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May camping

Linville, North...
6 posts
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May camping

I will be visiting Nova Scotia during the first two weeks of May. I will be camping and staying in motels/cabins. Where is the best place to stay for a few days so I can hike, fish, and paddle? Will I need to pack my winter gear and clothing for camping? THANKS from an excited explorer!

Cape Breton Island...
Destination Expert
for Cape Breton Island
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75 reviews
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1. Re: May camping

Can you give us a better idea of what are the places you are trying to visit?

Camping will be 50/50, could be cool, could be a nice warm spring.

nice warm spring.

Hike in the Highlands Park. Fish trout near Lake Ainslie, or Margaree.

You may want to talk to Daryll at the Lakes in Lake O'law ,

or try the Margaree Salmon Association website .

Advocate Harbour...
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21 reviews
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2. Re: May camping

Your best bet would be the Cape Breton Highlands National Park in the Ingonish area. They do have a winter program with cabins you can rent and tenting where they supply wood, some places dont have water so you may have to bring that with you. Definitely bring some warm layers and a all season tent and bag. The first couple weeks of May will more than likely still be quite cold in the highlands. The other campgrounds will still be closed, with the Provincial Parks in Cape Breton opening in June for the most part. The earliest opening provincial park is at Cape Chignecto, which opens May 13th. Cape Breton has a lot of snow, hopefully more spring like temps will move in soon or you could expereince snow on the trails. If you are bringing your own kayak no problems (be careful in what will be extremely cold water conditions), if not try contacting the operators to arrange for a early season paddle. You can go to www.novascotia.com for a listing of outdoor adventure operators.

Linville, North...
6 posts
1 review
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3. Re: May camping

Thanks so much!!! We are flying into Halifax from North Carolina and renting a car. First night is in Eastern Passage and then on to the exploring!

Linville, North...
6 posts
1 review
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4. Re: May camping

Thanks so much! We fly into Halifax and have rented a car. First night is in Eastern Passage and then have no plans. My husband wants to rock climb and I want to visit a Norwegian Fjord farm in Antigonish. We are wide open and want to see as much as we can in 11 days. We love to hike, paddle, camp, and experience all nature has to offer! I plan to do most of our touring on the coast. I want to see those breath taking cliff vistas. got suggestions for the entire province. Definitely want to see Bay of Fundy and Digby--eat some scallops. Want to spend time around Acadian Shore too. Got any suggestions based on this??? How about accommodations? We are not "resort" people and like the rustic. We are avid camper/backpackers, but it sounds like a lot of the camping areas will be closed. HELP!!!!

Advocate Harbour...
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1,606 posts
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5. Re: May camping

You are certainly right in that a lot of the camping will be closed. Especially the provincial parks, which are the nicest places to camp. The two best options are in the highlands and at Cape Chignecto on the upper Bay of Fundy. The Highlands are open all year, but weather conditions can be tough that time of year. At Cape Chignecto you will discover one of the most dramatic places in eastern Canada for hiking/camping in Cape Chignecto Park. Here the highest sea cliffs on mainland Nova Scotia drop to the waters of the highest tides on earth where you can explore a dramatic tide carved shore of sea stacks, caves and arches. The trails are always accessible (I hike,snowshoe there almost every day in the winter) and you can still use the camping areas at your own risk. Some hardy souls do head in for winter camping trips. They are wilderness sites so you need to pack in water or have a filter system, which is advised when taking water from all wilderness sources in the province, no mater how wild and pristine the area as they may have a source that includes highland swamps. (Although the locals do drink directly from many of the streams, they know what the source is) There is a challenging 3 day coastal hike, or easy day hikes and kayaking. You can see a bit more about this area at www.bayoffundy.travel if you go to things to do, which has links to the park and other sites in the area. Some good photos around Cape Chignecto trail are at www.glooscaptrail.com/gallery/index.cfm…

For a neat place to stay without camping, the only place I know of where you can stay at a operating lighthouse which happens to be in one of the most dramatically beautiful spots in the province, check out Cape d'Or, just a few minutes up the road from the park www.capedor.ca Great place to take in the tidal rips and really expereince what the Bay of Fundy is all about. Another neat place is the Driftwood Park Retreat, right on the beach www.driftwoodparkretreat.com Being at the top of the bay, the tides here are much higher than in the lower bay around Digby. The biggest attraction for outdoor lovers in that area would be the whale watching, but you are coming too early for that.

You dont have to travel to Digby for those scallops - in fact I sometimes watch the Digby fleet from the escarpments at Cape Chignecto - they fish the entire bay, and Advocate Harbour has a scallop fishery so you can go to a place like the Wild Caraway to enjoy those delicious morsels. Its a laid back place with the top rated food in the province here on TA. They specialize in fresh, organic and local sourced ingrediants and the chef really knows how to put it all together! They re-open early May. www.wildcaraway.com They also have some rooms upstairs.

Since you love the outdoors and active holidays I would split the holiday between the highlands in Cape Breton and the Advocate Harbour/Cape Chignecto area of the upper Bay of Fundy. If there is snow in the highlands,you can easily spend your time around the Bay of Fundy hiking, camping and paddling. Although there is one place yo might want to check out close to Halifax for that rock climbing. Its the premier bouldering spot in Nova Scotia and has gained some worldwide acclaim for its over 100 beginner to V10 problems in a awesome setting. Its called Dover Island. You can get there by Kayak, or the blacksmith, Norm, in West Dover can take you out by boat. It is a special place.

Edited: 29 March 2011, 15:18
Ottawa, Canada
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6. Re: May camping

Hi LSC55,

Welcome to the CAPE BRETON ISLAND TRAVEL FORUM

And I see that you are fairly NEW to the TA FORUMS… so a BIG Welcome Aboard as well !!

Indeed, many of our Provincial and National Parks won`t be open until later in the month (or even into June)… Canada's prime Tourist Season running from Victoria Day Weekend (late May) thru to Labour Day Weekend (early September)… outside of these timeframes and camp grounds are harder to come by… you may be able to find some Private ones that are open though as of May 1st.

Part of this comes down to weather… Canadian Weather is highly unpredictable… and May is a month that can certainly be anything from Late Spring to Early Summer…

The Official Website for the Government of Canada`s Weather Service at Environment Canada says that May`s Historical Weather Averages for Cheticamp are as follows…

MAY WEATHER AVERAGES (Cheticamp, NS)

* Average Daily Temperature = 9 C (48 F)

* Daily Maximum Temperature = 13.7 C (57 F)

* Daily Minimum Temperature = 4.4 C (40 F)

* Extreme Maximum Temperature = 29.5 C (85 F) = May 23, 1992

* Extreme Minimum Temperature = -6.1 C (21 F) = May 2, 1962

Here is the link … so you can learn more (or check out other Canadian places)

Environment Canada – Canadian Climate Norms – Weather Averages for Cheticamp, NS = …weatheroffice.gc.ca/climate_normals/…

OR as a direct-connect tiny URL (as TA sometimes doesn`t display lengthy Website Addresses) = http://tinyurl.com/EnvCan-CheticampAverages

Hope this is helpful,

Cheers!

Wine-4-2

Linville, North...
6 posts
1 review
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7. Re: May camping

GREAT information! THANKS so much!!!!!!!

Linville, North...
6 posts
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8. Re: May camping

So helpful!!!! I appreciate all your advice!!!!!!!

Advocate Harbour...
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9. Re: May camping

Just a note about the average temps in Cheticamp - at sea level. If you are going to hike the highlands they are at a considerably higher elevation, and although the temps will have been above freezing for some time, when you receive around 10 feet of snow as the highlands does, it takes a long time to melt, hence the possibility of snow on the trails early May in areas where the sun doesnt get a lot of heat to in ravines and north sides of slopes. I would plan on doing that part of the outdoor adventures last.

10. Re: May camping

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