We would like to do our first trip up to Nova Scotia/Prince Edward Island this summer. We are intermediate kayakers with coastal new england experience. We would like to spend about a week up there and are looking for one or two destinations that are convenient locations for day paddles and some nice accommodations (B&B)/dining.
Get this book
I ordered a while ago the book “Paddling Prince Edward Island” by Bob Gilette" and i was blown away at the detail he put into it. It shows where to launch, different routes, where the boat launches are, scenery to check out along the way and points of interest on the way to the sites. There is also maps covering pretty well the whole island for where to paddle. I am from New Brunswick and i wish someone had one of these books for NB to. I got my copy off amazon, you might be able to find it somewhere closer to home, but here’s the link.
PEI and NS
The paddling would be far more interesting in Nova Scotia than PEI. Cape Breton in particular is extremely scenic. Plenty of outfitters there and lots to see. Do the Cabot trail (driving), and take at the very least one full day to do it.
Baddeck is a good central location for Cape Breton (NS). Bring you camera and binoculars.
PEI is completely developed, very pretty towns and scenery and signs at every intersection to point you to a Lobster Supper somewhere.
Dalvay by the Sea is a great inn to stay in on PEI. It’s in Prince Edward Island National Park. Need to make a reservation.
We came from NJ and drove to BAR Harbor and took the high speed ferry to St. Johnsbury, NS. The drove the northerly route eventually to Halifax (great city). From there we went to Cape Breton and stayed a few days. We then drove to PEI, but there are ferry’s available from NS.
Nova Scotia photo’s
Bar Harbor ferry
Just to avoid some confused searching -
The Bar Harbor fast-ferry to Nova Scotia did not run in 2010, and I have not heard that that will change in 2011. The slow-ferry from Portland is also out of business. Presumably they will be back eventually when the economy improves, but for now, driving through Canada is the only option for getting to NS.
It’s hard to beat Cape Breton for rugged beauty but I’m partial to the Mahone Bay/Lunenburg/Bridgewater area down the south shore an hour or so from Halifax.
If you are headed anywhere in the southwest there is a ferry that still runs between St. John, and NB Digby, NS.
No ferry for 2011
out of Portland.
the yes or no on ferry service is like a ping pong tournament
Cape Bretton, Bras D'Or and the Lunenberg area are all fantastic. Personally I would avoid the Bay of Fundy unless slogging through clam flats excites you.
Way up north
Last summer, we stayed at the Four Mile Beach Inn, at the northern tip of Cape Breton - it’s on the Bay St. Lawrence Road between Cape North and Bay St. Lawrence. The accommodations were nice, good breakfasts, and the property has a road down to the North Harbor of Aspy Bay. The bays and inlets around there are all good destinations.
There’s also the Hideaway Campground in Dingwall, which is nearby. They’re great people and have a nice campground as well as a guest house for rent. Alex dives for Aspy Bay oysters from across the road daily, and you can get a dozen with half a fresh snow crab for dinner in their general store - office - restaurant.
The drive up the west side of the island is stupendous, and there is kayaking along the way in Maboo Harbor, Cheticamp, etc. as well as down the east side. We’ve only been up with the boats once, so I don’t have too many specific recommendations. Since we saw Cape Breton, we haven’t spent any time in lower NS since.
Paddling ideas for PEI & NS
PEI and Nova Scotia have many miles of coastline and you will be hard-pressed to visit both provinces in a week. However, one thing to consider is the tides. In PEI there is only one high and one low tide per day. The currents in and out of the harbors and bays can be very strong in some areas. Make sure you use tide charts when planning your trips.
There is a ferry between Caribou, NS and Wood Island, PEI that will save you some travel time going between the provinces.
For paddling in PEI, Murry Harbor is not too far from Wood Island and there are tons of seals, and OK scenery. The best scenery (big cliffs and lots of birds) I have found is by paddling out of New London Bay up to Cape Tryon.
Early in the season you might find an amazing amount of Arctic Red Jellyfish and White Moon Jellyfish. There are less of them as the season goes on, with less found in August and thereafter.
For paddling in NS I would recommend the Tangier and Murphy Cove area.
Have a nice trip.
Any time we get to the Mainland, we head for Merigomish, NS, near New Glascow - absolutely beautiful paddling spot. Merigomish Harbour is about 14 kms (or miles?) long, extremely well sheltered, with lots of nooks and crannies to explore. Lots of herons, eagles, and the like. I don’t know what’s there in the way of B&Bs, since we stay at the Cranberry Camping - lovely facility with a very friendly and welcoming staff. Tell 'em we sent ya :->))
Here’s a link to a blog that has some info about Merigomish from a paddling friend…
I like the North shore, Lennox Island to North Rustico. Unique to North shore is you can travel from beach to beach which are protected from others because of high cliffs.
Two spots I like and very different they are… The first is an outfitter close to Halifax in Lower Prospect… very pretty bay, with tent sites and excellent guides and paddlin… www.eastcoastoutfitters.com/
Second is a campground at the tip of Cape Breton by the ocean… nice people running an environmentally sound business in a gorgeous location
it’s a shame that the
cat Ferry out of Bar Harbor is not running when I went it ran fro B.H. to Yarmouth. What a boat. It’s an ocean going size, black and stealth, and rins at about 65 mph. It was only about 6 hours, where the conventional ferries were overnight trips.
N. S. has a thrilling coastline.
read my comment below the photo
One of the great pleasures of kayaking is the willingness of others to share their wisdom and experience–Thanks to all for the suggestions.