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Hiking Nova Scotia: Lunenburg to Cape Breton Highlands National Park

Program Number: 21494RJ
Start and End Dates:
8/15/2014 - 8/22/2014; 7/17/2015 - 7/24/2015; 8/14/2015 - 8/21/2015;
Duration: 7 nights
Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia
Price starting at: $1,995.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Walking/Hiking; On the Road Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 20; 7 Breakfasts, 6 Lunches, 7 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

Explore Nova Scotia while hiking some of the most memorable landscapes in the Maritimes. Low mountains, verdant valleys, wind-raked barrens and varied seacoast expose an ancient geological saga, transforming a simple hike into an outdoor lesson in the history of our planet. Experience small-town charm, coastal vistas and the natural beauty of the Cape Breton Highlands and world-famous Cabot Trail. On daily hikes, learn about the cultures that shaped the province, from the Mi’kmaq and Basque fishermen to Loyalists and Gaelic immigrants, and about coastal ecology in a breathtaking Atlantic setting rich in wildlife like whales, moose and eagles.




Highlights

• Enjoy an eagle’s view of the Cabot Trail and watch for whales in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.
• Discover the picturesque fishing village of Peggy’s Cove and explore its narrow streets and colorful waterfront.
• Hike to the site of the first lighthouse in Canada.



Activity Particulars

Hiking up to seven hours on well- maintained park trails, narrow coastal tracks/coastal trails, some hilly paved roads, large-pebbled beach, forest track, with some damp/muddy sections.



Itinerary Summary

Arrival Halifax, 1 night; coach to Chester, 2 nights; coach to Baddeck, 2 nights; coach to Cheticamp, 2 nights; coach to Halifax, departure.




Halifax

Nova Scotia’s capital is a modern port city with 18th-century elegance. Once the prime fortress in British North America, this vibrant destination on Canada's east coast offers architectural and cultural reminders of Halifax’s early European days, and also boasts a gorgeous harbor, quaint jazz clubs, live theater and abundant fresh seafood.



Accommodations
Halifax: Full-service hotel. South Shore: Waterfront resort. Cape Breton: Comfortable inns.

Road Scholar Instructors
These instructors are participating on at least one date of this program. Please note that changes may occur.
James White

Dr. Jay White holds a doctorate in Canadian history from McMaster University. He currently teaches Canadian military history in Halifax for the Department of Continuing Studies at Royal Military College, Kingston. His research interests include social, nautical and military topics spanning the 18th to 20th centuries, with a focus on Atlantic Canada. Jay has published articles on Titanic "instant books," Halifax in WWII and the origins of tourism in Nova Scotia. His latest research project for the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic investigated transatlantic cables and the ships that maintain them.
 
Napoleon Chiasson

Napoleon Chiasson has a passion for enlightening others about his beloved Cape Breton and has led walks on the Cabot Trail in Cape Breton Highlands National Park for 14 years, offering his historical expertise to visitors. A retired educator with 29 years in the public school system, he has taught both French and English. Napoleon currently heads the cultural association in Cheticamp, a fishing camp of 4,000, a large number of whom are Acadians, on the Cabot Trail.
 
Meals and Lodgings
   Atlantica Hotel Halifax
  Halifax, NS 1 night
   Atlantica Hotel & Marina Oak Island
  Chester, Nova Scotia 2 nights
   Lynwood Inn
  Baddeck, Nova Scotia 2 nights
   Lauries Motor Inn
  Cheticamp, NS 2 nights
 Atlantica Hotel Halifax
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: This is the place. The place to stay in downtown Halifax. Here, dining is divine, weddings are wonderful and meetings form the foundation for something more. It's a four-star experience where guestrooms are thoughtful and warm, the staff goes above and beyond to please, and the best our city has to offer is close at hand. This is Atlantica Hotel Halifax. A downtown different way to dream, dine, meet and unwind.
  Contact info: 1980 Robie Street
Halifax, NS B3H 3G5 Canada
phone: 902-423-1161
web: www.atlanticahotelhalifax.com
  Room amenities: Guestrooms are spacious with room to work, relax, or do whatever your heart desires. Warm, inviting décor marries classic and contemporary styles. Friendly housekeeping staff ensures everything is fresh and clean. Complimentary high speed Internet, 2 telephones, key card system for security, coffee maker, iron/ironing board, cable TV, hair dryer, vanity mirror, individual climate control, private bath with full size tub, shower and sink.
  Facility amenities: Leisure facilities (indoor pool, wading pool, sauna, whirlpool), outside deck, air conditioned fitness room, gift shop, ATM machine, on-site restaurant (Seasons), wine bar, seasonal concierge services, information on local tourist attractions, business centre services, credit card accessible computer and printer, heated underground garage, dry cleaning pickup, on-site guest self-laundry facilities, free local phone calls, safety deposit box available at Front desk, room service
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: Call for information Contact the Atlantica Hotel directly for availability. 902-423-1161 reservations@atlanticahalifax.com
  Check in time: 3:00 PM

 Atlantica Hotel & Marina Oak Island
Type: Resort
  Description: At the Atlantica Hotel & Marina Oak Island, we celebrate the spectacular setting that is Nova Scotia’s south shore. A perfect escape nestled between Chester and Mahone Bay along Nova Scotia's southwest shore -- a place to catch your breath, enjoy a well-deserved massage, or cruise the islands of Mahone Bay. Just a 45-minute drive from Halifax, our seaside hotel effortlessly blends the comforts of a scenic retreat with all the fun of an elegant, full-service resort. The resort offers a fantastic view of Mahone Bay and the famed, yet mysterious, Oak Island, believed by some to be the hiding spot of Captain Kidd's long-lost treasure. We invite you to discover the unique character and casual luxury of our seacoast resort. Explore the marvels of unspoiled nature you’ll encounter here. And create memories that entice you to return to the Atlantica Hotel & Marina Oak Island again and again.
  Contact info: 36 Treasure Drive
Box 6
Western Shore, NS B0J 3M0 Canada
phone: 902-627-2600
web: www.atlanticaoakisland.com/
  Room amenities: Influenced by our seaside location, our four-star accommodations offer everything you need for a cozy stay. Rooms feature complimentary Wi-Fi, iron & ironing board, clock radios, cable television, Aveda bath products and complimentary Starbuck’s coffee service.
  Facility amenities: Enjoy our east coast hospitality, pamper yourself in our spa, and enjoy three local championship golf courses, a marina and top-notch accommodations. Sample the inventive menu of La Vista, raise a toast in the intimate ambiance of the Fireside Lounge or enjoy the outdoors and grab a bite or beverage at Burgers N’Brew, our seasonal Tiki Bar. Facility features includes mini golf, horseshoes, tennis court, basketball,bonfires, indoor & outdoor pools, hot tub, sauna and fitness centre. Bike & kayak rentals at the Kayak Shack.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes

 Lynwood Inn
Type: Inn
  Description: Lynwood was built in 1868, and owned by Charles Hart. In the mid-1800s the Hart family were prominent local business people and merchants. The house has three tall triangular gables and a handsome central entrance way. For many years a private house, it was later a prominent local store, selling art, antiques and collectibles, and has recently been extensively renovated and now operates as an inn and restaurant. Located within the heart of Baddeck, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. Lynwood is within walking distance of the waterfront, shops & restaurants, and of course the Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site.
  Contact info: 441 Shore Road
Baddeck, NS B0E 1B0 Canada
phone: 902-295-1995
web: www.lynwoodinn.com
  Room amenities: Iron, ironing board, hairdryer, alarm clock, phone, cable TV, high-speed Internet access.
  Facility amenities: Our restaurant serves a wide selection of meals, including lobster (in season), halibut, mussels, scallops, as well as steak, pasta and sandwiches and our world famous fish and chips! Laundry facilities on site. Lynwood Inn is 100% non-smoking.
  Smoking allowed: No

 Lauries Motor Inn
Type: Inn
  Description: We are located in the heart of the Acadian village of Chéticamp by the sea on the world famous Cabot Trail. Our inn has been welcoming guests to this scenic area since 1938. Your Cape Breton experience begins in Chéticamp where Acadian hospitality, exceptional cuisine, the fluke of the whales and nature's abundance greet you and your family.
  Contact info: P.O. Box 1
15456 Laurie Road
Cheticamp, NS B0E 1H0 Canada
phone: 902-224-2400
web: www.lauries.com/index.php
  Room amenities: Comfortable rooms with basic amenities.
  Facility amenities: This award winning Inn has been operated by the McKeown family since 1938 welcoming guests with good food and the unique charm that is Laurie's. Main fishing wharf across the street plus nearby gift shops, museums & other amenities. Laurie's House Restaurant & Lounge offers award winning cuisine with Acadian smiles are the hallmarks of Laurie's. Serving both fresh seafood, traditional Acadian dishes and more modern dishes, the food at Laurie's is a the best in town. The views at Laurie's overlook the active harbor and the fishermen as they set out. On the second level, our Lounge is a great evening experience offering pub food and live Acadian music every night of the week.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Additional nights after:  middle of program


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Arrivals and transfers to the hotel in Halifax, NS. Check-in is 4:00 p.m. Dinner at the hotel at 5:30 p.m. You will be staying at Atlantica Hotel Halifax that night.
  End of Program:
Coach transfer to Halifax. Approximate arrival 12:30 p.m. Departures from Halifax, NS. You will be staying at Lauries Motor Inn the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required.
  Parking availability:
Long term parking available at the airport or public lots near the hotel.
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Halifax, NS
  Nearest city or town:  Truro
  Nearest highway: 102
  Nearest airport:  Halifax International Airport
  From End of Program
  Location:  Cheticamp, NS
  Nearest city or town:  Sydney, NS
  Nearest airport:  Halifax International Airport
Travel Details
 

Halifax (YHZ)

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Public Transportation
Metro Transit

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$3.25 adult/$2.50 senior
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

45 - 60 minutes 

   

Metro Transit operates its MetroX service Halifax Stanfield International Airport (YHZ) to downtown Halifax. The #320 bus operates every 30 minutes during peak (6 am to 9 am) and (3 pm to 6 pm). Regular schedule every 60 minutes. $3.25 for adults/students; $2.50 for children/seniors. Get off at the Duke & Albemarle stop - walk down Duke Street (2 minutes) to catch Bus #81 on Barrington St (Southbound) - bus drops you on Robie Street near the hotel. www.halifax.ca/metrotransit/metroexpress.html

 

Halifax International Airport (YHZ)

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Taxi

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$60 - $65 (per taxi)
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

40 minutes 

   

Taxis available curbside at the Halifax International Airport to take you to your hotel.

 

Halifax (YHZ)

 

To Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Public Transportation

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$3.25 adult/$2.50 senior
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

45 - 60 minutes 

   

Metro Transit operates its MetroX service between Halifax Stanfield International Airport (YHZ) and downtown Halifax. The #320 bus operates every 30 minutes during peak (6 am to 9 am) and (3 pm to 6 pm). Regular schedule every 60 minutes. $3.25 for adults/students; $2.50 for children/seniors.

 

Halifax

 

To Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Taxi

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$60 - $65 (per taxi)
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

40 minutes 

   

Taxis available to take you from the hotel to Halifax International Airport.

 
Driving Directions
  Halifax International Airport (YHZ) From the airport start going SOUTH on Bell Blvd / Boulevard Bell toward Silver Dart. Stay right on Bell Blvd/Boulevard Bell. Take the Highway 102 S ramp towards Halifax/Dartmouth. Take the Highway 118 exit on the left towards Highway 103/Darthmouth/Highway 111/Halifax. Turn left onto Victoria Rd/Highway 322. Turn right onto Nantucket Ave. Nantucket Ave becomes Angus L Macdonald Bridge, which then becomes North St. Turn right onto Agricola St, and then left onto McCully St.; left again at Robie St. and end at the Atlantica Hotel Halifax, 1980 Robie St, Halifax, NS B3H 3G5, CA.
Elevation Note: Some elevation gain/loss on hikes in Cape Breton National Park.

Equipment Requirements: Good walking/hiking boots; comfortable clothing for daily hikes, rain gear, refillable water bottle, daypack.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Arrival and Check-In/Welcome Dinner/Orientation
(Friday, August 15)
   
 Arrive To: Arrivals to the hotel in the afternoon. Check-in after 3:00 p.m.
 Dinner: Welcome dinner at the hotel at 5:30 p.m. followed by introductions and a review of the schedule. Please be aware that program activities and scheduled times could change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.
   
Accommodations: Atlantica Hotel Halifax
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Walking Historic Halifax/Peggy's Cove/Hiking the South Shore
(Saturday, August 16)

Note: Halifax: Walking at a moderate pace, approximately 2 miles, some hills. Peggy's Cove Preservation Area: Hiking up to 2 hours on narrow paths along the coast.



   
 Breakfast: At the hotel
 Morning: A presentation by a local historian will introduce you to the history of Nova Scotia and the city of Halifax. This area was finally settled by western European immigrants, principally Scottish, Irish, English and French, creating a magical mosaic of cultures, both old and new. With local experts, learn about the rich history and culture of this region from folklore music, rugged coastline, remote fishing villages and Acadian farms, to 21st- century cities
 Morning: Explore Halifax on a guided walk along the historic waterfront. Along the way, hear about some of the important events in Canadian, Nova Scotian and local history. On Water Street, visit North American's oldest working brewery; and see the city's 19th century Citadel. Learn about important people who shaped the area's history and why Halifax was settled. Examine the city's role in the Titanic aftermath and the famous Halifax explosion.
 Lunch: Picnic lunch.
 Afternoon: Depart for Peggy's Cove, a picturesque fishing village on Nova Scotia's South Shore, and one of the most popular stops in Atlantic Canada. At Peggy's Cove Preservation Area, we hike along narrow paths through low-growth barrens along the coast, with big ocean views. There is an abundance of glacial erratics - large granite boulders left behind by retreating glaciers. Distant landmarks will include the iconic Peggy's Cove Lighthouse, and the church spire of West Dover.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.
   
Accommodations: Atlantica Hotel & Marina Oak Island
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Hiking: Lunenburg/Gaff Point
(Sunday, August 17)

Note: Lunenburg: Walking is on the hilly paved roads of the town; approximately 1.5 hours. Hirtle's Beach: Hike is 2 -3 hours, terrain is a mix of large-pebbled beach and forest track, with some damp sections.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: This morning we start with a guided walk in Lunenburg, explore and discover this UNESCO site's history, architecture and significant buildings. The town's picture-postcard harbor, its colorful waterfront and the homes of flamboyant sea captains reflect its seafaring heritage. Many of these beautifully maintained homes were on the original town plan, established in 1753, the first British colonial settlement in Nova Scotia outside Halifax. Visit the Fisheries Museum, commemorating the fishing heritage of the Atlantic coast of Canada. Housed in brightly painted red buildings, with floating vessels at wharfside, exhibits explore shipbuilding, rum-running, life in fishing communities and old marine engines. Daily demonstrations of fish filleting, lobster traps and traditional crafts.
 Lunch: Lunch in Lunenburg.
 Afternoon: From the delightfully secluded Hirtle’s Beach, you will walk out to the headland of Gaff Point and savour the views of the nearby LaHave Islands. Gaff Point is the last undeveloped headland within 70 miles in either direction and was purchased by the Nature Conservancy of Canada to ensure its natural state.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.
   
Accommodations: Atlantica Hotel & Marina Oak Island
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Transfer to Baddeck/Cape Breton Island/Hike to Uisge Bhan Falls/Cape Breton Island History and Culture
(Monday, August 18)

Note: Uisge Bhan Falls Trail: Hiking 1 - 1.5 hours on dirt trails, can be muddy after rainy periods.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Travel across the Canso Causeway on the way to Cape Breton. Travel & Leisure magazine rates Cape Breton Island #2 in World’s Best Islands and National Geographic named Cape Breton Island one of the world's top 20 places to see.
 Lunch: Lunch en route.
 Afternoon: Following along the banks of the North Branch Baddeck River, hike through beautiful hardwood forest alongside streams and rivers to Uisge Bhan Falls, Gaelic for “white water". The gorge is home to a diverse Acadian old growth forest. Travel on to Baddeck where you will learn about Cape Breton Island, settle in and prepare for tomorrow’s hikes.
 Dinner: Lobster dinner at the inn.
 Evening: Discover the traditions and history of Cape Breton Island in an evening presentation. The Island's first inhabitants were the Mi’kmaq people, who have lived here for well over 2,000 years. Throughout the next few centuries, settlers came from England, France, Ireland and Scotland. In the early 18th century, French settlers built the Fortress of Louisbourg along with the first lighthouse in Canada, Louisbourg Lighthouse.
   
Accommodations: Lynwood Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Hiking Coastal Nova Scotia/The Lighthouse Trail/Fortress of Louisbourg
(Tuesday, August 19)

Note: Louisbourg: Hiking on the Lighthouse Trail, approximately 2 hours on dirt road, narrow coastal tracks; lightly hilly but fairly easy.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: At the Fortress of Louisbourg, discover why this French fortress was built, how it functioned, and why it failed. The original fortress, constructed mainly between 1720 and 1740, was one of the most extensive (and expensive) European fortifications constructed in North America. Today it is an 18th-century adventure nestled on the edge of the sea - a place where muskets and mortars, women in hoop skirts and men in wigs, town criers and the 'iron collar' are a part of re-enacted everyday life.
 Lunch: Enjoy a delicious lunch at the Fortress where costumed staff in period restaurants prepare and serve delicious food and beverages based on 18th-century tradition and recipes.
 Afternoon: This afternoon’s hike will take you along the coast on the Lighthouse Trail's rugged rock-lined shoreline, and desolate coastal barrens. Few trails offer such a combination of historical record and scenic magnificence. Hike to the site of the first lighthouse in Canada in 1734, through Gun Landing Cove, where British besiegers of Fortress Louisbourg landed artillery.
 Dinner: Dinner at the inn.
 Evening: Optional ceilidh in Baddeck; enjoy traditional Cape Breton music at a kitchen party where everyone is welcome to perform if they wish!
   
Accommodations: Lynwood Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Hiking Cape Breton Highlands National Park: The Cabot Trail/Black Brook/White Point
(Wednesday, August 20)

Note: Cape Breton Highlands National Park: Hiking on coastal trails and well maintained park trails approximately 5 - 6 hours. Good sturdy foot wear is required. A walk down and up a steep hill, as well as some rough terrain.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Spend the day hiking in the Cape Breton Highlands National Park and the renowned Cabot Trail. Hike along the coast from Black Brook Beach, and out to spectacular White Point. Take in the ocean views at one of our most popular beaches, bordered by a gentle waterfall on one end and intersected by a freshwater brook. Over the course of the year, the sandspit at the mouth of the brook shifts continuously, dependent on the tides and currents.
 Lunch: Picnic lunch
 Afternoon: Hiking continues in Cape Breton Highlands National Park. The Cabot Trail is one of the most beautiful drives you can experience and where Alexander Graham Bell made his famous quote about simple beauty: “I have seen the Canadian and American Rockies, the Andes, the Alps and the Highlands of Scotland, but for simple beauty, Cape Breton outrivals them all.”
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.
   
Accommodations: Lauries Motor Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Hiking Cape Breton Highlands National Park: Skyline Trail/Salmon Pools
(Thursday, August 21)

Note: Cape Breton Highlands National Park: Hiking on the Skyline Trail, easy hiking up to 2 hours on well-groomed trail. Moose are common, and whales can sometimes be seen from the spectacular viewpoint at the far end. Hiking the Salmon Pools Trail, hiking 2 - 4 hours through beech woods into a gorge with deep salmon pools. Elevation gain approximately 1000 feet.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: On our second full day in Cape Breton Highlands National Park we will hike two trails. A dramatic headland cliff overlooks the rugged coast from the end of the Skyline Trail. Enjoy an eagle's view of the Cabot Trail as it winds its way down the mountain. Watch for whales in the Gulf of St. Lawrence from the viewing decks. Moose, bald eagles, bears and numerous boreal birds live in this habitat.
 Lunch: Picnic lunch.
 Afternoon: Hiking continues in Cape Breton Highlands National Park. This afternoon we will hike the Salmon Pools Trail along the Cheticamp River into a gorge with deep salmon pools where black bears are sometimes spotted.
 Dinner: Farewell dinner and entertainment.
   
Accommodations: Lauries Motor Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Coach Transfer to Halifax/Program Concludes/Departures
(Friday, August 22)
   
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: Coach transfer to Halifax/Halifax International Airport departs at 8:00 a.m. Coach drop off at the airport (and downtown if requested). Approximate arrival around 12:30. Participants should make flight arrangements for mid afternoon in case of delays on the coach back from Baddeck.
 Afternoon: Departures from Halifax.This concludes our program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please be in touch via the Road Scholar Social Network, where you can share memories, pictures and comments. Best wishes for all your journeys.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


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