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Cyclists sitting on a rocky beach with bikes

Cycling the South Shore

Date Posted: July 12, 2017Reading time: 2 minutes

by Mark Gascoigne


We’re taking a weekly look at something or some place we love in Nova Scotia! Follow along each week this summer as we celebrate well-known favourites and local hidden gems.

Walking around downtown Halifax these days, it’s easy to spot tourists taking pictures of historic buildings, Citadel Hill, the Public Gardens and of course, the famous Theodore Too Tugboat. As a Haligonian, I take great pride in this city and this province, and I love seeing tourists appreciate this special place for everything that it has to offer.

Yesterday, as I grabbed a mid-afternoon coffee across the street at The Old Apothecary, I overheard two European tourists speaking favourably about Halifax’s beauty as compared to Maine’s, from where it seems they caught The CAT ferry to Nova Scotia. In tuning into this conversation, I was reminded of my encounter last summer with Thomas and Beatrice, an enthusiastic Lithuanian couple I ran into who planned to cycle across Nova Scotia and take advantage of our province’s great outdoors.

Indeed, Nova Scotia offers some of the best cycling going – especially by the seaside. With elaborate Rails-to-Trails and charming coastal towns en route, it’s truly an adventurer’s dream out here. Though there are many great routes to explore, from the Cabot Trail to the Annapolis Valley, one of my favourites is down on the South Shore.

If you’re itching for a little outdoor activity this summer, complete with some fresh seaside air and scenic views, here’s a little day trip tip on behalf of myself, and Trampoline:

The South Shore in a day

10:30 a.m. – Equipped with bikes, take the NS 103 West by car from Halifax to Chester

11:30 a.m. – Park up and catch an early lunch at The Rope Loft, overlooking Chester’s picturesque harbour

12:30 p.m. – Experience the slow charm of Chester with a post-lunch stroll, popping into local shops and taking in views of spectacular sailboats and luxurious gardens

1:30 p.m. – Cycle along the scenic coastal route towards Mahone Bay

3:30 p.m. – Pop into Saltbox microbrewery (just up from the waterfront) for an afternoon snack and a refreshing pint on the patio

4:00 p.m. – Return to Chester, fetch car and arrive back in Halifax (around 7 p.m.)

Let us know how you make out!

Fast Facts

Continued from the blog originally posted by Mark Gascoigne on June 28, 2016.