TC-104 from New Brunswick to Truro TC-102 Halifax and Dartmouth Ferries from Bigby to the mainland other pages Nova Scotia : overview and history | other provinces | articles
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The Visitors Center offers a road map and general tourist information about the province. Unfortunately, it appears that there aren't that many remarkable things to see in Nova Scotia ! To describe the landscape in one single word, one can only use "rough"! It is very hilly, and the main road continuously climbs and falls. As far as the eye can see, there are only woods, and no houses, no farms and not even fields.
One might think that this province still hasn't been developed, except then perhaps in the larger cities of Halifax, Dartmouth and Bridgewater. The northern and southern coastal villages only offer some rudimentary vacation rentals, but in northern Nova Scotia and Cape Breton the landscapes are indeed more picturesque and panoramic.
Most roads are two-lane roads, which of course doesn't help to open up the area, and the sides of the road are usually rather neglected, but there are enormous road works in progress to double up the highways. In Truro we saw some signs of life, and near this city a Tidal Bore can be admired in the Bay of Fundy. Unfortunately, this spectacular natural phenomenon is not nearly as impressive during the summer as it is in the winter.
The TCH 102 leads to Halifax and Dartmouth. Around these large cities some more activity is noticeable, and some houses show between the trees.
Halifax and Dartmouth are opposite each other on the shores of a bay, and actually they are one city, separated by the water of the bay. Neither, however, seems to offer any noteworthy touristic points of interest.
According to the touristic documentation, Nova Scotia doesn't seem to offer much to discover besides nature, coastline, beaches, fishing, camping, forests and grand panoramic views.
After seeing the great natural beauty of Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick, the Nova Scotia views turn out to be a somewhat poor comparison...
The CAT-Ferry in Yarmouth used to offer a crossing to Bar Harbor in Maine. It was a beautiful and also a very fast catamaran-ferry, who sailed the 160-kilometer-long journey in a mere 2:45 hours.
The only drawback was its price tag, with a single passage for an RV and two persons costing around 600 usd. Unfortunately, this service was discontinued in 2009.
The Ferry from Bigby to St John (New Brunswick) is a classic ship (Princess of Acadia), that accomplishes the 76-kilometer-long journey in three hours.
A single passage for an RV and two people costs about 330 cad. There are two departures per day, but during the season these are usually fully booked.
The third Ferry service, from Yarmouth to Portland in Maine, was also a classic Ferry (Scotia Prince), that achieved the 320-kilometer-long crossing in 11 hours. The price was correspondingly high, and a single passage for an RV and two people cost about 700 usd. However, this service was also discontinued. These Ferries don't seem to do very well with commercial traffic or tourism outside of the season.
We examined maps, schedules and pricing and compared the possibilities of a trip from Bigby in Nova Scotia to Houlton in Maine, either by Ferry or over land. In practice either trip will take almost exactly the same time. The only difference will be the comparison of the price of the Ferry and the price of fuel.
By Ferry the total road distance Bigby/St John and Moncton (NB)/Houlton (ME) is about 302 kilometers. The travel time is 4 hours on the road, plus 3 hours on the ferry, without counting the waiting time. Over the road, the total distance Bigby/Moncton (NB)/Houlton (ME) is about 716 kilometers. The travel time is 8 hours.
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