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Old 08-04-2015, 07:36 PM   #1
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Default Best time - Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Acadia?

When is the best time to go, i.e. least crowded? Maybe even no reservations?

Planning on late summer 2016 trip to Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Acadia. Looking at mid August to mid September. Planning on driving up to Portland and taking overnight ferry to Yarmouth. Work our way thru NS, up to tip of Cape Breton (Meat Cove CG) and back down through NB along coast (Fundy NP). Focusing on Provincial Parks CGs, maybe a couple of private CGs (Meat Cove, The Ovens?)

Everyone says wait until September for Acadia. Do we even need reservations then. We would love to travel without reservations. Going onto the Canadian National and Provincial Park reservation systems, there are plenty of available sites mid to end of August and then into September. Is this true?

Any advice appreciated.
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Old 08-04-2015, 07:45 PM   #2
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September in the Maritimes was very quiet when we were there 3 years back. We never used reservations then. Be aware that some stuff starts to close down very soon after Labor Day. The good stuff, though, is still open. It's the best time, IMHO.

Acadia, though, is different. CG's there were full. To get best choice, I would reserve. CG's there were also very expensive.
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Old 08-04-2015, 09:55 PM   #3
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Be aware that some stuff starts to close down very soon after Labor Day. The good stuff, though, is still open.

Acadia, though, is different. CG's there were full. To get best choice, I would reserve. CG's there were also very expensive.
obgraham,

Thank you for the info.

Quick clarification - What type of stuff closes down? What remains open?

Arcadia CG - what about NPS CGs? Reservations necessary after Labor Day?
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Old 08-04-2015, 11:53 PM   #4
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BobB:
It was more in the small towns, Quebec especially, that little attractions were shutting down. Gaspe, for instance, was deserted, though I don't think you're headed there. Lobster joints had shorter hours. Snack joints were closing. We were using private RV parks on that trip, most were less than half full. Acadia was going full tilt. We couldn't get a res in the NPS places, wound up at KOA.
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Old 08-05-2015, 12:28 AM   #5
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obgraham,

Yes, limiting our range to just NS, and coastal NB. Did travel to the north side of the St. Lawrence (Quebec) - Charlevoix - a few years ago.

Thanks again for your info.

Since we are going in 2016, I am going to check how reservations are at Acadia NPS in early September. Will give me some indication of whether or not I need them.
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Old 08-05-2015, 01:15 AM   #6
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You can follow Gordon Hanebutt on Facebook. He and his wife, Joni, just went to Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador. They both kept a photo blog. They did a lot of boondocking in a Great West Van Legend and they are now back in the states.

We plan to head that way September 12th. It will be a little late in the season but we are capable of fully boondocking in any weather if necessary. Personally, I like off-season solitude.
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Old 08-05-2015, 02:00 AM   #7
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Davyyd,

Thank you for the FB reference! Will be interested in your experiences up that way. Please post.

We will see how much boondocking we can do with the '99 EVC. Have port-potti, but electrical could use upgrade. Just installed Fantastic Fan so ventilation just improved. VW EVC is still nice and cozy for the 2 of us.
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Old 08-05-2015, 01:10 PM   #8
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You might want to consider purchasing a Parks Canada Discovery pass if you plan to visit a lot of places on the list:

link: http://www.classbforum.com/forums/f1...pass-2598.html

I'd recommend visiting the Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site.
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Old 08-05-2015, 04:23 PM   #9
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We've had good luck getting last-minute cancellation slots at the Acadia NP campground. Monitor the reservation website and stuff will pop up. We were also able to extend our stay due to a no-show (had to move sites, of course). They process the no-shows and cancellations around 9:00AM. I am not sure if you can call the campground directly, but if you can, that is the time to call.
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Old 08-05-2015, 06:18 PM   #10
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Quote:
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We've had good luck getting last-minute cancellation slots at the Acadia NP campground.
avanti,

Thanks. Exactly what time year was this?
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Old 08-05-2015, 06:21 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markopolo View Post
You might want to consider purchasing a Parks Canada Discovery pass if you plan to visit a lot of places on the list:

link: http://www.classbforum.com/forums/f1...pass-2598.html

I'd recommend visiting the Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site.
markopolo

Yes, I came across your post researching this trip; thanks for reminder. Will definitely get one. I also now have the US Senior Pass that really cuts the $ on NPS campgrounds.
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Old 08-05-2015, 08:55 PM   #12
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Bob,

All good information re your upcoming visit. As a rule we like to make our trips AFTER the children are back in school which is generally September 3 or 4. Roads are not crowded and RV resorts should be mostly open. I found the Gaspe to be a bit dicey so I would reserve when possible. Any good camping guide should outline the places open. Due to the weather, unless here on Vancouver island, most RV resorts would be closed by the end of October. I think Davdd has picked a good time to travel.
You should also get the FALL rate which is lower for RV places. I speak French and found some places in the Gaspe region were not so bilingual but the RV resort operators generally speak English.
Happy holidays. You will enjoy the scenery.

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Old 08-05-2015, 09:11 PM   #13
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I also found some folks out along the Gaspe route not bilingual, but I always found that a combination of friendliness, hand-speak, and ca$h usually took care of the matter.
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Old 08-05-2015, 10:06 PM   #14
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Quote:
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avanti,

Thanks. Exactly what time year was this?
Just a few weeks ago, actually.
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Old 08-06-2015, 01:24 PM   #15
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Quote:
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Just a few weeks ago, actually.
avanti - Wow. That's confirming a lot of what I was finding online and from some friends who went there. We are thinking of going up through NS and NB and looping back - after Labor Day - through Arcadia NP.

Also just realized my mistake when I titled this thread - meant to write Arcadia (as in Mt. Desert Island) not Acadia. Gaspe and Lower Quebec will be some future trip. Sorry for the mixup but still good info on Gaspe for the future.
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Old 08-06-2015, 02:01 PM   #16
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Quote:
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ealized my mistake when I titled this thread - meant to write Arcadia (as in Mt. Desert Island) not Acadia.
One of us is confused. The US National Park on Mt. Desert Island ME is Acadia (no "r"). The NPS campground run there (actually, there are two) is what I was talking about.
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Old 08-06-2015, 04:07 PM   #17
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Quote:
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One of us is confused. The US National Park on Mt. Desert Island ME is Acadia (no "r"). The NPS campground run there (actually, there are two) is what I was talking about.
That's me - not enough coffee this morning.

Checked the maps this time. I was always thinking Mt. Desert Island/Bar Harbor/Acadia NP (Blackwoods CG), but was getting comments about Gaspe. Tried to clarify and confused everyone even more. Sorry.
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Old 08-08-2015, 05:57 PM   #18
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I agree with Avanti. I just came back from a week up Maine way and stayed around Acadia. We had two nights in Blackwoods thanks to a cancellation and two nights at a nearby KOA when our luck at Acadia fell through. September is an awesome time of year to go through there. The views are spectacular.
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Old 08-25-2015, 04:46 PM   #19
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We just came back a few days ago from much the same loop - up the St. Lawrence to Gaspe from Montreal and Quebec City, along the coast to PEI, the Cabot Trail, Louisbourg, Halifax, Bay of Fundy, Acadia NP... Beautiful country, well worth the nearly 5000 miles and three weeks invested.

We had no trouble finding camp sites anywhere, most (except near the cities) charging C$20 a night on the water with views, no hookups. Many towns offer "municipal" grounds that are convenient and inexpensive. We had no problems finding places to stay. And, yes, language can be a very minor complication.

Acadia NP campgrounds were full. We also ended up at KOA. Again, it was only $20 with no hookups. Place had plenty of space open, and it is reasonably close to the park entry. Ranger told us that weekends particularly are about zero chance for a space - so, luck is in play. Driving the loops there was easy going early, but as the day wore on the traffic mounted - although never truly problematic. (Bar Harbor itself was a tourist circus.)

I have no regrets about traveling in "high season." Who knew it was? - traveling was easy, perhaps even easier given that things were open.
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Old 08-25-2015, 06:06 PM   #20
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Heh Rocketman

We made the same trip but we started in Ottawa heading out to Montreal and then the Gaspe. I agree. Great trip, lovely scenary and friendly folks too. I had a 25ft Chev Rv which kept overheating but only on the long hills. We are spoiled here with full service available most places.

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