Mountain Biking in Nova Scotia
Nova Scotia is one of the most popular travel destinations in Atlantic Canada and enjoys the reputation of being the region's most bicycle-friendly province. Promoting its coastal character and support of a wide variety of outdoor activities, the province boasts of being"Canada's Ocean Playground." This is certainly true for riders, as an extensive system of secondary roads has spurred the growth of touring companies and allowed for the creation of some now-classic road rides and tours, the most well known being the Cabot Trail on Cape Breton Island. Though still outside the main adventure spotlight, mountain biking in Nova Scotia has flourished as a result of the province's development of and commitment to the sport of cycling. In a sense, off-road riding has become a natural extension of the province's passion for two-wheeled travel. Along with many exceptional bike stores throughout the province, clubs offer riders the benefit of organized rides and the provincial race circuit benefits from the support and enthusiasm of such groups.
Though small, the province of Nova Scotia represents a rich diversity of land, people, and plant and animal life. Comprised of a peninsula mainland and the adjacent Cape Creton Island, one of the novelties of mountain biking in the province is that so many trails parallel or lead out to the coast. Indeed, no point in the province is more than 656 kilometers (35 miles) from the coast. Along with a dramatic shoreline, Nova Scotia offers riders the experience of exploring a landscape comprised of hard- and softwood forests, salt marshes teeming with wildlife, bogs, and coastal dunes. Thousands of shallow lakes and ponds dot the region, and there is a dramatic contrast between more southerly areas and the northern wilderness of boreal forest and highland barrens.
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