3 weeks roadtrip from Toronto to Halifax

Old Jul 24th, 2022, 08:01 AM
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3 weeks roadtrip from Toronto to Halifax

Hi everyone,

I'm sort of planning my first trip to Canada and intend to do the above mentioned roadtrip. I plan going along the coastline whereever applicable. I'm mostly interested in the nature and scenery and will not stay long in the bigger cities. I intend to do some hiking and I am quite experienced and I'm looking for trails which offer nice views and do not need to be too easily accessible. I am also looking for things/experiences/sites which you would think are must do/drive through or along. I do not mind taking a detour and I would be really grateful for any suggestions. I know that this is not much information but I hope to collect things to do/see along the way to then have more options what to do or see. So thank you very much in advance!

I will be there at the end of September beginning of October.

Thank you very much in advance.

All the best

Jens
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Old Jul 26th, 2022, 02:21 PM
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Although I'm no source for hiking info...


I will at least start your list with Cape Split...

Then surely Skyline Trail up north


I hope that other, serious hikers will chime in to add ideas for you.
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Old Jul 31st, 2022, 05:12 AM
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Hey thank you!
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Old Aug 7th, 2022, 08:30 AM
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I think too many of us here are stunned by the need for hiking info to help.

IF your interest were the same precise point-to-point without the hiking, I would feel more comfortable chiming-in.

In fact, I should probably suggest clicking on my name here and scrolling back to find various trip ideas for the same vast area which would contain bits and pieces of grand ideas from lots of people.

I liked Montreal a good deal... loved Quebec City, loved much of the drive along/near the St. Lawrence (and would suggest leaving the nearby highway at some point, and make sure to drive through the local towns along the river... I was so impressed by how elaborate some of the local churches are)...

I've driven plenty of New Brunswick... but not enough of it... and of course I adore Nova Scotia. (LOL - if it were possible to push a button and summarize every moment I've ever spent truly "hiking"... and what percentage of that was done in Nova Scotia... you would be pleasantly impressed {but only by the percentages} )

* Last time I was in Nova Scotia, people I was with were looking through a guidebook as I drove... and they found this random hike in a random place on Cape Breton... and we went there... and within minutes my shoestring lassoed a small twig on the pathway, causing me to fall (harmlessly)... but it summarizes my hiking proficiency. (I will happily and eagerly hike as a means to an end, but that's about it)

To get you started, this linked thread has some of my photos from around Nova Scotia:

You - who are reminded of Nova Scotia by news of the recent tragedy - VISIT NS!


IF nothing else, this topping of your thread may catch the eyes of others who have more info and want to help you.
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Old Aug 8th, 2022, 01:41 AM
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Thank you very much for your reply. I wouldn't need specific advice for hiking. But I thought maybe some people could provide sights or similar, which would be nice for hiking, in one of the national parks or so. But I still haven't given up
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Old Aug 8th, 2022, 10:49 AM
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Originally Posted by JensB View Post
Thank you very much for your reply. I wouldn't need specific advice for hiking. But I thought maybe some people could provide sights or similar, which would be nice for hiking, in one of the national parks or so. But I still haven't given up
Hi Jens!
A few questions to furthur understand your plans: will you have 3 weeks to drive to Halifax AND drive back to Toronto or can you take 3 weeks to arrive in Halifax? If the latter, then there are many great places you could visit at a more leisurely pace!

Each of the national parks in Canada has a website with lots of information about sights and trails. Some for you to look at would be:
Parc national du Mon Tremblant https://www.sepaq.com/pq/mot/
Parc national du Fjord-du-Saguenay https://www.sepaq.com/pq/sag/
Fundy National Park https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/pn-np/nb/fun.../covid-19-info
Cape Breton Highlands National Park https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/pn-np/ns/cbreton/

If visiting Fundy NP then another sight nearby is Hopewell Rocks.

Each province in Canada has a tourist information website. You would be looking for information from Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick
and Nova Scotia.



Last edited by trycke; Aug 8th, 2022 at 10:52 AM.
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Old Aug 9th, 2022, 01:06 AM
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Thank you! It will one-way in three weeks. Hopefully that will be enough time.

Right now the plan is, three nights Toronto, including a daytrip to niagara falls. Then on the road through Algonquin National Park, through Ottawa, Montreal to Quebec. Then along Lawrence River (west side) to Tadousac or further to get the ferry to the other side. Then I have not really planned anything and I am not sure how long this will take - so I don't want to plan too much, not that we don't have any time left in the end.

Thank you for providing the links. I've already seen most of them and they are really helpful. I am looking for anything which you or anyone else would consider a gem which one should see absoulutly or do absolutly, especially when it comes to hiking - for getting a good overview for example.
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Old Aug 9th, 2022, 07:50 AM
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[QUOTE=JensB;17389372]Thank you! It will one-way in three weeks. Hopefully that will be enough time.

Hi Jens! 3 weeks to make the trip will be amazing! This is a long response, my apologies if it isn’t helpful but once you get me started!…

Algonquin

Since I live in Toronto one might think I would get to Algonquin Park often, but sadly not as often as I’d like! One piece of advice is to time when you leave the city to avoid a Thursday or Friday late afternoon/evening or Saturday/ Sunday morning. There seems to always be heavy traffic however it might help to avoid weekend trippers escaping the city.

My best memory of Algonquin is canoeing. It’s possible to rent a canoe (for a few hours even) at The Portage Store. The park trails are easily accessible, clearly marked on maps and the online trail descriptions are pretty accurate & helpful.

If you’re just driving through on Highway 60 you don’t need a park permit but if you’re stopping to use any facilities you will need a permit (sold at the entrance gates to the park and the Visitor’s centre- which is worth stopping at). If you are staying overnight in the park I believe some accommodations include a park pass. Some also have canoes you can make use of.

Ottawa

When in Ottawa there are beautiful trails within the city and lots of walking or cycling to be done. I enjoy walking from Major’s Hill Park/National Art Gallery across the Alexandra bridge to the Quebec side (Hull) and then west along the river to the Portage Bridge and cross back to Ontario (Ottawa) and walk east along the river path which takes you behind the Parliament back to the Bytown Museum/ locks area. You get great river views and in the fall when the leaves are changing it’s very pretty. North of the city in Quebec, the Gatineau Park has many hiking trails. One I enjoy is the Pink Lake Trail.



Ottawa to Montreal

If you drive on the north side of the river to Montreal, Montebello is a nice place to stop. There is a new highway (50) which is faster, safer, still scenic but not with river views. The old highway (148) has some river views and you’ll pass through villages but it is quite slow driving. A side trip to Mont Tremblant might be of interest to you but will add extra driving. It isn’t somewhere that appeals to me so I haven’t spent much time in that area.

Quebec City to Tadoussac

In Quebec City the Strom Nordique Spa makes for a good way to relax and enjoy the river. It is very enjoyable to walk from the Old City along the river to the Spa. You can walk then up the Cap Blanc Stairs to Cap Diamont and the walking trails and lookouts which will take you past the Citadelle and back to the old city.

When you leave Quebec City you will drive on the north shore of the St Lawrence. You’ve probably already discovered the Montmorency falls and the Sanctuary at Sainte Anne de Beaupre as places to visit.

I will be taking my first trip to Tadoussac in September to kayak and hopefully see some whales! As well as the trails in the town of Tadoussac I have bookmarked the following places as ones I’d like to walk/visit but I can’t say first hand how they are:
  • Parts of the Sentier de Le Fjord (From the Discovery and Visitors Centre to the Halte du Béluga and from Tadoussac to Adéla-Lessard mountain lookout)
  • Baie-des-Rochers at Saint-Siméon
  • Cap de Bon Desir Interpretation centre


New Brunswick

The drive from Riviere Du Loup south to Fredericton is quite beautiful with some lakes and views of/ places to stop on the Saint John river. IMO, it is worth it to make the drive to the Bay of Fundy. There are various routes to do this, one being to head to St Andrews from Fredericton and then via Saint John to Fundy. It isn’t a fully “coastal drive” since the highway doesn’t give views to the sea in many places. If you want to save time here then there are more direct routes to the park / town of Alma.

I really enjoyed walking at the Hopewell Rocks and we did a few trails in Fundy National Park. These places aren’t “hidden gems” because they’re well known, but to me they are gems!



Taken on Dickson’s falls trail in Fundy National Park





Last edited by trycke; Aug 9th, 2022 at 07:55 AM.
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Old Aug 10th, 2022, 04:09 AM
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Lots of good advice from NWM and tryke, and I think I might be able to make a few hiking suggestions in Nova Scotia.

On your way south from the New Brunswick-Nova Scotia border, consider diverting to the west, right out to Advocate Harbour and the Cape Chignecto Provincial Park. https://parks.novascotia.ca/park/cape-chignecto There is a lovely short trail in the Eatonville Day Use area at the north end off the park, running between Squally Point and the Three Sisters. Beware, though, that the access road in from Highway 209 floods at high tide, so you would need to look up the tide tables for Advocate Harbour to avoid the flood. Typical view:




There is also a three-day hiking trail around the cape itself, but you would have to have all the gear, such as a tent, sleeping bag, and food, and camping reservations are a must. However, you can also make a day trip out and back on the trail, starting at the camp entrance at Red Rocks and turning around at, say, Mill Brook. This part of the trail is very hilly, so it's a workout. It is also mostly through trees, but there are several great look-offs providing views of the Bay of Fundy:




You have to register at the park entrance office before you head out on that trail.

There is accommodation in Advocate Harbour. I would recommend the Wild Caraway Wild Caraway ? Set Menu & Rooms They have two rooms with ensuite bathrooms and a dining room with interesting set menus. If you are staying overnight on an evening when the dining room is closed, contact Sarah, the owner, and she will probably offer to make something up for you to eat. The breakfasts are ample, and Sarah will pack a lunch for you if you want to hike.

I think the best hiking and the best views in Nova Scotia are in the Cape Breton Highlands National Park. It is a significant side trip from your path from New Brunswick to Halifax, but if you can spare a few days, you will be richly rewarded. (Just to give you an idea of the scope, Truro, where you would otherwise turn south for Halifax, to Chéticamp, the western entrance to the park, is 3.5 hours of driving, and Truro to Ingonish Beach, the eastern gate, is 4.0 hours) Here is a list of the trails in the park: https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/pn-np/ns/cbr...ndonnee-hiking I have done a fair number of these, across the range from easy to difficult, and can recommend specific ones (such as the Skyline, which NWM rsuggested upthread) if you decide to go. The road through the park is very scenic, and there is accommodation in Ingonish and Chéticamp. This is the view at the far end of the Aspey Trail, taken last October:





Another area for you to explore is around Wolfville in the Annapolis Valley. This is the area where you will find the trail to Cape Split, also recommended by NWM, and there is another interesting trail in Blomidon Provincial Park. There is a wealth of accommodation choices in Wolfville/ Grand Pré, some interesting restaurants, and wineries, if that catches your fancy.

There are many, many other trails in the areas I have suggested. You probably already know about the AllTrails app, which I use, and you can download the Nova Scotia Doers and Dreamers guide here: https://www.novascotia.com/travel-info/travel-guide

Late September early October is a great time to visit here. You will likely encounter sunny days and cool evenings, and the leaves will be starting to turn. (Fall leaves typically peak in the week after Canadian Thanksgiving. especially in Cape Breton.) Ticks are common, so you will need to check after a day on the trail. There are black bears and coyotes, but attacks on humans are extremely rare. You can safely leave your car at any trailhead, although there are a couple of beaches where you will see signs warning you not to leave valuables in your car.
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Old Aug 16th, 2022, 04:02 PM
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LOL - I love the part about the trail near Advocate Harbour where you have to be mindful of (The Fundy Tides) as you are designing your visit.

The tide does what it wants, and humans just... endure.

And that last post was just what this thread needed... somebody who knows many of the hiking specifics.


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Old Aug 17th, 2022, 12:48 AM
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HEy, thank you all so very much.

One additional question. I wanted to do some whale watching as well (I don'T have the opportunity that often). I'm not surewhere this would be best. At the end in ahlifax or somewhere inbetween. Thank all of you!
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Old Aug 18th, 2022, 04:19 AM
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For whale watching, you really have only two choices: the extreme west end of the province, specifically on Long Island or Brier Island or at the eastern end, on Cape Breton Island. A list of operators:

https://www.novascotia.com/things-to...g?f=b5xRuC3wzW

If you decide to make the side trip to Cape Breton (where the best hiking is), it would be pretty easy to book a whale tour along the Cabot Trail. On the other hand, if you decided to go to Long Island or Brier Island, it's about a 4.5 hour drive from Halifax ... through the Annapolis Valley to near Digby, then out on the peninsula. There is then a ferry to Long Island and then another ferry to Brier Island. Ferry schedules here:

https://novascotia.ca/tran/hottopics/ferries.asp

Most people I know make this an overnight trip.
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Old Aug 18th, 2022, 04:30 AM
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[QUOTE=JensB;17389372
. Then on the road through Algonquin National Park, through Ottawa, Montreal to Quebec. Then along Lawrence River (west side) to Tadoussac


if you’re still planning to include Tadoussac there are whale watching opportunities there from the shore, by kayak or boat: https://tadoussac.com/en/activities-...tching-cruises
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Old Aug 28th, 2022, 12:38 PM
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St Lawrence

Originally Posted by JensB View Post
Hi everyone,

I'm sort of planning my first trip to Canada and intend to do the above mentioned roadtrip. I plan going along the coastline whereever applicable. I'm mostly interested in the nature and scenery and will not stay long in the bigger cities. I intend to do some hiking and I am quite experienced and I'm looking for trails which offer nice views and do not need to be too easily accessible. I am also looking for things/experiences/sites which you would think are must do/drive through or along. I do not mind taking a detour and I would be really grateful for any suggestions. I know that this is not much information but I hope to collect things to do/see along the way to then have more options what to do or see. So thank you very much in advance!

I will be there at the end of September beginning of October.

Thank you very much in advance.

All the best

Jens
I am currently cruising on a boat in Canada for the summer.

We spent three days in Gananocque. We had a wonderful time there. Lots of shops, restaurants, coffee shops, and breweries. Pretty much throw a dart to pick one, because they are all good.

on the River Saguenay-in Tadoussac there are many inns to stay. Go on a whale watching boat! The small ones, you won’t be disappointed. There is a great brewery ( Microbrasserie Tadoussac) that has good beer and small plates. An amazing view of the harbour. Next door has great food (Pick-Up Grille). Still has the amazing view. Across the street at the gazebo there was a couple playing live music for a couple of hours-not sure if they do it all the time but it was fun. The Hotel Tadoussac has a nice lawn with tables and chairs for picnicking.

L’Anse St Jean Is a wonderful village. Kayak rental. Hiking- a trail that you can view the whole fjord and expanse. Camping. Inns. Brewery (Bistro de l’Anse). Coffee and food (Cafe du Quai). We made reservations at fjordelaise.com. The menu was prix fixe. $50 CAD but came with appetizer and dessert and coffee. The rabbit was excellent. Elk needed a bit more sauce but good. View is amazing. We sat outside!!

I could go on the whole length of the st Lawrence River.

Gaspé in a great town too. Hiking in the Parc
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