Bike Rides in Newfoundland, PEI & Nova Scotia

Easy biking on the Confederation Trail
Easy biking on the Confederation Trail in PEI

If you love multi-day bike trips, then a visit to eastern Canada is in order. Five great bike rides in Newfoundland, PEI and Nova Scotia are described. Cycle all of them over a summer or knock them off over a couple of trips. All the bike rides offer beautiful coastal scenery, plenty of seafood with a large serving of friendly Maritime hospitality.

Blue Rocks is one of the prettiest villages in Nova Scotia to visit by bike
Blue Rocks is one of the prettiest villages in Nova Scotia to visit by bike

Bike Newfoundland’s Viking Trail

This is a seven day, 534 km (332 mile) bike ride that starts in Deer Lake and ends in St. Anthonys. It takes you through beautiful Gros Morne National Park, and places with names like Rocky Harbour, Cow Head, Pistolet Bay and St. Barbe.

Cycle to the tip of the peninsula and visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of L’Anse aux Meadows.

Read: A Biking Adventure on the Viking Trail

A few extra days are recommended – so you can ferry over to Labrador (where you’re likely to see whales) and cycle for the day. Gros Morne National Park deserves more than a passing glance too. At the very least take the boat tour on Western Brook Pond.

Atlantic Canada Cycling runs this trip though it’s doable on your own. You can camp or stay in B&B’s, and there are lots of places to purchase food or have a good meal.

Highlights include the incredibly friendly Newfoundlanders (one B&B owner gave us her car to drive to dinner!), beautiful coastal scenery, a boat ride on Western Brook Pond, and lots of moose sightings. In fact one participant on our trip was followed by a moose on the highway – and didn’t even know it.

A stop along the shore on the third day of biking
A stop along the shore on the third day of biking

Cycle the Avalon Peninsula

The ride out of St. John’s, the capital of Newfoundland, takes you around the Avalon Peninsula, rated in 2010 by National Geographic as the Number One coastal destination in the world. The cycling is hard. Allow five days to complete 435 km (270 miles).

You could do this trip on your own and camp or stay in friendly B&B’s. 

Highlights on this route include the charming, musical and colourful city of St. John’s, a chance to be the first in North America to watch the sunrise at Cape Spear, lots of bird life, fabulous coastal scenery, whale and iceberg sightings, and the possibility of walking part of the East Coast Trail if you can take a day off from your bike. I’ve visited part of this area but would love to go back one day and bike the whole peninsula.

Rugged Beauty Boat Tours
Icebergs off the coast of Newfoundland

Bike the Cabot Trail on Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia

The Cabot Trail bike ride is a 298 km (185 mile) loop around the northern part of Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia passing through the very scenic Cape Breton Highlands National Park.

It’s considered to be one of the best places for a bike tour in all of North America – so says Bicycling Magazine – and it’s on the ‘must do’ list of many a serious biker. I’d say its definitely worth the effort to do it.

You can do it yourself – which is what my husband and I did or go with any one of the number of tour companies. We booked small hotels and B&B’s and did the loop in five days.

Highlights include dramatic scenery, fantastic downhill rides, a sense of accomplishment after climbing the big hills, hiking in Cape Breton National Park if you have the time, fresh seafood, whale watching and friendly locals.

The road down from Cape Smokey looking south
The road down from Cape Smokey looking south
The easy hills through the Cape Breton Highlands National Park
The easy hills through the Cape Breton Highlands National Park – seriously

Bike the length of Prince Edward Island 

Prince Edward Island offers easy cycling over the course of a four to seven day trip, depending on how much time you want for extra exploring. Grab a shuttle and head for Tignish at the northwestern tip.

Before you go, pick up a good map and then work your way east on a combination of quiet back roads and the Confederation Trail – a tip to tip trail on old railway lines. Finish in Souris, about 250 kilometres later, and shuttle or cycle back to Charlottetown.

This is a really easy trip to do on your own – and the islanders are ever helpful if you have bicycle breakdowns. Otherwise, sign up for a tour with MacQueens – a local island company.

Some of your PEI biking highlights include quiet roads, beautiful beaches to walk, especially the Greenwich section of Prince Edward Island National Park, lots of seafood, great accommodation choices and peaceful, pastoral scenery.

Read: How to Spend 5 Days Cycling PEI

5 Great Bike Rides in Newfoundland, PEI and Nova Scotia
You’ll cycle past potato farms in all parts of the province
The Inn of Bay Fortune in PEI
The Inn of Bay Fortune in PEI

Bike Nova Scotia’s South Shore and the Wolfville Area

These are two distinct areas of Nova Scotia but they aren’t more than about a 90 minute drive apart.

Biking the south shore of Nova Scotia will take you past gorgeous coastal scenery, through small towns like Peggy’s Cove, Chester, Mahone Bay, Lunenburg, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Cycle the Aspotogan Peninsula and enjoy the beaches, ride to Ovens Park and check out the sea caves reached by tunnels.  Every night plan on dining well.

Recommended reading: Nova Scotia Cycling Itinerary: Mahone Bay-Lunenburg-Bridgewater


After you’ve spent three or four days cycling the 250 km on south shore roads, head to Wolfville, a very pretty university town. Ride out to Cape Split and then do a 14 km hike to get great Bay of Fundy views.

Then the next day, cycle between wineries and apple orchards up and out to Hall’s Harbour – where my husband and I bought our first house. Bring a picnic lunch and enjoy it on the beach.

Freewheeling also offers tours in this area but again, other than getting a shuttle, it’s not hard to do a multi-day trip on your own.

Arrival in colourful Lunenburg
Arrival in colourful Lunenburg
Pretty cycling beside the La Have River towards Crouses Settlement Road
Pretty cycling beside the La Have River towards Crouses Settlement Road

I love visiting the Maritimes. I don’t think you can go wrong with any of these bike rides – it’s only the level of difficulty you need to consider. All over the Maritimes the people are renown for their kindness, food is local, fresh and excellent and there are loads of places to stay to fit all budgets.

It's really pretty cycling along the length of Second Peninsula to reach Bachman's Beach
It’s really pretty cycling along the length of Second Peninsula to reach Bachman’s Beach – accessible from Mahone Bay or Lunenburg

Further reading on biking in Canada

Click on the photo to bookmark to your Pinterest boards.

5 multi-day bike trips in Atlantic Canada


  1. Hello Leigh
    Thank you for your cool site and recommendations.
    We just returned from a self guided tour of the south shore of Nova Scotia and used Randonnee Tours to supply bikes, routes, B&B reservations and carry our stuff from point to point (they subcontracted with Pedal and Sea). Loved our trip but think we could do it more on our own next time. We would like to explore Newfoundland next – but with some back up support. What company would you recommend to transport our suitcases and provide some maps? We plan to bring our own bikes this time.

    1. @Joyce I have used Randonnee before as well. Freewheeling offers a self-guided option though it isn’t inexpensive. Check out Atlantic Canada Cycling for a good mix at the right price.

  2. We are interested in a cycling adventure this September but are not experienced cyclists. We are 60+ yrs young and enjoy the outdoors. We were hoping to drive to our destination bringing our own bikes, leave our car for approx. a week or two, and bike somewhere new each day staying overnight at a B&B or motel. After reading your website, we are quite interested in Nova Scotia’s South Shore and the Wolfville Area cycling routes. Would you be able to offer more information and recommendations for us? We prefer to cycle on our own and take our time to truly enjoy our surroundings.

    I must confess originally we were going to cycle PEI – tip to tip via the Confederation Trail but 4 friends have done this trip in the past and found it to be lacking in views. They suggest if we are cycling PEI to cycle along the coast. Would you recommend this? Is it all on the roadways? Are there many places to stay overnight?

    Thank you in advance for any information & tips you can share with us.
    Happy Trails.

  3. @lana We ended up using a bike shop shuttle and I know of no other way to do it. The reality is that it’s about a three- four hour trip for the driver and that’s why the cost is so high. We did shuttle to the east end but rode back to Charlottetown from Souris in a day. Also highly recommend a trip to the Magdalen Islands. It’s a 5 hour ferry ride over there but so worth it. Great food, beautiful beaches ….and a little wind.

  4. Thanks for all the tips. My husband and I are planning self-support bike trips on PEI and also the Southern Shore, Nova Scotia in Sept. Your comment that’s it’s easy to do so “except for the shuttle” caught my eye. Where’s the best place to find shuttle drivers? I see that a couple of the bike shops operate shuttles, but they’re pretty pricey if there are only 2 of you ($200 for 1-4 people). All additional tips are appreciated. Lana

  5. I have always wanted to ride the trail on Prince Edward Island. As soon as I finish riding my bucket list of 50 greatest bike trails in the U.S., I intend to start on my 50 greatest bike trails worldwide, and PEI Trail is definitely on that list. Thanks for the great post. I look forward to more.

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