Lupins in SpringPanmure Island, PEIMilleville, NBFundy Fishing Boats


The Maritimes: A Splendid Cycling Destination

      The Maritimes are the eastern Canadian provinces of Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick. Here, on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of St. Lawrence, land, sea, and sky join to create an invigorating climate with varied landscapes that are superb for cycling. These provinces, within a day's drive of eastern Ontario, Quebec, and the northeastern United States, offer the cyclist seemingly endless miles of quiet country roads. Some trace the shore and call at tiny fishing ports, while others wind through river valleys, past woods and farms, to small towns that seem to have magically escaped the stress afflicting larger urban centers.

Millville, New Brunswick, a lovely little town nestled in a quiet valley


Green fields, red bluffs, blue sea and sky -- the primary colors of P.E.I.

      Prince Edward Island is justly famed for its gentle landscape, a patchwork quilt of greens and gold, rimmed with red bluffs and pink sand beaches. With safe swimming, relatively short distances, and a nearly-level rail trail from one end of the Island to the other, it may be best province for families with children and for less experienced recreational cyclists.

      Nova Scotia is the most diverse of the Maritime Provinces — from the spectacular vistas of Cape Breton, to the rich farmland and historic towns of the Annapolis Valley, to the rugged Atlantic coast, dotted with lighthouses and picturesque port towns. There are routes for every ability and cycling preference.

      New Brunswick is the least known of the three Maritime provinces, but it offers splendid surprises for the cyclist. The St. John River Valley, the Acadian and Fundy Shores, and the idyllic Kingston Peninsula have some of the finest bicycling routes in the Maritimes.

Spring in New Brunswick's St. John River Valley -- a grand time and place for cycling.

Friendly waitress at Wally's favorite breakfast stop in Woodstock, New Brunswick

      The Maritimes offer more than beautiful scenery. Some of North America's earliest European settlements were established here, and tumultuous events during the Colonial period helped shape the history of Canada and indeed of North America. During the Maritimes' economic heyday, in the 19th century, prosperous towns were built whose architecture still delights the visitor. And the Maritimes' Scottish, Irish, English, French, and First Nations heritage has produced a rich culture that draws appreciative visitors to hundreds of galleries, concerts, and festivals every summer.

      The people of all three provinces extend an extraordinarily warm welcome to visitors. In fact, we think the friendly people and comfortable communities of the Maritimes are the greatest attraction of all.

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© 2006, Wallace and Barbara Smith