perticular is very slow going on a bicycle. I would not recommend trying to get all the way across the island on it. The Confederation Trail in PEI was very good, so was the trail on Cape Breton between the Canso Causeway and Inverness (this trail was extremely beautiful, also!).
Most of the back roads that you will see on the map are logging roads. They are also very rugged and difficult to use on a bike. If you are planning to ride in the summer, you will encounter swarms of mosquitos and big, black, biting flies if you are in the forest and more than a few miles from the coast. Should you need to stop to fix a flat or for any other reason, these bugs will feast on you. My advice is to stick to the numbered roads. They look like large highways on the map, but in reality most are two lane roads with very little traffic, and are perfect for cycling. The Sunrise Trail in Nova Scotia was a lot of fun to ride on, though there are a few segments where you will have to take the Trans Canada Highway, which is passable but not fun.
I would consider taking the coastal route from Moncton to the Confederation Bridge (via Shediac). This is what I did and it was very easy riding, all along the coast of the Straight of Northumberland. There were some really fantastic views.
Also--check and double check all ferry crossings! I tried to cross the border at Lubec and take the Campobello-Deer Island Ferry, only to find out the day before I got there that service was suspended indefinitely. Many of the chain ferries over the St. John River in NB are not operating, either. That being said, the St. John Valley is extremely beautiful and well worth an inland detour. So is the area around Sussex NB. The Northumberland and Marine Atlantic Ferries should be reliable and are very easy to take with a bicycle.
Feel free to reach out if you want to talk more about biking the Maritimes! I had an absolutely fantastic time and am happy to help.