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Touring in Eastern Canada During Covid19

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Touring in Eastern Canada During Covid19

Old 06-15-20, 11:31 AM
  #1  
BikeWonder
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Touring in Eastern Canada During Covid19

Any Canadians on here that are planning to tour during the pandemic? If so, what tours do you have planned?

Last summer I toured across the Rockies and got a taste of the West. I've been itching to tour Eastern Canada. I know that there are restrictions being lifted and cities are in need of paying customers, especially the Maritimes. I would like to begin my tour from Toronto where I have family and make my way towards Nova Scotia/ PEI/ New Brunswick. We all know that feeling of the road calling you. This trip is calling to me and fortunately I have the time and means to do such a trip.

For those who have done toured the Maritimes, is there anything you would recommend? I know rain is a big factor there so I plan on bringing gear and clothing for it. I have no set itinerary, but I would like to include the Cabot Trail in my trip, among many others.

-R
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Old 06-15-20, 01:43 PM
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You asked for comments by Canadians, I am from USA. But I assume you still want any info that anyone might have.

Last summer I toured for five weeks, starting in Halifax and finishing back at Halifax where I flew in and out of. A general comment, it was wet when I was there. I usually try to beat the traffic so i try to start and finish my tours before the middle of the tourist season. I was there in June and early July, perhaps it is drier later. A quick note on Halifax, I stayed at the HI Hostel there which was quite convenient. And Cyclesmith bike shop was VERY helpful. That said, I suspect hostels are not the best place to stay during a pandemic.

I did not make any reservations for campgrounds and did not have any problems. But several people told me that if I did not have reservations for Canada Day weekend, I would not have a place to stay. Looking at the forecast, I saw a lot rain around that time and the Hostel in Charlottetown PEI had availability so I stayed there for three nights over Canada Day weekend to sit out the middle of six consecutive days of rain. When I was at Five Islands Provincial Park on Bay of Fundy, almost every site was taken, that was in July. My point is that if you are there during busy season, you might need to make reservations if you are staying at campgrounds. In June, many campgrounds had a lot of room.

Some but not all Provincial Parks in NS have walk in sites. These sites are farther from the RVs and a bit more secluded, I stayed in those sites whenever I could.

I got lucky and had a walk in site at Five Islands campground for two nights. Great view of Bay of Fundy.



It can be quite buggy. Bring repellent.

When i was on Cabot Trail for scenic parts, it was foggy and rainy, thus did not see much. You might be more lucky.



There was one hill on Cabot Trail on the north end in the National Park, I do not recall which but it was a tall one at 13 percent grade. I pushed my bike up it.



Crossing the bridge to Cape Breton Island looks scary, but it is not that bad. Only the bridge portion has no shoulder to ride on, the causeway had a shoulder. So you are in the traffic lane for only a short portion, I waited until I saw no traffic coming before I crossed the bridge. Sorry, not a good photo.



I had 57mm wide tires, so I often rode on the gravel bike trails instead of roads when I had a choice. Since the bike trails often were flatter having been rail road grades, it was less hilly than the roads. PEI had very good gravel trails. This was the only spot where I had any problem on the trail, the downfall was quite recent.




There is a ferry and a bridge to PEI. I rode the ferry to PEI, then back to mainland on the bridge. You can't ride across the bridge, you have to take a shuttle.

This is the route that I took, it is my GPS track overlain on satellite map on Google Earth. The numbered spots on it are the dates when I stayed there in YYMMDD format, if I stayed multiple nights only the first night is listed.



I am retired and had plenty of time, so I took it slow an easy. Thus you will see I only had a few really long distance days, but I was there to enjoy it without any distance goals.

My go-to meal when I paid someone else to do my cooking was fish and chips.



The Propeller Double IPA was very good.



And occasionally had to stop for one of these.


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Old 06-15-20, 01:50 PM
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Two summers ago, left from Quebec city, down to Ogunquit, then north east along the coast of Maine/NB up to PEI. With our 2 daughters. Rules are (always) that we sleep under a roof when there is rain. I'd say 10/50 days.

We *may* ride towards Gaspé/Forillon this summer, although our eldest has reached the friends-first/parents-and-sister-last phase, so not clear. I also heard unpleasant stories wrt locals not wanting visitors (IIRC, access to the Magdalen Islands requires paperwork if you go through PEI/NS -- not clear what they'll to to cyclists

I "think" that Quebec is open to Canadian cyclists (road blocks between Gatineau and Ottawa have been removed), but you'll probably want to double check. Same wrt accommodations. I "believe" that provincial parks have re-opened, not sure at all wrt campgrounds.

I'll follow this thread with considerable interest.
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Old 06-15-20, 03:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
You asked for comments by Canadians, I am from USA. But I assume you still want any info that anyone might have.

Last summer I toured for five weeks, starting in Halifax and finishing back at Halifax where I flew in and out of. A general comment, it was wet when I was there. I usually try to beat the traffic so i try to start and finish my tours before the middle of the tourist season. I was there in June and early July, perhaps it is drier later. A quick note on Halifax, I stayed at the HI Hostel there which was quite convenient. And Cyclesmith bike shop was VERY helpful. That said, I suspect hostels are not the best place to stay during a pandemic.

I did not make any reservations for campgrounds and did not have any problems. But several people told me that if I did not have reservations for Canada Day weekend, I would not have a place to stay. Looking at the forecast, I saw a lot rain around that time and the Hostel in Charlottetown PEI had availability so I stayed there for three nights over Canada Day weekend to sit out the middle of six consecutive days of rain. When I was at Five Islands Provincial Park on Bay of Fundy, almost every site was taken, that was in July. My point is that if you are there during busy season, you might need to make reservations if you are staying at campgrounds. In June, many campgrounds had a lot of room.

Some but not all Provincial Parks in NS have walk in sites. These sites are farther from the RVs and a bit more secluded, I stayed in those sites whenever I could.

I got lucky and had a walk in site at Five Islands campground for two nights. Great view of Bay of Fundy.



It can be quite buggy. Bring repellent.

When i was on Cabot Trail for scenic parts, it was foggy and rainy, thus did not see much. You might be more lucky.



There was one hill on Cabot Trail on the north end in the National Park, I do not recall which but it was a tall one at 13 percent grade. I pushed my bike up it.



Crossing the bridge to Cape Breton Island looks scary, but it is not that bad. Only the bridge portion has no shoulder to ride on, the causeway had a shoulder. So you are in the traffic lane for only a short portion, I waited until I saw no traffic coming before I crossed the bridge. Sorry, not a good photo.



I had 57mm wide tires, so I often rode on the gravel bike trails instead of roads when I had a choice. Since the bike trails often were flatter having been rail road grades, it was less hilly than the roads. PEI had very good gravel trails. This was the only spot where I had any problem on the trail, the downfall was quite recent.




There is a ferry and a bridge to PEI. I rode the ferry to PEI, then back to mainland on the bridge. You can't ride across the bridge, you have to take a shuttle.

This is the route that I took, it is my GPS track overlain on satellite map on Google Earth. The numbered spots on it are the dates when I stayed there in YYMMDD format, if I stayed multiple nights only the first night is listed.



I am retired and had plenty of time, so I took it slow an easy. Thus you will see I only had a few really long distance days, but I was there to enjoy it without any distance goals.

My go-to meal when I paid someone else to do my cooking was fish and chips.



The Propeller Double IPA was very good.



And occasionally had to stop for one of these.


I welcome US responses to have done the trip, sorry for the exclusion and thank you for your response
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Old 06-15-20, 05:01 PM
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Originally Posted by BikeWonder View Post
I welcome US responses to have done the trip, sorry for the exclusion and thank you for your response
I assumed that, so I responded as such.
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Old 06-15-20, 06:37 PM
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I certainly hope you can make it this summer, but at this point the only Atlantic province that is partially open is Nova Scotia and you are required to quarantine for 14 days.The others are closed.
I've heard friends talk about amazing cycling in Quebec, that could be a possible option, if the other provinces don't open up.
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Old 06-16-20, 04:14 AM
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Forgot to mention in my previous long post, but the north end of the Cabot Trail is somewhat of a food desert. This was the first grocery store I saw in days, this was a short distance off the route but my GPS said there was a store here.



But otherwise I found that grocery stores were easy to find.
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Old 06-16-20, 07:30 AM
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If you subscribe to Amazon Prime, you might find several episodes of "Still Standing" somewhat interesting, and amusing. Toronto based stand up comic & actor Jonny Harris tours Canada stopping for a week in small towns that are struggling. He gets to know the more interesting characters in the town and then does a half hour roast of them interspersed with video clips of his exploits over the previous week. Many episodes from eastern Canada. One of my favorites was season 2, episode 12, from Cape Breton: https://www.amazon.com/gp/video/deta...autoplay=1&t=0

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Old 06-16-20, 08:38 AM
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We toured the circumference of NS last year and 3 years ago from Montreal to NB through Gaspe. We very much enjoyed all of Quebec, on wonderful roads with water on one side and mountains on other side, usually with wide shoulders on the Verte system. The food and camping were great, Bienvenue Cyclistes! We are from states, and if it were not for the virus, we would have returned this year extending with a side trip to Saguenay. NS is ok, but touring in Quebec is on another level. Just one pic. If you are confined to Ontario, we have also enjoyed the Waterfront trail system Niagara-on-the-lake -->Toronto --> Kingston-->Montreal.

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Old 06-17-20, 08:00 AM
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Bwonder, as mentioned about the eastern provinces, you're going to have to keep updated on the news re visitors.
I suspect this will be a rather fluid situation.
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