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Discussion Starter #1
We have four bikes/6 people doing a 2 week trip to and from Nova Scotia from northern WI. I personally have done several trips in and around Ontario (as far east as Ottawa), but haven't been east of Ottawa for 20 years or more. We'll be going around Montreal from the Ottawa area and heading towards Quebec.

Can anyone give me any tips on the best route to take around Montreal? I'm not looking for the most scenic, and I'm not looking for places to see in and around Montreal. I'm looking only for the easiest way around from west to east and out of town. If memory serves me (I once drove a motorhome around Montreal in the early 90s), most signage is in French?

I'm thinking that we want to pick up Hy. 20 east of Montreal on our way to Quebec. From Quebec, I'm thinking of heading to Cabano to pick up Hy. 2 down into New Brunswick.

Question #2: On my numerous trips to Ontario, I have found that U.S. money spends almost everywhere. Is that true of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick too? Or are we better off carrying Canadian dollars for incidental purchases? I realize that exchange rates play a role and I'm not asking that question. Only wish to know whether U.S. dollars are generally accepted in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

Thanks!
 

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Hello Ran,

US Dollar accepted everywhere in Canada. We love tourism and they especially love tourists in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. Dollar is close to par at the moment but be wary of tourist traps where it could get discounted.

Dreamrider will probably be your best bet for advice in skirting Montreal.

Enjoy the trip, make sure you stop in Quebec City to see the "old city", cobblestone, narrow streets and great cafes and pubs. Last time I was there was in '04 and can't wait to get back.

In Halifax, make sure to go downtown to the brewery and pubs along the waterfront. My favourite is the "www.LowerDeck.ca". The pubs will have entertainment in the evenings and everybody sings along. Next to Disney, I think Halifax is the most friendly place on earth.

If you have the time, take the Cabot Trail around Cape Breton, again fantastic scenery.

Have fun, keep the rubber side down and take lots of pictures!
 

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Me and a few buddies were planning a trip there this year too until 1 of them found out hes not allowed into canada. He had a DWI a few years ago (in CT) and he found out that canada treats it as a felony and will arrest him if hes found in canada. We told him we would leave him at the border and come back for him when we were done. He wouldnt go for that :D
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Me and a few buddies were planning a trip there this year too until 1 of them found out hes not allowed into canada. He had a DWI a few years ago (in CT) and he found out that canada treats it as a felony and will arrest him if hes found in canada. We told him we would leave him at the border and come back for him when we were done. He wouldnt go for that :D
rlaf75....I've been taking trips to Canada more times than I can count, and I had an OWI back in '91. I've been detained and searched a couple of those times (randomly picked out), but never had the OWI come up as an issue. I think there's a statute of limitations in CA for that stuff (or whatever they call it there). Ironically...I'm a recovering alcoholic these days (sobriety date: 3/22/03).
 

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Hello Ran,

US Dollar accepted everywhere in Canada. We love tourism and they especially love tourists in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. Dollar is close to par at the moment but be wary of tourist traps where it could get discounted.

Dreamrider will probably be your best bet for advice in skirting Montreal.

Enjoy the trip, make sure you stop in Quebec City to see the "old city", cobblestone, narrow streets and great cafes and pubs. Last time I was there was in '04 and can't wait to get back.

In Halifax, make sure to go downtown to the brewery and pubs along the waterfront. My favourite is the "www.LowerDeck.ca". The pubs will have entertainment in the evenings and everybody sings along. Next to Disney, I think Halifax is the most friendly place on earth.

If you have the time, take the Cabot Trail around Cape Breton, again fantastic scenery.

Have fun, keep the rubber side down and take lots of pictures!
CG...thanks for the info. I'll share it with my group (I'm the only RG rider). I'll also check with DreamRider if he doesn't find this thread.
 

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rlaf75....I've been taking trips to Canada more times than I can count, and I had an OWI back in '91. I've been detained and searched a couple of those times (randomly picked out), but never had the OWI come up as an issue. I think there's a statute of limitations in CA for that stuff (or whatever they call it there). Ironically...I'm a recovering alcoholic these days (sobriety date: 3/22/03).
Glad to hear of your sobriety man, congrats. I think he was told he could enter canada in a few more years but its all good. We are planning something different now. We wont leave a brother behind
 

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US Dollar accepted everywhere in Canada. We love tourism and they especially love tourists in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. Dollar is close to par at the moment but be wary of tourist traps where it could get discounted.
I looped the Gaspe for 4 days last summer, took $200 cash in, brought $185 out. Only place that would take greenbacks in Quebec was the gate into Forillon park.
Tried to pay cash at some restaurants and you would think I was trying to pay them in rubles or something. Asked 3 different ppl in diff places why they wouldnt take US cash, just got shrugs and a lot of French.
No prob, got plastic and debit, just lots of service charges when you reconcile the checkbook. . I would get 2-3 hundred Canadian if I go again to buy lunch and stuff, use a card for rooms. Dunno if its just Quebec or not. They werent that fussy about taking US dollars in Campbellton NB either, but it's right on the Quebec border. The ex-pat from New Brunswick I work with says no prob in Moncton, but who knows.

Cant speak about Montreal, I'd think Transcanada, grit your teeth, and push thru.

The Old City in Quebec City is a neat place, like being in Europe. Been there a couple times. Once on a honeymoon. :D Only 4 hrs from here, I should go up more.
 

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What I have learned (have not gone yet, but see blog in signature).
From what I have researched is:

The ferry from NB to Digby is 3 hours. Leaves at 12:00 noon from Saint John, gets in at 3:00pm.

The ideal Cabot Trail route is counterclockwise(debatable of course). Stay somewhere southwest of the trail and book two nights. One full day on the Trail and end at the same motel, etc. I found Baddeck a good 'jumping off' point for the trail. Don't take the first entrance to the Cabot trail, it will take you clockwise and many of the campers follow that way. go down the road a couple of more miles and enter the Trail then, going counterclockwise. don't enter the Trail before 10:00am. Give time for the overnight fog to lift and daylight to brighten the day.

Stop at Coastal Waters restaurant, for the only Cabot Trail motorcycle t-shirt.

Tidal Bores, happen around 12:30 PM in the ideal spots. There are posted schedules on the internet when and what towns where you can best view them from.

I'm sure there is more, but that is what I found.
Good luck, enjoy the ride!
 

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Hi

I am in the north shore of Chicago but originally from Ontario. I've made a few trips from here up through Quebec and the New England states.

Not sure how you plan to pass through Ontario but I suggest north at Sault Saint Marie and through northern Ontario on #17 TransCanada past Ottawa and take 417 and follow it until north on #34 just south of Aberdeen and stay on crossing the river from Ontario to Quebec at Hawkesbury where 34 becomes 344. Take it to PQ#50 and follow to #15 and on 15 to 640 on the west side of the river to Charlemagne and take 40 (or alt 138) north to Trios-Rivers and avoid Montreal. Cross at Three Rivers and 20 to 185 South to #2...

The Gaspe Peninsula is beautiful and well worth it if you can make the time... Pierce Rock is worth it also...
 

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Hi

I am in the north shore of Chicago but originally from Ontario. I've made a few trips from here up through Quebec and the New England states.

Not sure how you plan to pass through Ontario but I suggest north at Sault Saint Marie and through northern Ontario on #17 TransCanada past Ottawa and take 417 and follow it until north on #34 just south of Aberdeen and stay on crossing the river from Ontario to Quebec at Hawkesbury where 34 becomes 344. Take it to PQ#50 and follow to #15 and on 15 to 640 on the west side of the river to Charlemagne and take 40 (or alt 138) north to Trios-Rivers and avoid Montreal. Cross at Three Rivers and 20 to 185 South to #2...

The Gaspe Peninsula is beautiful and well worth it if you can make the time... Pierce Rock is worth it also...
Hey FAT...thanks! I just followed that route on my mapping software and it looks like a perfect plan. I'm assuming those are all good roads in terms of keeping us moving. With only two weeks to do this trip, we want to get to NB and NS ASAP, so that we can spend as much time as possible once we arrive.
 

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Hey FAT...thanks! I just followed that route on my mapping software and it looks like a perfect plan. I'm assuming those are all good roads in terms of keeping us moving. With only two weeks to do this trip, we want to get to NB and NS ASAP, so that we can spend as much time as possible once we arrive.
You should be good to move without the traffic you would have in southern Ontario and most of Montreal area....

Be careful of moose and deer though... especially at night!!

(my parents have a summer cottage on #17 TransCanada between North BAy and Mattawa... I took this pic near Blind River a couple years ago on my way for a visit)
 

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FAT CND...I've ben past your folks place if its on #17. I've ridden through Blind River a couple of times now. And I've been through Sault Ste Marie more times than I can recall. Just about every year I do a zip around L. Superior.
 

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enjoy the ride...

FAT CDN and Marion have given you some great tips for sure. I've been to the east coast numerous times and find new things to see each time I go.

Cabot Trail for sure.
-If you end up traveling between North Sydney and the Cabot Trail sneak across the Englishtown Ferry crossing St Anns Bay. Its a very short and cheap crossing that shaves a bit of travel time but is a cool experience. Its on #312.
-Neils Harbour is just off the Cabot Trail has The Chowder House. It's a must do for lunch. Has the world's best clam chowder. It on the north east corner of the loop.

-I stayed at the Trailsman Motel about 10 minutes from Baddeck and less than a mile from the south loop of the Cabot Trail
-Take time to check out the overlooks and vistas. Keep in mind the road is decent shape but some of the hills are steep and as you pull off in a rest stop the grade can be deceiving when you stop. Make sure you plant both feet well! One of the grade climbs is 725 ft in 1.3 mile. The trail is hard on brakes and transmissions!

Tidal bore
-one in Truro and easy to get to but at best is one big wave that comes in might be 2-3 feet. Pick up a local newspaper for daily tidal bore report times to see when they are.
-worlds highest recorded tides is at East Hants in Maitland. Great look out spot (free) Just take #236 west from HWY#102. When you cross the Shubenacadie River look north from the bridge and you'll see the look-out pier. If you feel adventurous try this http://www.tidalboreadventures.ca/ again local news paper has daily tidal bore reports with accurate times to view

Peggys Cove

Lunenburg (home of the blue nose schooner)

Clarks Harbour is the most southern tip of Nova Scotia. Locals will try to tell you its the most southern point in Canada, but it's not.

Thats all I got for NS unless you want to catch the Caribou Ferry over to PEI and swing back across on the Confederation Bridge. You can get to the island (PEI) free but they charge you to get off. The bridge is cheaper than the ferry.

Sorry for the long post. Hope you like seafood because lobster, scallops and clams rule.

Enjoy!
 

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Hotrodad....wow, thanks for all the info! Very cool. My wife (who rides a SG) is already nervous about some of the grades you're talking about. She's a good rider and I'm confident she'll do fine. She's been riding about 10 years now, but still gets a little nervous on odd grades.
 

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Thanks for the tips Hotrodad! Luenburg looks like a nice place to stop.
What is the usual travel time around the trail while stopping for lunch, pictures, etc. Is it a full day?
May head over to Sydney and take that ferry to check to out. did you have good weather? any rain? I hear to be ready for anything, rain, fog, sunshine, and maybe all in one day.
 

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Ran8175
You and your wife will do fine as long as your aware of the hazards. When pulling off to a rest area watch for traffic also pulling in and out. Almost all the stops are paved except the one on top of cape smokey but its nice and flat at the top.

Marion
The three times I've been there It took all day counting lots of stops to take it all in and lunch along the way. Staying over a day or two right at the trail makes for a nice leisurely pace. I found even if the weather was foggy and drizzle at the beginning, by the time I got around to the other side it cleared up.

Lunenburg usually has several tall ships in port and most will let you walk the decks and certainly stroll the docks. Its a very festive atmosphere when I was there.

enjoy the ride!
 

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Thanks again, Hotrodad.

It seems there are quite a few lodging choices. We will have 3 couples and if we need to, we are willing to double up. Its been customary for me to 'wing it' when traveling by motorcycle (for MANY reasons), and only rarely has it been an issue that I've had trouble finding a place to stay.

Is it your feeling that we'll be able to find decent lodging on a day-by-day basis? I hate to plan out stops....especially when traveling to a new area in which plans can change or weather dictates a long wait somewhere.

Marion....of the reading I'm doing regarding your trip, it appears your making reservations only for your ride out and for your stay in Halifax???

We'll likely be in NS from roughly Tuesday, July 3rd to the 9th or 10th.
 
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