NOVA SCO­TIA

ANNAPOLIS VALLEY

Pedal Magazine - - Test Gear - BY GARY CON­ROD

Here is a spec­tac­u­lar bike ride where you will ex­pe­ri­ence two big climbs, two fast de­scents, or­chards, winer­ies, fam­ily farms, a cheese maker, fresh lob­ster and the world’s high­est tides.

Nova Sco­tia’s Annapolis Valley is a dense net­work of ru­ral roads – get­ting lost is part of the fun here. You can’t go wrong as long as you stay off of High­ways 1 and 101. My favourite 68-kilo­me­tre ride in this com­pli­cated net­work has a full set of 30 turns; just work your way be­tween the vil­lages men­tioned here and you will have a great ride.

Start at the tiny vil­lage of Port Wil­liams. There’s a great gas­tropub here when you ar­rive back at the end of your ride. You are al­ready out into the coun­try­side. Work your way around Starr’s Point past home­steads, some from the early 1800’s, and then to the vil­lage of Can­ning. Go up the north ridge of the valley on Route 358. It will be, at one point, a 9% grade. On top, go east as far as the small aptly named vil­lage of Look-Off. From here, your view takes in the en­tire east­ern end of the Annapolis Valley. Re­turn a bit and stay up on the ridge.

Soon you have a fast de­scent into the iso­lated fish­ing port of Hall’s Har­bour. Here you get to visit the famed Bay of Fundy, with the high­est tides in the world. This iso­lated port can have a moody cli­mate; the hot and hu­mid valley air can change within min­utes to brac­ing ocean breezes and dense sea fog once you reach the bay. The high tide leaves the vil­lage’s fish­ing fleet high and dry twice a day. It is an ac­tive lob­ster port and you can dine on the beach rocks over­look­ing the bay.

A climb re­turns back up the ridge on the west side of the vil­lage and back down again into the Annapolis Valley. Rock­well Road has a straight, fast down­hill run. Work your way back us­ing NS-221, Mid­dle Dyke Road and Belcher Street. The gas­tropub awaits you, your re­ward for ex­plor­ing this great lit­tle cor­ner of Canada.

The Annapolis Valley of­fers spec­tac­u­lar bike rides, the high­est tides in the world, winer­ies and

lob­ster for the tak­ing.

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