Walking the Canadian Maritimes
Explore the unique charm of Nova Scotia and Canada’s Maritime Provinces
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Vacation Style Holiday Type
Activity Level Leisurely / Moderate
Group Size Small Group
This dedicated walking tour of New England and the Canadian Maritimes is a trip to remember. Rugged, unspoilt and off the tourist trail, Nova Scotia and Canada’s Maritime Provinces reveal their unique charm, rich history and secrets to the intrepid traveller. Stunning natural beauty serves as a backdrop to coastal communities defined by their strong cultural identities. From hiking a portion of the famed Appalachian Trail, to an included whale watching activity in Cape Breton Highlands National Park, this coastline promises a unique adventure with something to entice all interests. Get off the main thoroughfare and discover the highlights!
* 12 nights in hotels, motels, and guest houses
* All transport and listed activities
* Tour leader throughout
- Whale watching activity in Cape Breton Highlands National Park
- Dedicated and guided hikes on most days
- Iconic views of Peggy’s Cove Lighthouse
- UNESCO World Heritage Site of Lunenburg
Welcome to Halifax and the provincial capital of Nova Scotia, well-known for its maritime history. With its large natural harbour, Halifax has historically been one of the busiest ports on the eastern seaboard. You are free to arrive at any time today ahead of the welcome meeting at 18:00 hrs, where you’ll meet your tour guide and fellow travelling companions.Should you arrive early, why not visit some of the many parks, museums, landmarks, art galleries and waterfront cafes of Halifax. The Maritime Museum in the Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) tells the story of the city’s seafaring origins whilst the fortress on Citadel Hill with its iconic Town Clock overlooks the modern glass towers of the city, providing that link between the past and the present. *Hotel included*
Peggy’s Cove – Lunenburg – Digby
This morning, you drive to the iconic area of Peggy’s Cove to see the lighthouse which is always a prominent feature of the area and makes for some excellent holiday pictures. For a different perspective of this iconic sight, your guide will lead you on the Polly’s Cove Trail. Next you travel to the World Heritage listed historic town of Lunenburg. A walk down the streets of Lunenburg is sure to remind you of a journey back to a bygone era with its unique architecture exemplified in the colourful wooden structures that date back to colonial times, reflecting the town’s position as a seaport and a centre for shipbuilding. You then overnight in Digby, Nova Scotia.*Admiral Digby Hotel (or similar)**Trail: *Polly’s Cove Trail*Altitude:* 50 meters
You catch an early morning ferry across the Bay of Fundy to St John, the largest city in New Brunswick. Upon arrival, the rest of the day is free at leisure to explore.*Chateau St John and Suites (or similar)*
Acadia National Park
Leaving Canada, your destination is Acadia National Park – the only national park in New England. Situated on a series of rocky coastal islands, this reserve was originally named Lafayette National Park in 1919 and took on its present name in 1929. It’s a perfect place to enjoy hiking and mountain biking. On day four, you’ll wander along the Ocean Path to see the jagged pink granite formations long the parks beautiful coastline. The path offers scenic views and numerous access points to outcroppings above the rocky shore, including major attractions like Thunder Hole and Otter Cliff. **Edenbrook Motel (or similar)* **Trail: *Ocean Path Trail*Altitude gain:* low*Altitude:* 150 meters**
Acadia National Park
There are some hikes that are a must. When deciding between the myriad of trails in Acadia National Park, it would be hard not to include Cadillac Ridge. Cadillac is the highest point on Mount Desert Island, and without a doubt offers wonderful views in every direction, as well as offering wildflower displays. The trail features numerous scenic viewpoints over Frenchman Bay and interesting pine displays. The lower tree line on Cadillac means that a decent portion of the final ascent is open rock face.*Edenbrook Motel (or similar)**Trail: *Cadillac North Ridge Trail*Altitude:* 460 meters
Baxter State Park
You have two nights in Baxter State Park; the largest and most remote natural preserve in Eastern USA. It was named after its donor and former Maine governor, Percival P. Baxter, and covers an area of 809 square km. At its heart lies Mount Katahdin, which has many peaks; at 5,267ft Baxter Peak is the highest point in Maine. There are many optional activities you can enjoy in this rare and wonderful wilderness including hiking, canoeing and scenic flights.On arrival, you will enjoy a nature hike along the Little and Big Niagara Falls trail and you’ll be treated to not one, but two waterfalls on this hike. The water gushing over the rocky ledges of Big Niagara Falls is sure to be awe-inspiring. After beginning, you cross over a footbridge before winding your way south between rocks and over roots, following the white blazes of the Appalachian Trail. Continue onwards until you are standing in front of a magnificent stream, set against a mountainous backdrop.*Baxter Park Inn (or similar)**Trail: *Little and Big Niagara Falls trail*Altitude:* 390 meters
*Baxter State Park*
Today you hike another section of the famed Appalachian Trail on the Katahdin Stream Falls Trail. This brings you right to the base of Mount Katahdin, where the waters of Katahdin Stream thunder beneath the northernmost bridge on the Appalachian Trail.**Baxter Park Inn (or similar)***Trail: *Katahdin Stream Falls trail*Altitude:* 510 meters
*Fundy National Park*
Cross the border into Canada and stop at coastal Fundy National Park in the province of New Brunswick. The Bay of Fundy is known to have the highest range in tide levels of anywhere in the world with an average variance of 47.5ft and an extreme variance of an amazing 53.3ft.The main features of this park include the seaside habitats and the highland Acadian forests, which you have time to explore, as well as the beautiful waterfalls. In the afternoon, your guide leads you on the Coppermine Trail which delivers you to an old copper mine site. Beginning at the car park, your hike meanders through a field and then through predominantly spruce woodland, climbing uphill and further into the woods. You’ll traverse over several streams on wooden bridges until finding the remnants of the old copper mine along with interpretative signs. This trail offers great views across the bay.**Alpine Motor Inn (or similar)***Trail: *Coppermine Trail*Altitude:* 180 meters
Hopewell Rocks – Prince Edward Island
This morning, you visit the beautiful Hopewell Rocks where these incredible rock formations make for some amazing photographs. It may be possible to walk (1.5 kms) to Demoiselle Beach, a picturesque and quiet sandy cove. Your next stop is Prince Edward Island; the smallest of all the Canadian provinces with a total population of 141,000. Often referred to as ’PEI’, the province actually consists of one major island called Prince Edward Island, as well as a collection of smaller islands. It’s also referred to as the ’Birthplace of Confederation’, as the Charlottetown Conference held in 1864 was one of a few events that established the framework which led the British colonies to confederation in 1867.Prince Edward Island was the childhood home of author Lucy Maud Montgomery, whose best-selling novel, ’Anne of Green Gables’ (published in 1908), was set here. It’s possible to join a tour of Green Gables House, as well as stroll around on the Balsom Woods and Haunted Hollows trails that feature in the book.On day 10, you explore some of Prince Edward Island National Park on foot, following its beautiful sandy beaches and landmarks, starting from the Dalvay-by-the-sea historical mansion. Experience the sand dunes, beaches, salt marshes, forest and more. The distance is variable but will be approximately 6.2 miles (10 kms) with a low elevation and suitable for most.**Bay Vista Motel (or similar)***Trail: *Cape Rocks Trail*Altitude:* 50 meters
Cape Breton Highlands National Park
During your time on Prince Edward Island, you’ll hike beside the many forested lakes and to the top of the various rugged peaks for outstanding views or take to the sea for some fantastic kayaking along the remote and beautiful coastline. Consisting of Acadian and boreal forests, this park is home to various species of wildlife such as Black Bear, coyote and moose. If you’re lucky you may see Bald Eagles circling overhead or perched high up in the trees. From Prince Edward Island, it’s a short ferry ride to Caribou Provincial Park, before driving towards the impressive headlands of Cape Breton Highlands National Park in the province of Nova Scotia – Canada’s second smallest province. Sheer cliffs rising from the sea at the base of the coastal range help to form the spectacular coastline.On day 12, you have a brief reprieve from walking as we have included a whale watching activity. This unique experience provides you with the perfect opportunity to discover the beauty of northern Cape Breton and marine life near the coastlines. By using smaller Zodiacs, this allow us to blast along the rugged shores in search of whales, dolphins, seals, leatherback turtles, puffins and eagles.In the afternoon, it’s back to the wild coastline again to hit the trails. This coastal and scenic trail hugs the ocean, briefly joining the Jack Pine Trail, then continues along granite headlands, coastal meadows and cobblestone beaches. **Castle Rock Country Inn (or similar)***Trail: *Coastal Trail*Altitude:* Sea level
Today you enjoy a leisurely pace before making your way back towards Halifax where your tour end at the hotel upon arrival. Your guide will stop at points of intertest along the way.This tour ends at our gateway hotel at approximately 17:00 hrs. We can book you post-tour accommodation at our gateway hotel if required. If you are planning to fly tonight, please do not book a flight that departs before 21:00 hrs.
Hotels, motels and guesthouses
5 hotel nights, 5 motels and 2 guesthouse nights (some smaller and more basic accommodation used due to remote location). For your own room request our optional Solo Sleeper (see ‘Dates and Prices’ tab).
No meals included.
On hotel based tours, you will usually eat out in local restaurants. To help you budget for your meals on average hotel breakfasts cost from US$6-12, lunches from US$8-15 and dinners from US$13-30; this does not include alcoholic beverages. Wine costs approximately US$5 per glass and beer US$4 per bottle. Please also be aware that a tip of approximately 15%-20% is added to group meals in North American restaurants. Applicable taxes will also be added to all listed menu prices.
Your tour leader may offer your group the option to operate a ‘lunch only’ food kitty, this has proven to be a popular alternative to three daily restaurant meals. Leaders will fully explain this option while on your tour, and the whole group will have to agree for this system to run.
Please make sure we are aware of any special meal requirements before travelling. We will do all we can to accommodate for various dietary requirements but in certain parts of North America and Canada certain food types can be limited.
This walking tour is designed for active adults and offers a well-paced mix of walks for all levels of fitness. Most walks are of leisurely/moderate difficulty. For the more adventurous activities there are often optional, moderate to strenuous hikes in some locations. Your tour leader will organise these on your behalf and you will pay locally in cash. You’ll find the main optional activities listed above under each itinerary day description, along with guideline prices. It may not be possible to do all optional activities listed on each tour.
Although each tour follows an itinerary, there is a certain amount of flexibility and from time to time your tour leader may suggest changes. This may be due to road conditions, weather or a visit to a special attraction or event that happens to be in progress. Flexibility is key and often a side diversion will be a highlight of the tour. Hikes and optional activities cannot be guaranteed and may vary depending on ability, group interest, local weather conditions and time of year.