Pedaling the Maritimes

May 5, 2004
Outside Magazine
Week of June 20-27, 1996
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Southeast kayaking gurus

Pedaling the Maritimes
Question: I would like to go on a bike tour of Nova Scotia and PEI in July. Do you know of any outfitters that offer these tours with food, lodging, and van support?

Merideth Fiedler
New York, NY
[email protected]

Oh-so-scenic--Nova Scotia's
quaint coast

Adventure Adviser: Sure do. Backroads runs both a five-day inn-to-inn trip and a six-day camping trip along the Evangeline Trail and the Bay of Fundy in central Nova Scotia.

Depending on which trip you choose, you'll pedal anywhere from 36 to 55 clicks a day through mostly rolling farmland and coastal towns. But beware (and, sadly, I speak from experience) of outrageous headwinds that rip in off the water and across the mostly flat fields, so ferocious at times that you'll swear you're going backwards. Thanks to the van, though, you'll be spared the joy (hah!) of schlepping gear-laden panniers, so consider your wind-resistance cut in half.

The camping trip's a real bargain at $698 per person, plus $109 for bike rental if you need it, and--an extra bonus--guaranteed hot showers every night. Something a little more plush--i.e., the inn-to-inn--will set you back $1,095 per person, plus the bike rental.

Trips depart June through late August, and prices include most meals. Sorry, you're on your own for travel to and from Halifax. Call Backroads at 800-462-2848 for more details.

Plush is an understatement for Butterfield & Robinson's seven-day version of a similar Nova Scotia trip, with its acclaimed country inns and gourmet maritime eats. Die-hard cyclists, beware: A few too many "private coach transfers" between spins makes the trip pretty low-key in the fitness department. And you'll pay the price for luxury: $1,885 per person from Halifax. For more info, call B&R at 800-678-1147.

Over on skinny Prince Edward Island, Classic Adventures (800-777-8090) runs two six-day trips along Blue Heron Drive, a scenic route that follows a number of rural backroads along the coastline of the island's midsection. Departure dates this summer are July 27 and August 10, and the going rate is $1,149 per person.

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