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Old 04-28-2018, 05:28 PM   #1
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Default Canada in June NS, NB, PEI

We are leaving Vermont in our Roadtrek 200 the first week of June, heading up the coast of Maine to Canada. We can travel at our own pace for up to 11 weeks. We’ve done quite a bit of research, but nothing compares to first-hand experience! Any suggestions, tips, warnings, or other travel wisdom to share?
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Old 04-28-2018, 06:17 PM   #2
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Native-born Nova Scotian here (23 years there before I immigrated to the U.S.).

Late May and June are bad black fly months in NS. Was it on this forum where someone posted the YouTube of the northeastern couple who had traveled up to Maine, I think it was, gloating about the solitude they were achieving, without realizing that the reason why they were discovering so much unoccupied prime camping real estate is that the locals knew better than to step outside their doors at that particular time. Our YouTubers were outa their prized destination inside of 8 hours. If anyone knows the vid I'm talking about, please post it as a PSA. It's worth watching for perspective.

As for Nova Scotia, beware of ticks especially in the western third of the province. Nova Scotia relies heavily on tourism dollars and I believe that the incidence of Lyme disease is not well-reported, because it would be a turn-off to tourists. I've had several family members who contracted Lyme disease. One was caught early and treated successfully but another was not, and that person has reported long term erosion of their general health.

Additionally, if you are traveling with a pet in western Nova Scotia, make sure they are on Bravecto. It's suspected of being the only medication capable of preventing Lyme disease in dogs, because it kills ticks before they have a chance to infect the host. One vet went on the record a while back in stating that, unless dogs are on Bravecto, their chances of getting Lyme disease are very close to 100%. Here's a recent general news reminder on that topic:

'Every season is tick season': Experts warn of winter Lyme disease risk | CBC News

The good news on ticks is that none of us, including our dog, has ever acquired a tick in Cape Breton, and we've boondocked for weeks in the woods there, where I own undeveloped land. Knock wood, never a tick.

Additionally, Nova Scotia has the most restrictive overnight parking legislation of any known jurisdiction. Technically by the letter of the law, I'm not even supposed to boondock on my own land (good luck with enforcing that, I say to them). Here's the thing, though: the restrictions are not always rigorously enforced, and I suggest to boondockers that, if approached by law enforcement, ask them where they suggest you find a campground with availability. Especially the public campgrounds, and to a lesser extent the private ones, book solid months in advance of the summer season. Many times, people don't have a choice but to boondock. Here's a PDF reference on that phenomenon:

http://cornwaab.altervista.org/rv-report_1.pdf

I realize that all three of my points are somewhat negative, but any time anyone asks about that particular destination, they usually get a lot of ooohing and ahhhing type responses. I'd rather give you information that will help you as you are doing the oooh-ahhh things that other people will take the time to type out.
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Old 04-28-2018, 06:19 PM   #3
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Just to start with the obvious:
Plan on several days at Acadia National Park. Plan ahead--the campgrounds are often very crowded and reservations are important.
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Old 04-28-2018, 07:20 PM   #4
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Yes, point taken. Our very rural location in Vermont has a vibrant black fly and tick population, so we’ve had some experience. No pets, so there’s one less worry. At this point we’re more travelers than campers, itching (pun intended) to see the parts of CA just out of reach on the occasional weekend trip. Hoping to hit the border by mid-June, staying flexible as to travel pace.
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Old 04-28-2018, 07:22 PM   #5
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We’ve spent a lot of time in Maine, including Acadia. You are right to warn, it’s a zoo mid-June to late August.
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Old 04-28-2018, 08:24 PM   #6
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when you get to PEI, don't miss the Anne of Green Gables homestead. The surrounding town is a little touristy, but the house and surrounding grounds are lovely.
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Old 04-28-2018, 08:34 PM   #7
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Old 04-28-2018, 08:36 PM   #8
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Old 04-28-2018, 08:40 PM   #9
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You can take a ferry from Nova Scotia to Prince Edward Island, FREE !

You only pay when you get off the island.
You can exit the island by the Confederation Bridge, which is linked to New Brunswick.

The bridge toll is cheaper than the ferry fare.
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Old 04-28-2018, 08:51 PM   #10
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One of the most beautifull drives we have ever taken was on the Cabot trail, in the top part on Nova Scotia,/Cape Breton,,it is perfectly matched for our Roadtreks, great views, lots of fun place to stop and see, Boondocking was permitted almost everywhere , whales off in the ocean if you get a chance to go, please make time for a few days in Meat Cove, one of the most incredible times we have had in our van, camping right on the oceans edge, check it out on YouTube,,, youll see what I mean, somebody gave me a tip that if you do the trail counter clockwise, the traffic is much lighter, and it was true,, everybody seems to go clockwise,,,,dont know why, but they do,,, anyways, hope this helps,,,,Peggys cove,, and Lunenberg were also fabulous visits,, good luck youll Love the people,,,so friendly , and warm,,,take care,,,,
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Old 04-28-2018, 08:52 PM   #11
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One thing that we keep missing when we are up that way is Campobello Island, the site of FDR's family retreat. It is a joint US/Canadian national historic park.

https://www.nps.gov/roca/index.htm
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Old 04-28-2018, 08:59 PM   #12
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Great suggestions and ideas! I especially appreciate hearing about the “ins and outs” of the boondocking/camping situation and common sense advice on routes and ferries. We are feeling fortunate that we are able to linger or move along as the circumstances change. It seems like so much to see and do in one area. Our concern based on repeated warnings: the many, many kind people that make it hard to leave.
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Old 04-28-2018, 10:57 PM   #13
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there is 1 other special place i forgot to mention, when you cross into New Brunswick, Canada from Maine, there is a great place called Saint Andrews by the sea,great little downtown, right on the water, a campground overlooking the ocean, we actually boondocked on the town pier for 2 nights, it was a great stop for us,,, hope this helps,,,,,
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Old 04-29-2018, 12:49 AM   #14
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In the Cape Breton Highlands National Park, the best short hike is Middle Head. The best long hike is the world-famous Skyline Trail, but it is usually mobbed with a huge crowd of people. Fishing Cove is also beautiful but very steep. Franey Mountain is worth it but several miles long. If you want a shorter mountain hike, Broad Cove Mountain is only a (steep) half mile each way.

Meat Cove is nice but reservations are dicey, and there are only a few sites that will accommodate a Class B without a large slope. If you are just doing a day trip up there, make sure you call in advance to confirm they are serving clam chowder that day (and make sure you get there early because they do run out). The paved portion of the road up to Meat Cove is calving in places. Don't run your wheel over the side line or you might be tumbling over a large drop-off (if they haven't fixed it yet, you'll find the state of disrepair shocking by American standards).

Speaking of food, keep your eye out for church suppers and church breakfasts and potlucks and other assorted meal-serving fundraisers. That'll be the best food you'll find in Cape Breton in particular (the island lacks the population base and restaurant diversity of more densely developed areas such as the Halifax metro). But some of those suppers are impossibly mobbed. You'd need to show up early. There's a great potluck monthly in my village of Gabarus NS (cash donations are accepted in lieu of food contributions). And codfish suppers at the local Wesley Zion church (one tonight, I think). Sometimes these things get announced on Facebook via "friends of" local groups. That's the most authentic way to meet the local people. And to get good food.

Remember of course, no handguns can cross the border. And you can only legally possess pepper spray if it is the one with the bear's picture on the front.

I always cross the border at Houlton ME. I've never had trouble there but they always ask about guns and pepper spray both.
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Old 04-29-2018, 02:51 PM   #15
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I appreciate all the suggestions! Our house sold waaayy faster than we expected, so not only are we sorting/packing at high speed, we are trying to orient ourselves for a much longer CA trip than we originally planned.

InterBlog, we are big fans of local potluck and fundraising meals. Thanks for the suggestion!
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Old 04-29-2018, 03:23 PM   #16
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BTW: Do not fail to purchase one or more blueberry pies in Maine. There are several amazing bakeries in Bar Harbor. The price of an entire pie will give you pause, but do not hesitate. Bar Harbor is mostly one big tourist trap, but the bakeries alone make it worth visiting.
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Old 04-29-2018, 03:38 PM   #17
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In 2017 we took the Winnebago Outdoor Adventure tour of CA in July. You will need winter clothing as some days get rather chilly. Check out the Bay of Fundy and the great depth of the tides (50'). Also in Halifax see the play of Anne of Green Gables and the Million Dollar Quartet programs. Try to also see the Tattoo performance in July. The money exchange rate is like 1$ = 1.25$.
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Old 04-29-2018, 04:19 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avanti View Post
BTW: Do not fail to purchase one or more blueberry pies in Maine. There are several amazing bakeries in Bar Harbor. The price of an entire pie will give you pause, but do not hesitate. Bar Harbor is mostly one big tourist trap, but the bakeries alone make it worth visiting.
Not sure we could be trusted with an entire Maine blueberry pie. . Can we take it over the border into CA? A regular stop for us has been the bread place near the Kittery Trading Post, where we pick up a jar of the blueberry preserves.
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Old 04-29-2018, 04:31 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mloganusda View Post
In 2017 we took the Winnebago Outdoor Adventure tour of CA in July. You will need winter clothing as some days get rather chilly. Check out the Bay of Fundy and the great depth of the tides (50'). Also in Halifax see the play of Anne of Green Gables and the Million Dollar Quartet programs. Try to also see the Tattoo performance in July. The money exchange rate is like 1$ = 1.25$.
Thanks for the Tattoo reminder, I am hoping to catch that! We try to keep an eye on the exchange rate, since we live so close to the border. (IKEA (near Montreal) can be a dangerous stop!) We are hoping that our thoughtful clothes packing will see us through- lots of clothes suitable for layering, wind/rain jackets, good footwear, bug nets. I also carry hand warmers in all seasons, just in case. We have pretty much decided to leave the kayaks in storage until we figure out a way to carry them that doesn’t compromise our ability to park in a 21 ft parking space.
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Old 04-29-2018, 04:49 PM   #20
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.

YOu will be eating lobsters. Lobsters, and lobsters.
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