Newbie to this site, but not unfamiliar with riding in Atlantic Canada. I lived in Halifax from 2002-2006 and was somewhat active on the old ecmtb.com forum. Been back living in Southern Ontario (where I grew up) since leaving Nova Scotia.
My partner and I (she’s originally from Truro) are looking to make the move back to Maritimes next summer. We are in a fortunate position now that employment opportunities for us only require an internet connection. So we are looking to simplify life a little, buy our piece of rural paradise, have more opportunity for outdoor adventure, travel, gardens, property, etc. East coast seems to fit, especially the affordability of that piece of paradise compared here.
We are both avid cyclists, being each involved for 15+ years. It’s a huge part of our life. We typically grab the mountain bikes first, but almost equally enjoy exploring the back routes on both the road and even more so, on the CX bikes (gravel/forest road/ATV trail/etc). We also have fatbikes to keep the season going, but equally enjoy snowshoeing and XC skiing.
So my question here is, where would you live? Since cycling is such a big part of our life, we want to ensure we are positioned to continue to readily enjoy it. Here are some basic criteria.
- It would be nice to have a couple sets of MTB trails within 45-60 min where we could ride for 1.5 hours. Even better if there was a trail set that was relatively close (under 15 minutes) and another in that 60 minute range.
- It would be great to have a local community of cyclists (club) that are relatively active with things such as weekly group rides. Or maybe a weekly race series. We recognize it will be tough to make friends being in our 30’s and moving to a more rural environment, so things like this will help ease that transition to meet like minded people.
- Easy access to network of back roads for exploring, especially on the CX bikes (or even MTB).
- Similarly it would be nice to winter opportunities (snowshoeing, XC skiing) with similar criteria to the mountain biking.
I know the HRM and the trails there pretty well (have a good idea what is available). Made it back last summer for a trip through Whopper and also rode Victoria park for the first time. Beyond HRM I’m not overly familiar. Beyond isolated trips to the valley, Keppoch, Wentworth I never did much riding outside the HRM.
Given that we can relocate essentially where we want, we are trying to find the ‘best’ spot. We’ll certainly take advantage of all that Atlantic Canada has to offer, but being centered around the best opportunity is important.
We’ve been looking into the area around Hillsborough, maybe west towards Caledonia Gorge. Access to Hillsborough, St. John, Moncton, Fundy Park seems to be a good fit. The valley is a consideration as well as the area generally around Wentworth, which seems pretty central. PEI would likely have to outshine both southern NB and NS in all our criteria to be a consideration.
We’ll be out visiting in late October. No bikes, but we’ll bring the shoes to hopefully trail run some of the trails.
Any recommendations/comments, hidden gems I’m missing out on?