If you’re searching for a bike ride this weekend for you and your cycling friends, look no further. We’ve put together a list of six routes specifically targeted for those looking for an adventure-based ride with beautiful pit stops that will both push your riding and offer great food and drink options to gather with friends along the way. These rides, ranging from ~35-70km, are great if you are looking to improve your fitness and develop endurance, while still offering you gorgeous views and coastal access.

You’ll want to be prepared for these as there will be areas without access to cell phone service. Be sure to download your route, bring your repair kit and only ride along if you are comfortable with basic repairs.  


Crow Neck

Total Distance 51.5 (km) Duration  2:18/3:23 Max Grade + 2.3 Elevation Gain 212 (m) Unpaved 20% (10 km)

On the beautiful South Shore, this route will take you along a curvy, quiet and coastal ride with a perfect picnic spot. The route visits two beautiful beaches both perfect for a stop with your friends to have lunch and relax in the sand. We suggest a stop at Sand Hills Beach, a white sand beach equipt with change rooms and picnic tables to accommodate any mid ride swims or meals. You can start the ride at Barrington at the intersection of Forest view Dr. and Lighthouse Route. Coming back from the lighthouse, the beautiful isolated Crow Neck Beach is great to stop at and scout the piping plovers, although be wary of the protection guidelines. Along the ride, expect to enjoy the views of the surrounding islands and fun meandering roads through the many inlets. To finish it off, Lyle Road turns into 10 km of Shelburne County multi-use trail. Although in good condition, be sure to have tires 34 mm or wider to accommodate for this rocky ride. 

To download this route to your mobile device, follow the link here: 



Port Maitland 

Total Distance 52.4 (km) Duration 2:23/3:30 Max Grade + 5.1 Elevation Gain 303 (m) Unpaved — 

Over on the southwest tip in Yarmouth, this is a great one to get out and enjoy some quintessential Nova Scotia beaches with a great little bakery along the way perfect for a coffee pitstop. The rides offer fun undulating hills throughout that are packed full of coastal ocean views. If you’re looking for a nice quiet mid-ride break, we suggest you take a stop at Port Maitland Beach Provincial Park or Pembroke Beach.. You can stop for some basic supplies if needed in Port Maitland or at Edna’s Bakery for a coffee and some delicious homemade baked goods. Bring a snack or a packed lunch to Port Maitland Beach Provincial Park to relax and beachcomb along this large beautiful crescent beach. As you make your return, the ride takes you through the inland route back to Yarmouth. Be aware of the busy roads as this section connects along Route 340 and Trunk 1 to complete the ride.  

To download this route to your mobile device, follow the link here: 



Gaspereau Valley 

Total Distance 43.5 (km) Duration 1:58/2:54 Max Grade + 8.8 Elevation Gain  629 (m) Unpaved 62% (27 km)

If you’re looking to turn it up a notch, this route in the Bay of Fundy/Annapolis Valley region is perfect for those looking for a challenging, yet rewarding ride with beautiful wineries to finish it off. Make sure to pack a swimsuit to cool off at Lumsden Pond Provincial Park after this route’s many hill climbs. This popular swimming spot contains outhouses for a bathroom break and change rooms to accommodate for any swimming needs. Reward yourself or stop with some friends for a glass of wine through a quick detour to Mercator or Lightfoot & Wolfville Vineyards to cool down. To start the ride, you can park in the lot across from Willow Avenue and Main Street and head into the Gaspereau Valley.  This route lacks cell service and clear signage, so you’ll want to be prepared with a mobile repair kit and downloaded route map on your mobile device. The majority of the ride is unpaved so make sure that your tires fit within the 40+mm range to accommodate for the many rocky and rough off road conditions.

To download this route to your mobile device, follow the link here: 




Distance 48.9 (km) Duration 2:13/3:15 Max Grade + 4.9 Elevation Gain 459 (m) Unpaved 12% (6km)

Over in the Minas Basin, this ride takes you on a journey along the Shubenacadie River with its impressive tidal changes, as well as a pub perfect for a mid-ride lunch with your friends. Before you begin in South Maitland, check in with the Fundy Tidal Interpretive Centre so that you don’t miss this impressively large funnelling wave. Along the way, stop off and have a break at Caddell Rapids Lookoff where you can enjoy views of Shubenacadie River and its magnificent tides at this quaint, peaceful park. There are some rough roads throughout so you’ll want to make sure that your tires can handle the rocky terrain. Riding into Stewiacke, stop over as Whistler’s Pub for some tasty comfort food in this bright and friendly atmosphere. Looping back, you can burn it all off through these ribbony hills with a nice view of Shortts lake before the last leg through Pleasant Valley Road leading you back to the Tidal Centre.

To download this route to your mobile device, follow the link here: 



Melmerby Beach

Distance 37.6 (km) Duration 1:42/2:30 Max Grade + 7.3 Elevation Gain 389 (m) Unpaved

This fantastic route in the Northumberland Shore includes panoramic landscape views, beautiful beach access, and a beach market perfect to grab a fresh lobster. The roads along this route are in good condition, so don’t be afraid to break out those road tires while you enjoy the gorgeous farm scenery. Powells Point Provincial Park is a nice place to stop and sit peacefully by the water after those hills. Stop over for lunch at Mike’s Harbour Beach Market in Little Harbour where, during the summer lobster season, you can grab a fresh lobster and relax before the next jaunt to the beach. As you arrive at Melmerby Beach, spend some time in the gorgeous white sand and it’s warm waters at this one-of-a-kind spot. On your way back along the challenging Frasers Mountain Road, you’ll be rewarded with a 360 degree view of the countryside in all its beauty and solitude. 

To download this route to your mobile device, follow the link here: 



Isle Madame

Distance 67.3 (km) Duration 3:03/4:29 Max Grade + 6.5 Elevation Gain 503 (m) Unpaved

This is an amazing island ride on the most southeastern tip of Cape Breton surrounded by breathtaking ocean views, beaches, a lighthouse, a cafe, and a seafood market. You’ll want to break out those slick tires for this one as the roads are in excellent condition. Meandering through these winding roads, you’ll be taken through the island’s many coves, inlets, and fishing villages. Stop in at Arichat for some fresh seafood at the Island Nest or a locally brewed coffee at La Goélette à Pépé Café. Pondville Beach Provincial Park is a must see where you can take a relaxing break in the white sand and go for a swim in the pristine waters. Head down the twisty coastal road to the Cape Auguet Lighthouse for a spectacular view and well-worth pitstop. If you have the time to make it a day trip, stop in at LeNoi Forge Museum to learn about the rich history of this French cultural region. 

To download this route to your mobile device, follow the link here: 



Calvin Cameron

I am a fourth year Environmental Science student at Dalhousie University. My passions are surfing, skiing, skateboarding and of course, cycling! It was been my pleasure to work for BNS this fall writing blog postings in efforts to outline Nova Scotia’s amazing trail infrastructure. I hope that this work will make it that much easier for cyclists of all backgrounds and abilities to find the route that gets them out and enjoying this beautiful province.


Looking for more Nova Scotia cycling tips?

If you want to find more information on these rides and so much more, check out our Where to Cycle in Nova Scotia Guidebook https://bicycle.ns.ca/where-to-cycle-ns/ 

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