Glooscap is a figure in Micmac mythology. His home was Blomidon.
On this tour you will see Blomidon for days, from several different
angles. The tides in the Minas Basin are claimed to be the highest in
the world. One tidal feature is the tidal bore, when the incoming tide
forms a big wave coming up river estuaries. Tourist bureaus post times
for the bores so you might be lucky and be in the right place at the
There are several old gypsum quarries that have been flooded and make
good swimming holes.
The tour really should begin at Blomidon Provincial Park, but that
has been already described, so we shall start at Windsor where our
Valley tour ended. Starting in Amherst and coming to Windsor is probably
even better since the views over the water are better.
PART 1 WINDSOR TO TRURO- THE NOEL SHORE
Start at Windsor Tourist bureau just across Rt 101 at exit 6. There
is a picnic area and a tidal bore viewing area. There is a bore arrival
chart posted at the tourist bureau.
Cross Rt 101 going towards into town. Then turn right at Tim Hortons
on Rt 1 which is the main street.
5 km LEFT on Rt 14 at Garland crossing. There are restaurants, motel
and farm produce and bakery at this corner.
We pass a large Gypsum quarry here. Rt 14 has moderate traffic since it
is a major route between Windsor and Truro.
11 km Sweets Corner. After crossing the St Croix River an optional route
is left to Mantua, there is another bore watching area at the bridge.
At Mantua left goes around the Newport Landing Loop, which is best done
in the opposite direction. Right goes past a strawberry farm and produce
market to just north of Brooklyn.
13 km LEFT in Brooklyn on Rt 215 . There is a nice general store and a
cafe here. Go up a steep but short hill.
14 km LEFT at Esso Store on Rt 215. Straight on Rt 14 it is 5 km to
Smileys Provincial Park.
15 km Road from Mantua comes in at left . To right Rt 236 is a shortcut
through the Kennetcook Valley to Truro. Maybe we'll get to that later.
15.5 km On the left the Belmont Road goes around the Newport Landing
Loop. This nice diversion would add about 20 km. Newport Landing is
also called Avondale. This was one of the many shipbuilding ports in the
area in the 1800s. There is a restored shipyard, museum and restaurant
here (Spirit of Avon)
Rt 215 rolls along through farmland, crossing several tidal rivers.
31 km Summerville . The main part of the village is to the left. There
is a store along the highway. There is a nice cafee, bakery and store
here (Avon Caffe?)
Now we get some great views across the Minas Basin of both Blomidon
and Five Islands. Just after Kempt Shore look for a lane of crushed
Gypsum to the right. Coming the other way it is 2 km from Cheverie
United Church. It goes to an old quarry which is a very nice
About 1 km past the quarry there is a grocery store overlooking the Bay.
40 km Cheverie. Beside the United Church a lane leads down to an old wharf
on the beach. There was another gypsum quarry here and interesting rocks
can be found in the cliffs . We have often camped among the trees now
growing in the old quarry.
There is another store in Cheverie. Now the hills get more serious.
There is usually a rewarding view at the tops. The restaurant at
Cambridge (Nogami) may be open. Then it's a big downhill to the bridge
60 km Walton. There is a store here. To the right past the firehall ,
2 km on the Walton Woods Road, there is another good swimming hole.
Walton Woods Road is now paved for 20 km to Scotch Village on Rt 236.
It would make for a good connectiong road on a day trip loop.
Walton was a major port for loading gypsum and barite. Very large
ships could be seen at the dock, high and dry at low tide.
It is a really steep hill coming out of Walton. About 2 km from town
there the campground at Whale Cove may be open. Now we get into some
real serious roller-coaster hills. The last one in Tennecape is the
biggest. Then at Minasville the road becomes flat again as we enter
another farming area.
There is a picnic area with water at the Minasville Community Center ,
just before the Burntcoat Road.
78 km LEFT on Burntcoat Head Road. Straight ahead is 4 km shorter but
dull. Although many places make the claim , this area probably has the
highest tides. At lowest tide it is mudflats across to Economy Point.
86km LEFT to rejoin Rt 215 at Noel. There is a grocery store at the
corner. Rt 354 goes to Kennetcook, Gore and Halifax.
98 km Anthony Provincial Picnic Park. There is a wharf at the beach. At
high tide the water is sometimes warm enough for swimming.
Approaching Maitland there is a restaurant and several B&Bs.
108 km Maitland was once one of the biggest ship building ports in
Canada. There is a Provincial Museum at the home of the most famous
ship builder , W.D. Lawrence. There is a grocery store and restaurant
Now we are along the mouth of the Shubenacadie River. There is steep
downhill to the corner of Rt 236 at South Maitland. Hope Cafee and
general store is at the corner.
116km LEFT on Rt 236 and cross big bridge over Shubenacadie River.
118km LEFT on Rt 236. Rt 289 straight goes to Truro via Brookfield but
is slightly longer and not as scenic. There is a fun dirt road along the
river to Stewiacke via Riverside.
Rt 236 goes through the scenic Beaver Brook valley then comes back to
the Bay at Old Barns. The " Old Barns" were already gone when Joe Howe
was here in 1828. It's fairly flat farm land until the outskirts of Truro.
Unfortunately the old Rt 2 highway bridge was removed so we have to
find an alternate route across the Salmon River. There is a restaurant
with an open air dining area just before the underpass.
138 km Underpass under Rt 102. The shortest route is to go north on Rt
102 for 1 km then turn off on Onslow Road. This is the busiest highway
in Nova Scotia but it has a paved shoulder. If you don't like this and
want to see Truro anyway keep going past the underpass , past all the
Malls and Fast Food outlets into town, then cross the river into Bible
Hill, then take the Onslow road. Truro is a nice town ( after you get
by the Malls). Victoria Park, with waterfalls, is a nice spot for a
1a ALTERNATE ROUTE BROOKLYN TO MAITLAND RT 236
There are some nice paved backroads in the Brooklyn area. Smileys
Provincial Park, just off Rt 14, is a nice camp ground. MacKay Road from
the south side of Brooklyn is a nicer road to the park. The roads around
Ashdale and Green Hill area also nice if you are going to spend some time
in the area. Distances from Brooklyn ( add 13 km from Windsor)
Rt 236 turns off about 2 km north of Brooklyn. There is a hill before
Scotch Village then it is fairly flat, following the Kennetcook River.
There is also a paved road on the other side of the river from Upper
Burlington to Stanley. Off of that near Scotch Village, Walton Woods
Road (paved) goes to Walton - about 20 km.
You may see gliders flying above. They are launched like kites by a
winch and cable from the Stanley Airfield on your left.
22 km Clarksville. A very nice road ( Rt 202) to the right goes to
West Gore, a pretty little village, then to Gore where there is a great
view. Here you can turn back to Kennetcook on Rt 354. This diversion
is hilly but worth the extra 5 km. The following distances assume the
35 km Kennetcook, there is a grocery store and restaurant
here. The rest of the valley is uneventful but nice.
53 km Maple Grove. Here the road splits. Left goes to Maitland (62
km), right to South Maitland (60 km).
On the latter, about 2 km past the junction, a dirt road goes down to
a river where there are some interesting gypsum cliffs with caves. That
area would have been a scenic place to camp but it is often frequented
by rather rowdy party goers. Note that the 2 bridges on the old rail
road line between here and South Maitland have been removed making it
very difficult to cross the river.
PART 2 TRURO TO AMHERST ( NORTH SHORE OF MINAS BASIN)
Head to Bible Hill on Rt 311. At Upper Onslow Rt 311 goes to the right
towards Tatamagouche. This is a nice but hilly route. Today we'll keep
7 km Cross over Rt 102, this is where you would enter if you bypassed
Truro. We are now on the narrow coastal plain between Minas Basin and
the Cobequid Hills. This is farm country. We pass the Debert Game
sanctuary, there is a picnic area off to the right on the Debert Road,
22 LEFT at Masstown on Rt 104 , the TCH. There is a big farm market
and ice cream store at this corner. This is a busy highway but there is
a paved shoulder. There are restaurants and a campground on this 3 km
25 km LEFT at Glenholm on quieter RT 2. We pass through the nice
villages of Great Village and Bass River. Across the Bay we can see
Burntcoat Head where we were over 100 km ago. At low tide it is a long
way to the water . You will probably see lots of people out digging for
clams in the mud flats. The coastal plain is getting narrower until
Lower Economy where the hills come right down to the bay.
The big climb of this tour is Economy Mtn which climbs about 150 m in
2 km. About half way down is the turn off to Five Islands Prov. Park
which has a great view. It is about 3 km off to the camping area.
The Five Islands are part of the Glooscap legend. After Blomidon they
are the most striking feature in the Minas Basin, you'll probably see
them for days.
The road levels off, although there are big hills close to the right.
There are several waterfalls on the rivers coming out of the hills.
We now enter Parrsboro, the major town on this coast. There is a
campground on the Clarke Head Rd about 5 km from town. A side-trip to
Partridge Island is worthwhile, there is a nice view of Blomidon and
Cape Split which are only 5 km across the water, but a 300 km ride.
There is a museum of rocks and fossils in town. This area has had some
of the biggest fossil finds in the world. The exact fossil sites are kept
95 km Head north on Rt 2 for a little bit. There is a shortcut on Western
Avenue if you can find it. Rt 2 leads to Amherst on a fairly flat route
but bigger adventures await us on the longer Rt 209.
98 km LEFT at CrossRoads on Rt 209. This section starts out flat,
going through large commercial blueberry fields. There is a spring
water pipe near Diligent River. We get superb views of Cape Split
across the Minas Channel, which has some of the strongest tidal currents
in the world.
After Port Greville the fun really starts. This road has been
compared to the Cabot Trail both in terms of hills and scenery. There
are a least 4 big hills of 100 m each. Typically the road goes down,
makes a sharp curve at the bottom , loops around the head of a small
cove, then climbs again.
The last hill at Spencer Island is longer and straighter so you get a
good run down to Advocate.
145 km Advocate is on a bay sandwiched between 2 spectacular high
headlands, Cap Dor and Cape Chignecto. There is a steep dirt road
leading to Cap Dor Lighthouse but Cape Chignecto is more inaccessible.
On it there is an interesting walk to Refugee Cove. It requires
bushwhacking and some cliff climbing. It is a popular destination for
The beach at Advocate has huge piles of driftwood. Another nice side
trip is down to the end of the West Advocate Road ( 2 km) . At low tide
you can walk a long way along the base of the cliffs and see caves and
waterfalls. BUT CHECK THE TIDE TIMES!!! It is easy to get trapped by
the incoming tides.
Advocate has a nice old general store. You'd better stock up with
groceries because the there are no more stores for a long way.
The road heads inland up a little valley , then descends to Apple
River where we see the last of civilization.
156 km At the Apple River bridge there is a nice but small swimming
hole. This section of road was just recently paved. For years it had
been just a narrow rocky cart path. Civilization may creep in now that
the road is finished but it is still pretty deserted.
At Sand River we come down to the coast at a small stream. There are a
few cottages here. Then the road goes inland through scrubby woods.
There aren't too many great views along here but we get a few glimpses
of New Brunswick across the Bay.
There is another collection of cottages at Shulie. This was a big
village in the days of wood ships. The old cemetery tells stories of
We finally come out of the woods near Joggins. The cliffs here have
fossilized trees and coal beds. The fossil area is a protected site.
196 km RIGHT on Rt 242 to River Hebert.
After the village of R. Hebert the Boars Back Road goes through the
Chignecto Game sanctuary and then joins Rt 2 back to Parrsboro. On Rt
242 there is a slight climb and then we descend to Maccan. On the right
is a road to Harrison Lake where you you can go swimming near the old
dam. There are tidal bores on both River Hebert and Maccan River.
215 km LEFT on Rt 302 at Maccan. We are back into farm country .
There is a Agricultural Research Farm along the road. From Rt 302 there
are several routes into Amherst but the following is the nicest.
221 km Left at Nappan on Amherst Point Road. It passes through a bird
sanctuary where there is a picnic area . There are some nice views of the
231km The road enters Amherst at the south west as Victoria St.
From here it is a short distance to New Brunswick. You can also join
the Sunrise Trail or go to Prince Edward Island via Rt 366.
CROSS ROADS MINAS SHORE TO GULF SHORE
These are roads connecting Sunrise Trail to Glooscap Trail. They pass
through or over the Cobequid Hills, the highest in mainland Nova Scotia
I Rt 4 Truro to Pictou.
This is the old highway and has very light traffic although for 5 km
you follow Rt 104.
Leave Truro via Bible Hill. Turn left on Pictou Road.
8 km Underpass under Rt 104. Stay on Rt 4. It climbs more gently than
Rt 104 past the Golf Course. There is a spring water pipe part way up.
18 km access to Rt 104.
(1997)Rt 104 has been re-routed , Rt 4 now uses the old Rt 104 and is
continuous from Bible Hill to Salt Springs, with very light traffic
It is downhill to Kemptown, then a climb to Mt Thom. The gas station/
convenience store in Kemptown has been removed.
26 km Mt Thom access to Rt 104. Rt 4 is much flatter than Rt 104.
Past the Pictou County Line at the top of the climb (200 m), there is a
spring water pipe, probably from days when horses needed a drink at the
top of hills. There are several hilltop springs in the province. Then
it's a long gentle downhill (8km) to Salt Springs.
41 km LEFT on Rt 104 again for a 5 km stretch of busy traffic, but a
paved shoulder. There is a Provincial Park with camping just after the
corner. There are several small restaurants along this stretch.
** 1999: A new section of Rt 104 has removed most of the traffic along
the old route Salt Springs, Alma, New Glasgow.
46 km LEFT on Rt 376, along West River. We are back on a nice quiet
road all the way to Pictou. Scenic roads lead off to Scotsburn and Green
64 km Pictou You can bypass the Pictou Rotary and go directly into town
on the Haliburton Rd. It is only about 10 km to the PEI ferry.
II Truro to Tatamagouche ( Rt 311 and 326)
In Bible Hill keep straight to Onslow.
4 km RIGHT on Rt 311. There is an ice cream store a little ways up. The
road has some minor ups and downs along the North River, then it starts
the serious climb up part of Nutby Mtn. The highway tops out at about
240 m , 20 km from Truro. There is a campground at the top. The actual
top of Nutby Mtn ( 367 m ) is on a dirt road to the left. It is the
highest point in Mainland Nova Scotia.
Rt 311 then has a fun hill down to Earltown.
30 km Earltown. Here the road splits into Rt 311 and 326. The latter
goes straight to Brule. Rt 311 is slightly nicer. There is a nice
general store right at the corner.
Rt 311 has a few more downhills to the Falls then it it flat to
42 km The Falls. Rt 256 goes left to Wentworth and right to Balmoral
Mills. There is some interesting falls and pools under the bridge near
50 km Rt 311 joins Rt 6 just outside Tatamagouche.
III Truro to Tatamagouche Old Truro Road
This is the most challenging and pretty road. There is about 17 km of
unpaved road. This route follows Rt 311 for the first bit.
9 km LEFT at North River by little store and cross the bridge, then
turn right. This section is gently rolling in farm lands.
18 km Pavement ends at McCallum settlement. There are very few houses
over the next 17 km stretch. It is a big climb, topping at 270 m, but
not too steep. There are a few switchbacks going up. This road is very
pretty in October since it's mostly maple woods here. There are a few
rougher sections near the top. Then it's a nice downhill to New Annan.
35 km Junction of Rt 256. Right to Balmoral Mills, left to Wentworth.
The dirt road continues straight ahead for another 8 km into
Tatamagouche. The last bit of this should be paved.
III Truro - Wentworth Rt 4 (Old Rt 104 TCH)
The old TCH has a wide shoulder. The new 4 lane Rt 104 now bypasses
this section. NO TRUCKS ALLOWED! and a low speed limit have made this a
very quiet road. The downside of this is that most stores have been
This route is better from north to south.
Head out of Truro on Onslow Road onto to Rt 2 , as on route to Parrsboro.
15 km RIGHT on McElmon Rd to Debert. The Debert Game Sanctuary is on
the left. There is a picnic area by the pond. There will be a lot of
wild geese here. After crossing Rt 104, coffee and donut fans can stop
at Tim Hortons (THD). This nice road bypasses a section of Rt 104 through
28 Km RIGHT on Rt 104 at East Mines. Cross over if going to
Londonderry (see below). There is now a 6km climb up Folly Mtn, topping
at 250 m. It's a nice run coming the other way. There is a shoulder.
Then it's a short descent to Folly Lake where the road is flat for a
while. Then it's another decent into the Wentworth Valley. There is a
motel, Youth Hostel and Provincial Campground here.
50 Km Junction of Rt 246, right to Tatamagouche (77 km). Campground
and hostel are off to the left on Valley Road.
55 km RIGHT on Rt 307 to Wallace ( 72 km)
IV Truro - Londonderry- Westchester
This a another challenging dirt road. The new 4 lane highway may be
build over this route. Start off through Debert as above.
28 km Cross Rt 104 at East Mines. The road is paved to Londonderry.
Londonderry is also reachable from Great Village.
38 Right at Londonderry , the pavement ends. This was once the site
of one of the first iron mines in Canada. It has been abandoned for 70
years. The road crosses a bridge over a very deep gorge, this is the
highlight of the route. The road climbs up the side of the gorge to
Sutherland Lake at 250 m, descends to about 200 m then climbs
back to 250 m. There are a lot of commercial blueberry fields on this
section. The road descends to join the paved Wentworth- Collingwood
Road at Westchester (61 km)
V Parrsboro-Amherst RT 2 and Rt 302
Leave Parrsboro on Rt 2 from the Tourist Bureau and pass the Rt 209
turnoff. This follows a flat Valley.
13 km Newville Lake at Halfway River. There is picnic ground here with
a small beach. At the north end of the lake there is an option to take
the Boars Back Road to River Hebert. About 12 km of this 20 km road is
unpaved but quite good. Rt 2 continues through a flat valley.
26 km LEFT on RT 302 at Southampton. Rt 2 goes into some hills to
Mapleton and Springhill adding about 15 km. Rt 302 is quite flat.
40 km Maccan The remaining route is through Nappan, and Amherst Point
as described above, making it 55 km to Amherst
If you like these articles please save them, copy them and pass them
on to friends. The real proof of how good they are will be if lots of
people bike these roads and enjoy them as much as I have.
Nova Scotia Touring Index
Wolfville Ridge , Nova Scotia, Canada