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The Sunrise trail is a 229 mi (368 km)Â long twisty route the follows along the Southern shore of the Northumberland Strait that's not only scenic but fun to ride!
There's a special welcoming feel all along the Sunrise Trail from the gentle surf and the sandy saltwater beaches to the friendly people you'll meet everywhere you go. Gentle rolling hills and farmlands, country roads wind along bright red bluffs and tidal salt marshes. There are fine restaurants, colourful shops and art galleries, as well as museums, summer theatre, and a fine arts centre, all along the Sunrise Trail. For a detailed PDF map of Sunrise Trial see: http://esr.cc/OrU8rB
Start the motorcycle ride in Amherst, a small town of 9,700 located on the Northeast end of the Cumberland Basin near the border to New Brunswick. Since the mid-1800s, Amherst was one of Nova Scotia's most prominent centres of business and industry. Amherst's historic position as a centre of wealth and influence is also reflected in the fact that it was the home of four of the Fathers of Canadian Confederation: Robert Barry Dickey, Jonathan McCulley, Sir Charles Tupper and Edward Barron Chandler. For more information on what to see, where to eat and where to sleep in Amherst see: http://www.amherst.ca/
Amherst is also a part of the Glooscap trail, click here to see more:
From Amherst to Port Howe you have two choices of motorcycle routes, both equally as scenic. Ride East on Nova Scotia 6 Trunk (NS Trunk 6) on roads with sweeping turns or ride North East on Nova Scotia Highway 366 on twisty roads and a scenic view of Northumberland Strait. Both are marked as the Sunrise Trail. Port Howe is a small fishing community, so you can purchase fresh lobster here at the Lobster Pound.
From Port Howe to Oxford to Pugwash to Wallace, Take a detour down the River Valley on Highway 301 for 11 miles (17 km) to reach Oxford and then travel back to Wallace in the opposite direction. Continue the Sunrise Trail riding on NS Trunk 6 for 5 mi (8 km) to reach Pugwash, then ride another 10 miles (16 km) to reach Wallace. The roads on this section on NS Trunk 6 are relatively straight with a few turns and it follows along the Southern shore of the Northumberland Strait.
Oxford is known as ‟The Blueberry Capital of Canada”. The Oxford region produces over half of Canada's total blueberry harvest each year. The area is particularly beautiful in Autumn as the river valley explodes into vibrant reds and golds. In town, there's a weird picture opportunity with a giant blueberry. For more information on what to see, where to eat and where to sleep in Oxford see: http://www.town.oxford.ns.ca/
Pugwash is a small town of 800 located on Pugwash River, its name comes from the Mi'kmaq word meaning deep water. A popular holiday area, Pugwash boasts galleries, craftshops, award-winning golf courses and saltwater swimming on sandy beaches that feature some of Nova Scotia's warmest waters. The town is famous for being the site of an international conference of scholars in 1957, the conference won the Nobel Prize in 1995, and made its town motto ‟World Famous for Peace”.
Continue to Wallace, a small town popular in the birding community. Over 168 species of birds have been recorded in and around Wallace Bay; it's a great place to spot birds and enjoy the quiet tides of the region in the Wallace Bay National Wildlife Area located 1.5 miles (2.5 km) West of Wallace on the old Bidou Road.
From Wallace to Tatamagouche continue riding your motorcycle on NS Trunk 6 for 12 miles (19 km). The road continues along the Strait and is mostly straight-a-ways.
Tatamagouche is located where the French and Waugh rivers flow into Tatamagouche Bay. The town has become a popular travel destination, because of its bright crafts and gift shops, restaurants, museums and the marina and the beauty of the surrounding countryside and unspoiled coastline. For a break, the Trans Canada Trail offers a great opportunity for hiking or biking along the coast. For more information on what to see, where to eat and where to sleep in Tatamagouche see: http://www.tatamagouchetoday.com/
From Tatamagouche to Pictou to New Glasgow ride for 45 miles (72.5 km) passing through the towns of Marshville, River John, Seafoam, Toney River and Caribou River. At about 33 miles (53 km) into the route, merge from NS Trunk 6 to the Trans Canada Highway (Pictou Causeway). The roads here hug the Strait and offer some spectacular views of the water. For a nice 5.5 mi (9 km) dirt road, ride to the end of Cape John Road, Northwest from River John.
Pictou is a small town on 3,800 located on the Northumberland Shore. On September 15, 1773, Nova Scotia's first immigrants of Scottish Highlanders, 33 families and 25 unmarried men arrived on the ship Hector; and so beginning the wave of Scottish migration. On the Pictou waterfront, there's a full-scale replica of the immigrants' ship built at the Hector Heritage Quay. For more information on what to see, where to eat and where to sleep in Pictou see: http://www.townofpictou.com/
New Glasgow is a town on the banks of the East River of Pictou, which flows into Pictou Harbour. It was colonized in the late 18th and early 19th century by Scottish immigrants and quickly became a hub for shipbuilding; hundreds of ships were built here. Now, New Glasgow is a service centre for Pictou County complete with shopping centres and residential development along the 104 section of the Trans Canada highway. The town is part of the communities in bloom program, an organization committed to environmental responsibility and beautification through community participation http://www.novascotiacommunitiesinbloom.org/. For more information on what to see, where to eat and where to sleep in New Glasgow see: http://newglasgow.ca
From New Glasgow to Malignant Cove to Ballantynes Cove, ride through the streets of New Glasgow and onto the Trans Canada Highway for 8 mi (13 km), then take the Highway 245 exit Northeast for some twisty roads hugging the Northumberland Strait. To get to Malignant Cove continue for 13.5 mi (22 km) on Highway 337 to reach Ballantynes Cove.
Malignant Cove has a beautiful coastline and is named for the HMS Malignant, which shipwrecked here in 1774. Ballantynes Cove is an important fishing town; it's the principal trading point for Japanese merchants looking for sushi- gradeAtlantic blue fin tuna. You'll see some brightly painted homes on green meadows and high-up on red bluffs. Several look-offs give dramatic views of the coastline.
Photo credit: RcGroups user: Bolter http://esr.cc/M6fv4J
From Ballantynes Cove to Antigonish the motorcycle road is about 20.5 miles (33 km) South on Hwy 337 along the Strait and many more twisties, reaching Antigonish.
Antigonish is a small picturesque town of 4,500 people with a strong Scottish heritage. The renowned Antigonish Highland Games have been held here every year since 1861 attracting crowds in the thousands every July. For more information on what to see, where to eat and where to sleep in Antigonish see: http://www.townofantigonish.ca/main.html
From Antiginosh to Auld's Cove, ride South on NS Trunk 4 for 0.6 mi (1 km) then go East on the Trans Canada Highway for 11 mi (18 km) merging back onto NS Trunk 4 for some more twisties on your way to the final destination of Auld's Cove.
The Sunrise Trail ends at Auld's Cove, a common resting point with some services and amenities at the Western end of the Canso Causeway leading to Cape Breton.
Aulds Cove is also a part of the Marine Drive, click here to see more:
In all, the Sunrise trail is a 229 mi (368 km)Â long twisty route, and one of Nova Scotia's best and most scenic motorcycle routes. The Trail follows along the beautiful Southern shores of the Northumberland Strait and always offers fun roads to ride with spectacular views. Enjoy the ride! EatSleepRIDE.