Pictou – Pugwash


Coast through rolling farmland and seaside villages, with the sun rising gently over the warm blue waters of the Northumberland Strait.

From Pictou to Pugwash, savour the Northumberland Strait, from historic sites, lavender blossoms, and award-winning wines, to endless stretches of pristine beach. The route follows a flat and relatively quiet series of roads along the coastline of the North Shore.

Start your tour in the historic town of Pictou, where Nova Scotia’s Scottish roots are celebrated and preserved. The town is known for being the port of arrival for the ship Hector and its Scottish passengers in the late 1700s – see a full size replica of the ship at the Hector Heritage Quay. Next to the Quay, you can adopt a lobster at the Lobster Hatchery! Up the street, visitors are welcome to tour the Grohmann Knives factory, internationally recognized by chefs for their quality, balance and beauty.

Picnic and camping options are available just north of Pictou on the peninsulas of Caribou Island and Munroes Island. These two narrow headlands frame the peaceful Caribou Harbour, where you can watch boats sail in from Prince Edward Island.

As you ride past dozens of farmsteads on your way to Tatamagouche, be sure to stop in at Lismore Sheep Farm in River John to say hello to one of the 300 sheep or pick up some high quality yarn products. A short trip up to Cape John is also recommended, which is the site of a working lobster harbour and a scenic picnic area. The vibrant community of Tatamagouche marks the half-way point of the bike trip, and boasts art galleries, museums, craft shops, restaurants, and a farmers’ market. The name Tatamagouche is derived from the Mi’kmaq term “Takumegooch” which means “meeting of the waters” – an appropriate name given that it’s where the Waugh and French rivers converge into Tatamagouche Bay. The town was also an important junction point of the Intercolonial Railway, and remnants of the old tracks and train cars have been converted into the Train Station Inn and restaurant. A short detour to the Balmoral Grist Mill is also recommended, where grain is ground into flour with huge water-powered granite millstones.

Before arriving in Pugwash, consider a jaunt around the Malagash Peninsula, home to the first rock salt mine in Canada and Malagash Salt Miners’ Museum. The peninsula offers the opportunity for quiet swims in the warm water of Tatamagouche Bay and a handful of picnic spots. Tour Jost Vineyards to sample award-winning wines from numerous varieties of grapes grown on site.

The final stop of the voyage will take you to the village of Pugwash, where you’ll find Thinkers’ Lodge , the former home Cyrus Eaton, which displays a Nobel Peace Prize for an international peace conference calling for nuclear disarmament. The Lodge and surrounding property was designated a National Historic Site in 2008.


Routes profiled in this brochure are primarily on secondary highways and rural roads and are not designated bicycle routes. The majority of recommended routes do not have paved shoulders. Rider discretion is advised.

Efforts have been made to profile routes with light vehicle traffic; however, traffic volumes are open to fluctuation. Higher traffic should be expected from June to September during peak tourism season.

Make sure you take time to plan ahead and are properly equipped for your ride, including a helmet (required by law). Preparation will help you make the most of your Nova Scotia cycling experience!

All cyclists using this map ride at their own risk.

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