This 239 mile ride visits the Halifax Explosion Memorial Bell Tower before exploring parts of Nova Scotia’s Lighthouse Route along the province’s South Shore. The ride then crosses the province and follows parts of Nova Scotia’s Evangeline Trail along the Minas Basin. Highlights include the Halifax Explosion Memorial Bell Tower, Peggy’s Cove, Hubbard’s Cove, Chester, Lunenburg, Route 332 along the Lahave River, Hall’s Harbour, the Blomidon Look-Off, and the Port Williams Tidal Bore.
The ride begins with a visit to the Halifax Explosion Memorial Bell Tower. From Wikipedia: “On the morning of 6 December 1917, the French cargo ship SS Mont-Blanc collided with the Norwegian vessel SS Imo in the waters of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. The Mont-Blanc, laden with high explosives, caught fire and exploded, devastating the Richmond district of Halifax. At least 1,782 people were killed, largely in Halifax and Dartmouth, by the blast, debris, fires, or collapsed buildings, and an estimated 9,000 others were injured. The blast was the largest human-made explosion at the time. It released the equivalent energy of roughly 2.9 kilotons of TNT.”
I highly recommend reading “The Great Halifax Explosion,” by John U. Bacon before the trip: https://www.amazon.com/Great-Halifax…/dp/0062666533.
The ride then makes a beeline on Route 333 through Long Lake Provincial Park to Peggy’s Cove to get there before the hordes descend.
Purportedly the cove was named for the sole survivor of a shipwreck nearby. The young shipwreck survivor eventually married a local and became known as “Peggy of the Cove.” The village was eventually named Peggy’s Cove.
There are 2 very scenic spots here. The first is a view of Peggy’s Cove from Peggy’s Point Road near the intersection of Lobster Lane. The second is of Peggy’s Cove Lighthouse at Peggy’s Point. There is free parking at the cove and at the lighthouse. Restrooms are by the Visitor Information Centre parking lot, In the deGarthe Common Area in the heart of the village, and at the entrance to the viewing deck near the lighthouse parking lot. Everything is included on the ride map and in the ride gpx file.
Leave the cove and ride Route 333 west a short distance to the Swissair Flight 111 Memorial. Swissair Flight 111 was scheduled from JFK in New York to Geneva, Switzerland. On 2 September 1998, the McDonnell Douglas MD-11 crashed into the ocean southwest of Halifax Airport at the entrance to St. Margarets Bay, Nova Scotia. All 229 passengers and crew were killed, making the crash the deadliest accident in Swissair history and the deadliest accident involving the McDonnell Douglas MD-11.
Continue around St. Margaret’s Bay on Route 333, Route 3, Fox Point Front Road, and Route 329. There are some very nice water views along the bay. Follow Route 329 and Route 3 around Mahone Bay to Chester. Gas up at the Irving/Subway and ride around the Chester waterfront before rejoining Route 3 west. Continue south along the west shore of Mahone Bay. Veer off onto Oakland Rd and Princes Inlet Drive for great water views. Drop into Lunenburg for lunch and a stroll on the waterfront. The Salt Shaker Deli (daily 11-9), the Savvy Sailor (daily 8-3), and the South Shore Fish Shack (daily 11-8) are good lunch choices. All 3 have good food with back decks overlooking Lunenburg Harbour.
Make sure to walk the Lunenburg waterfront and see the Fisherman’s Memorial and the schooner Bluenose II. From the Nova Scotia website: “Built in 1963, Bluenose II is an exact replica of the famed schooner Bluenose, which became a national icon when she raced undefeated for the International Fishermen’s Cup. Her namesake remains a symbol of the Grand Banks fishery, shipbuilding excellence and the seafaring history of our region.”
Leave Lunenburg on curvy and scenic Mason’s Beach Road. Route 332 is a highlight of the ride as it winds along the Lahave River north to Bridgewater. Ride Route 325, Route 103, and Route 12 north across the province. Continue north on Route 359 and W Hall’s Harbour Rd to Hall’s Harbour. Hall’s Harbour has extreme tidal changes. Fishing boats can either be comfortably berthed along the pier or resting on the muddy harbour bottom (Tide Schedule.) The view of the harbour is spectacular during any tide. Hall’s Harbour Lobster Pound is a great choice for a late lunch.
Ride east on Gospel Road and Route 358 to the Blomidon Look-Off. This roadside stop has a great view overlooking a farming valley to the Minas Basin. Do not miss this.
Return south to the Tidal Bore View at the Cornwallis River in Port Williams (Tide Schedule.) There is a viewing park on the south side of the river. The Noodle Guy on the north side of the bridge is a great dinner choice if the tidal bore arrives at dinner time.
Leave the park on ride south to Route 1. Turn left and ride to the hotel in Wolfville.