Driving NS – Halifax to Baddeck

After two very full days visiting Halifax and area, we moved on, in the general direction of Sydney, NS by way of Baddeck and Ingonish. Our plan for our first (mostly) driving day included just two “would be nice to do” stops: the Salmon River tidal bore at Truro and Sugar Moon Farm.

We considered a slightly different route that would have included the 16 km (10 mile) hike to Cape Split (opted against this because 1) we planned to hike in Cape Breton NP the following day; and 2) we wanted to preserve the possibility of reaching Baddeck in time for an evening boat cruise on Bras d’Or Lake, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve). We also considered a tidal bore rafting excursion on the Shubenacadie, Nova Scotia’s largest river, but decided against that one because mud!

Our lack of detailed planning meant we arrived at the Fundy Discovery Site more than two hours before the tidal bore was expected to reach Tidal Bore Rd on the Salmon River. Oops!

Sugar Moon Farm

The silver lining was that gave us just enough time to drive to Sugar Moon Farm, enjoy an early lunch and drive back to Lower Truro in time to set up our cameras to photograph the tidal bore.

Awarded Restaurant of the Year “Essence of Nova Scotia” 2015 by Taste of Nova Scotia, Sugar Moon Farm’s dining space and maple syrup guided tour are inside this oversize log “cabin”.


Inside, there’s a small gift shop, a separate room for the maple syrup guided tour experience and a large dining area with picnic-style tables and benches.


We both opted for mugs of maple lemonade to accompany our pancakes (mine with bacon, Mr GeoK’s with sausage). Our drinks arrived with a basket of complimentary biscuits and a dish of maple-whipped butter.


Our meal was excellent. If we had more time, we would have explored some of the hiking/snowshoeing trails open to visitors and/or done the entirely indoors maple syrup tour (a good option for inclement weather). Next time!

Salmon River Tidal Bore

We arrived back at the Fundy Discovery site about 20 minutes before the leading edge of the tidal bore was expected. Mr GeoK set up a timelapse at one spot with a good view down the river while I headed a few hundred meters down stream to get some photographs as the tidal bore wave arrived.

Here’s the timelapse: 400 exposures at 10 second intervals condensed into a 20 second video clip. The tidal bore makes its appearance at about the 6 second mark, but be sure to watch the bank on the far shore through to the end to get a sense for just how much the river rises during high tide. This was an average sort of surge; some are considerably higher.

From a few hundred meters downstream, this was my first glimpse of the tidal bore.


A slightly more zoomed shot shows the bore splashing against the rocky embankment.


With even more zoom, I started to see how the almost 90-degree corner caused the tidal bore to become a bit disorganized, with one side cresting before the other.


As the surge rounded the corner, the cresting action moved back and forth across the river.


And once around the corner, the tidal bore kind of disintegrated into a series of waves until the channel narrowed and straightened just outside the right boundary of this frame and then came back together to the form seen in the video (above).


It’s quite something to see water flowing upstream in a river at a spot that’s several km (a few miles) inland. If possible, we’d recommend timing your visit for a higher tide event, which would be even more impressive.

The rest of this travel day was fairly unremarkable: a stop in Antigonish for a short walk and ice cream cones, crossing the causeway to Cape Breton Island and some lovely views of Bras D’Or Lake. But we arrived in Baddeck too late for the evening cruise and just in time for some evening rain, which meant a night in processing photos rather than a nice ramble through town. The cruise is on our list of things to do next time we’re in this party of Canada. What other sites/activities would you recommend?

Total driving distance = 400 km (250 miles)
Driving time – 4 hrs 30 minutes plus several hours for stops

One thought on “Driving NS – Halifax to Baddeck

  1. Pingback: Out & About with the GeoKs - Driving NS – Cabot Trail

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