GRAND PRÉ – BURNTCOAT HEAD
Pedal the land of plenty.
RECONNECT WITH THE WONDER OF NATURE’S ABUNDANCE.
Wind your way through the land of plenty, riding next to sun-drenched mud flats, artisan galleries and fertile vineyards —fueled by nature’s beauty and propelled by the rhythm of the tide.
Ride with ease through the pristine Avon River Valley, where gently rolling landscapes meet the world’s highest tides, and the elements are perfectly aligned for a cyclist’s paradise. Start your journey in the landscape of Grand Pré UNESCO World Heritage Site, featuring amazing views of the Minas Basin framed by the red cliffs of Blomidon and centuries-old Acadian built dykes. Before embarking on your trip, make sure you fuel up on delicious homemade pie at the Evangeline Inn.
Travel south, passing through the seaside village of Avonport before reaching the shipbuilding town of Hantsport. Enjoy a picnic while tide-gazing at Fundy Centennial Park. Before arriving in Windsor, be sure to stop in at Sainte-Famille Wines in Falmouth to taste Nova Scotia’s Tidal Bay appellation and vintages from the warmest vineyard in the province.
Nestled at the junction of the St. Croix and Avon rivers is the town of Windsor, which holds the prestigious claim of being the birthplace of hockey. After visiting the Hockey Heritage Museum, you’ll find a range of eating establishments in the town, from pubs and cafes to casual dining. If you’re up for an adventure, consider a short detour out of town to Martock, where you can test your physical abilities on aerial obstacle courses, climbing walls and ziplines at OnTree Fun & Adventure Park.
Before leaving Windsor, be sure to check the tidal charts. Your next leg of the journey will take you around the St. Croix River toward the Avondale Peninsula, and if the timing’s right, you could witness a tidal bore making its way upstream from a bridge that crosses the river. Tidal bores also occur on the Kennetcook River to the northeast.
The ride around the Avondale Peninsula may be the most enjoyable segment of this adventure! The flat terrain and never-ending views of the Avon River and its tributaries are thoroughly rewarding. As an added bonus, you’ll be treated to award-winning wines at Avondale Sky Winery , which offers wine tastings and tours of the restored 175 year old church that was moved over forty kilometers to its current site on the peninsula. Complete your loop around the peninsula in Brooklyn, where you can grab a bite to eat at the Bread Gallery or take a short detour to Meander River Farm and Brewery for a tour and beer tasting while learning about the burgeoning local craft beer industry (recommend booking in advance! Note: currently only open on weekends).
Enjoy the views of the Avon River and Minas Basin as you head up and around the quiet and relatively flat Highway 215. The rural road will take you to a series of truly unique hidden gems. First, stop in Summerville where you can enjoy a delicious homemade meal and take a cooking class at the Flying Apron Inn and Cookery. Boxed lunches are also available. Next, keep your eye out for a layered brick dome overlooking a salt marsh in Cheverie. This is a functioning camera obscura that projects live images of the surrounding area on the concrete floor of the structure. Further along the highway on the Minas Basin stands the Walton Lighthouse , where you can climb to the top of the nine-metre tower for fantastic views of the basin and to learn about the area’s past.
The ultimate stop of your trip awaits at Burntcoat Head Park, home of the world’s highest-recorded tide. Check tides and events ahead of time for opportunities to explore the ocean floor. Meet rare aquatic species on a guided tour or book an exclusive culinary feast at low tide.