This 254 mile ride crosses the Province on Route 7 and then follows the ocean to Halifax. Since it is trip getaway day, I kept the mileage down and used the highway for the first 84 miles. Those who get an early start and/or wish for a longer ride should consider detouring off the highway in Havre Boucher and riding Route 344 along the Strait of Canso, Route 16 along Chedabucto Bay, and Route 316 & 211 to Route 7 in Sherbrooke. From Sherbrooke, pick up the posted ride. This alternate 310 mile route gives more water views and a ferry ride.
The day begins by riding Routes 105 and 104 west 84 miles to Route 7 in Antigonish. Get gas at the Irving since gas will be hard to find during the next leg of the ride. Ride south on Route 7. This is a nice sweeper road with farms, river views, hills, and lochs. Follow the West River south and then enjoy some nice views of Gaspereaux Lake on your right. Ride past berry farms and pretty Lochaber Lake. The views along the lake are especially nice. Ride past Bogg’s Lake and then Lochiel Lake. Lochiel Lake Provincial Park (free) is on the right. This park has a quiet wooded picnic area overlooking Lochiel Lake. Restrooms are available.
Follow the St. Mary’s River south to Sherbrooke Provincial Park. This free roadside park has nice views, a picnic area, and restrooms. Cross the river and ride south on Route 7 to the Atlantic coast in Liscomb.
Ride past Spanish Ship Bay and view the wooded island just offshore. The bay is said to be named after a Spanish galleon that ran aground here,
Continue west on Route 7 to Marie Joseph Provincial Park. This free roadside park has nice views, a picnic area, and restrooms. Whenever you see a provincial park, consider using the restrooms. They may be the only restrooms for many miles.
Follow the ocean on Route 7 west. Gas up at the Irving in Sheet Harbour. This town was established in 1784 by Loyalist refugees and British veterans of the American Revolution. Sheet Harbour is named for a white rock resembling a sheet at the entrance to the harbour. The town became a prosperous lumber town.
A great spot in Sheet Harbour is the MacPhee House Museum (free, donations accepted.) The museum is a former hotel listed on the Canadian Register of Historic Places for its heritage value. Wendy MacKenzie (the president of the Sheet Harbour Heritage Society) is the current curator.
The house was purchased by the Government of Nova Scotia in 1985 and moved to its present site near the West River Bridge on lands formerly owned by the Scott Paper Company. The building is used as a Visitor Information Centre and also houses an interpretive centre for the history of the area. It is set in a park area linked to scenic nature trails.
Walk behind the house and along the boardwalk to see the remains of the paper mill and pretty West River Falls. It is a very nice walk.
Continue on Route 7 for great views of Spry Harbour, Hilchies Cove, and Back Cove. Ride the sweepers along Ship Harbour at Tangier Lake Wilderness Area. Stop for gas at the Ultramar in Head of Jeddore if needed. There are 40 miles and about 1 hour to go in the ride.
Turn left on Route 207 in Porters Lake and ride south along Chezzetcook Inlet. Follow Route 207 past Porter’s Lake and Lawrencetown Beach. Turn right on Ross Rd and return to Route 7. Ride west through Dartmouth and cross the Angus L. Macdonald Bridge over Halifax Harbour to the hotel in Halifax.