Day 57: Scotia Pine Campground to Dartmouth’s Shubie Campground

The Citadel

I made the decision to detour south towards Halifax because I felt that a visit to the storied capital city of Nova Scotia was worth some extra pedaling. If you are in a hurry, bike down HWY 104 out of Truro towards Antigonish where you can meet up with the Canada By Bicycle route just east of the city.

Arrive first in Darthouth, population 65 741, which sits on the eastern shore of Halifax Harbour. Dartmouth is knows at “the City of Lakes,” as it has 23 within the city limits. The popular Canadian television show Trailer Park Boys is fictionally set in Dartmouth. Access Halifax from Dartmouth by either crossing the Angus L. MacDonald Bridge or on the city run Dartmouth-Halifax Ferry.

Named after former premier Angus L. Macdonald and designed by the same company that created the Lions Gate Bridge in Vancouver, the bridge was completed in 1955. The bridge averages 44 000 crossings per workday. A wide bike lane promotes expedient crossing for cyclists.

I recommend taking the ferry across the Harbour, so the route will guide you there. From Alderney Landing in Dartmouth you can ride inside the boat or on the roof in open air. This route is the oldest continuously running salt water ferry service in North America. The cost to ride the ferry is $2.25.

Mi’Kmaq first congregated to spend summers in the Bedford Basin west of Halifax. Their name for this area means “the biggest harbour,” in reference to Halifax Harbour. During the Seven Years War, Halifax played a prominent role as a military base that countered the French fortress Loiusbourg in Cape Breton. During World War One, Halifax harbour’s sheltered waters protected convoys from attack prior to heading into the Atlantic Ocean.

The Halifax Explosion occurred on December 6, 1917, when SS Mont-Blanc, a French cargo ship loaded with wartime explosives collided with SS Imo from Norway. Within 20 minutes, the cargo of Mont-Blanc exploded with a force greater than any man-made explosion in history. The ships were instantly destroyed and a massive fireball shot into the air. The devastating blast caused a tsunami wave that rose up to 18 metres above sea-level. Buildings shook and items fell off shelves in Truro. A fragment of Mont-Blanc’s anchor shaft that weighed 517 kilograms was thrown 3.7 kilometres to the west.

The number of deaths could have been much higher if not for the heroic efforts of local train dispatcher Vince Coleman. Understanding the threat that a boat ablaze full of explosives posed, Coleman and his co-worker fled their work post. After leaving, Coleman remembered that a train was due in soon from Saint John, New Brunswick. He returned to his post to send a Morse code message to the train that undoubtedly saved the lives of the approximately 300 passengers on board and perished after sending the message. The train was later used to transport the injured north to Truro.

If you have a look at the Canadian dime, you will notice a sailboat opposite the face of the Queen. This boat is a schooner named the Bluenose. The Bluenose was launched in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia on March 26, 1921, with Captain Angus Walters at the helm. The Bluenose spent the winter of 1921 fishing off of the Grand Banks. By completing a full season of fishing, the vessel had fulfilled the main requirement to compete in the International Fisherman’s Series sailboat race. That October, Captain Walters sailed the ship to Halifax where it began its 17-year career as an undefeated racing boat. In 1935, the Bluenose went to England for the Silver Jubilee of King George V where thousands of people were welcomed aboard, establishing the boat’s international reputation. In 1937, the Canadian dime was changed to include an image of the Bluenose. In 1938, Captain Walters and crew sailed to one final victory. Walters purchased the boat, but by 1942 he could no longer afford the cost of maintenance and was forced to sell the boat to the West Indies Trading Company. This legendary boat was later ran ashore and reduced to rubble.

Bluenose 2 was built as a marketing tool by a brewery in Halifax. The boat is now owned by the government of Nova Scotia and operated by the Lunenburg Marine Museum Society. During the summer the Bluenose 2 visits ports all over Nova Scotia.

Don’t leave Halifax without visiting the Halifax Citadel National Historic Site. Completed in 1856, the Citadel occupies the hill overlooking Halifax Harbour. The intended role of the Citadel was to guard against a land-based attack from the United States. The massive star-shaped fort’s role was later changed to barrack accommodations and acted as a command centre. The Citadel was often the last view of Canada for thousands of outbound soldiers heading to Europe for World War 2. Presently, the Citadel is operated by Parks Canada, recognized as a Historic Site and is complete with a museum and actors depicting historical themes.

Your destination for the evening is Shubie Campground in Dartmouth. The campground is set in a tranquil location yet close to Dartmouth and Halifax Harbour. If you are looking for a hostel head to downtown Halifax’s Halifax Backpackers Hostel or HI – Halifax Heritage House Hostel.

0.0Leave Scotia Pine Campground heading south on Treaty Trail.
0.5Turn left at Treaty Connector Road.
0.6Turn right onto HWY 102.
0.9Cycle past the Glooscap Heritage Centre and 40-foot statue of Glooscap.
9.9Intersection of HWY 102 & HWY 289.
15.4Cycle past Shortts Lake.
22.9Cross over Shubenacadie River.
23.6Exit left to Stewiacke. Inquire here about tidal bore rafting.
28.1Cross over Shubenacadie River.
52.3Cross over Shubenacadie River.
58.9Pass Halifax International Airport.
69.4HWY 102 splits into HWY 102 & HWY 118. Turn left onto HWY 118.
78.7Exit right and circle 270˚ clockwise to gain HWY 107 E.
81.5Turn right off of HWY 107 onto Charles Keating Drive.
81.7Turn left onto Waverley Road / HWY 318.
84.0Turn right off of Waverley Road onto Jaybe Drive.
84.2Turn left on John Brenton Drive.
84.3Enter Shubie RV Park and Campground.

View Larger Map