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Duration
6 days
Activities
  • 4 days self-guided cycling
Accommodation
  • 5 nights B&B's and Inns
Meals
  • 4 Breakfasts

Price

$990USD

* All prices subject to applicable taxes

Trip Code: HAL

Overview

Trip highlights


  • Cycle along a flat sheltered trail through welcoming Atlantic fishing communities
  • Discover the many colours of Lunenburg, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Scramble the rocks of Peggy’s Cove, one of Canada’s most iconic sites
  • Feast on the region’s famous lobster and seafood
  • Picnic and swim off secluded beaches, coves and harbours
  • Re-trace the historical footsteps of daring Prohibition rum-runners

Nova Scotia’s gorgeous Atlantic coastline and colourful fishing villages have always offered more than just abundant seafood. During the Prohibition era, smugglers took full advantage of the province’s concealed harbours, secluded coves and rugged islands to funnel alcohol into the United States, shipping and transporting barrels of booze by boat and railway between Halifax and Lunenburg. The illicit Rum Runners Trail of the 1920’s and 30’s exists today as an inspired recreational route, a flat gravel track that appeals to bike enthusiasts of all abilities. Focus on the views, seafood, bridges, lakes and Nova Scotia’s legendary hospitality while we shuttle your luggage ahead each day to handpicked B&B’s and inns located just minutes off the trail. With ample time to explore the region’s highlights by peddle or foot, our flexible self-guided itinerary includes longer detours for cyclists determined to go the extra mile. You’ll also be able to scramble on the rocks beneath the iconic lighthouse of Peggy’s Cove, and stroll the colourful streets of Old Town Lunenburg, one of only two urban communities in North America to be designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Feast guilt-free on lobster and seafood dinners as you work it off on our comfortable bikes, tasting the invigorating sea breeze and chewing on the South Shore’s unforgettable scenery.

Activities:
Grading:
3

Introductory

More info about grading system


Itinerary

Please make your way to our centrally-located Halifax accommodation (contact information provided with final documents), and spend the rest of your day exploring Nova Scotia’s vibrant capital. Highlights include the imposing Halifax Citadel, the Harbour Walk, and a trip to the Maritime Museum to learn about the city’s vital role during the Titanic saga. Halifax has the most bars per capita in Canada, so you won’t have to look far to find a welcoming watering hole. Experience fine seafood restaurants, great shopping, and if there’s time, one of the city’s historic walking tours. Overnight B&B.

Meals:  Nil

Picking you up at your accommodation, we’ll soon get you geared up with a modern performance bicycle, ideally suited for the trail surface ahead. You can’t visit the region and miss iconic Peggy’s Cove, so we’ll shuttle you to this small yet world-famous Atlantic fishing village. Scramble over the smooth, wave-washed boulders beneath Peggy’s Point Lighthouse, and feel the great might of the unpredictable Atlantic (but please take care to avoid slipping on any wet black rocks). From here, we’ll drive to your trailhead, where you can enjoy lunch, and make any final adjustments before your first forgiving hours on the saddle. Take your time, enjoy the views from raised sections on the trail, or park the bikes to explore a windswept beach. You’ll peddle right to your charming inn on the Hubbards Waterfront, where a hot shower and your luggage is waiting. Enjoy a relaxing dinner on the inn’s waterfront patio, or call ahead to inquire about reserving a famous Shore Club Lobster supper.

Meals:  B

A short distance from the inn are several great breakfast options (detailed in the route notes), or you can arrange with the inn to get you fuelled up bright and early. Today’s ride follows the former railway’s crush gravel bed through a sheltered forest and provides ample time for an afternoon excursion to the small lobster-fishing and artisan community of Big Tancock Island. Bring your bike onto the small passenger ferry so you can explore the quiet roadways and coastal tracks, adding about 10km/6.2mi (+/- 60m/200ft elevation) to the day’s ride. Note there are little to no dining options on Big Tancock Island, so we recommend grabbing a packed lunch in Chester before hopping on the ferry. Alternatively, eager cyclists can extend the day’s ride with a loop around the Aspotogan Peninsula, which traces a hilly road with no shoulder. This adds an additional 30km/18.6mi (480m/1575ft elevation) to the day’s ride. Re-group at the cozy B&B in Chester and discover a number of fantastic little restaurants in this popular sailing community.

Meals:  Nil

We continue on the trail through tranquil woodland, crossing a fetching trestle bridge over Martin’s River as we enter a section known as the Dynamite Trail. Interpretative boards along the route explain the history of the area, including the communal farming lands that were developed for the use of all settlers. You’ll pass the sparkling Oakland Lake before reaching picturesque Mahone Bay, with its rich legacy of shipbuilding and forestry. Popular with artists, Mahone Bay is frequently named among Canada’s most beautiful communities. Enjoy lunch in a colourful cafe, wash it down with a local craft beer, and if you need any gear, pop in for a complimentary candy at Sweet Rides bike shop. From Mahone Bay, you have the option to bike the scenic yet hilly road route to Lunenburg/Blue Rocks, although bikers should be comfortable riding with traffic. Alternatively, continue along the rail-trail for the remaining few kilometers to the old train station, and your B&B in Old Town Lunenburg. You’ll definitely want to walk or peddle around the town, admiring the many colourful heritage buildings, and learning about its UNESCO World Heritage history. We’ll enjoy two nights in this famous seaside destination – established as a British colonial settlement in 1753 – allowing plenty of time to explore its attractions.

Meals:  B

With Lunenburg as a base, you have plenty of options to explore on bike or foot. If you didn’t do it yesterday, peddle to the fishing village at Bluerocks (12km/7.4mi round trip) and then take the loop road and ferry to the artsy community of La Have (35km/21.mi). Alternatively, enjoy your time discovering Lunenburg’s various attractions. Learn all about the region’s rum-running history and cod-fishing industry at the excellent Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic, located on the waterfront. There are various historic walking tours available, as well as kayaking excursions, and even an opportunity to sail aboard the striking Bluenose II. Other attractions include the Knaut-Rhuland House, a late 18th century National Historic Site with Victorian-era artifacts, the Ironworks Distillery, and various stores and galleries.

Meals:  B

You've got one more glorious morning in Lunenburg, as your pickup will be scheduled for just after lunch (departing at 2pm). Services end upon arrival in Halifax. Additional nights can be added upon request.

Meals:  B


Map

Elevation

The map and elevation chart are for illustrative purposes only and meant to provide general guidelines.
On self guided trips, actual route information provided before departure will be more detailed.


Inclusions

  • 4 breakfasts
  • 5 nights B&B's and inns with private facilities
  • Transfer to trail on day 1 and back to Halifax day 6
  • Sightseeing stops at Peggy's Cove
  • Luggage transfer service
  • Quality performance hybrid bicycle rental with helmet, lock, bike bag, and basic repair kit
  • Navigation APP inclusive of detailed route notes and points of interest (available offline while cycling)
  • Emergency hotline

  • Travel to and from start/end of the trip
  • Optional electric-assist bicycle upgrade (extra cost, limited quantities)
  • Additional gear rental is available at an extra cost (panniers, bike trailers, e-bikes, etc). Please inquire.
  • Guide (this is a self-guided tour)
  • Meals where not specified
  • Entrance fees
  • Airport pickup
  • Unscheduled transfers requested during the trip
  • Personal expenses such as laundry and phone calls

Accommodation


Bike information


Suitability

Introductory

3

The Rum Runners Trail is a converted railway line ('rails to trails'). As such, it is by far the flattest route from place to place (less than 2% grade). The trail is maintained in sections by different communities and some sections are in better condition than others. The majority of the Rum Runners Trail is a crusher dust trail bed ideal for hybrid cycling and riders of all abilities, but please be prepared for some pits and loose gravel in some sections. Cycling to/from accommodations requires some road cycling, but we've kept it to a minimum, by using accommodations within a short ride from the trail. Note, that on these sections, you will share the road with vehicle traffic. Nova Scotia drivers are generally very courteous to cyclists and keep a safe distance on quiet roadways. There are plenty of opportunities to take road routes from one spot to another, to add out-and-back rides or additional loops. If you choose to do so, the level of difficulty increases significantly as roads are quite hilly and rides are often shared with fast-moving traffic. These options are meant only for road-savvy cyclists with good strength and stamina for hills on a hybrid bicycle. Self-guided walking or cycling requires individuals to use problem solving skills, be adaptable and have a keen eye. It is recommended that you are comfortable map reading, referring to route notes and that you have a good sense of direction (or are willing to work on improving this!). Cyclists will be expected to know how to fix a flat tire and make basic adjustments to their bicycles using the included repair kit. Sometimes route finding, losing your way, finding it again and asking the locals for help is all part of the adventure. If you’ve never been on a self guided trip, after the first couple of days you will get the hang of if as the vast majority of our first time travellers attest. Please be assured that our written material issued to you for route finding is updated regularly and we provide a 7-day service hotline in the event of any problems.


Departure dates

Daily from June through mid-October

Notes

Note:
Local services are shared, so solo travellers need only pay a single supplement for accommodation on confirmed departures.

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Total Priceper person from

$990USD

* All prices subject to applicable taxes

Options & Supplements*
    * Prices listed are per person. All prices subject to applicable taxes.

Trip reviews


Why travel with us

Our Expertise

Everyone who works with us, from our office staff, ground staff and guides is the ‘’real deal’’. Our team is comprised of actual hikers and cyclists who have explored or live in the region in which you will be travelling. Our entire network is highly-specialised in active travel.

Great Value

Quality services at the best price make our adventures great value for money. Having essential items included like National Park fees, charming accommodations, most meals, bikes for cycling trips, maps and support for peace of mind. Our inclusions allow you to better budget for your big adventure.

Innovative Itineraries

We look beyond the horizon to find new and exciting adventures. We’re passionate about shaping the next generation of outdoor travel in Canada, and constantly seek different ways, routes and alternatives to exceed our clients’ dreams.

ECO Friendly

We are committed to responsible travel and true sustainability, formed when the company was established, and in the face of a multitude of threats to the environment, our commitment is stronger than ever. We aim to "leave no trace" in both an environmental and cultural sense.

Videos

Cycling Nova Scotia's Rum Runners Trail