Not recommended for cyclists. It's ironic; this is seen as such a quiet little place, doesn't have big-city traffic. But motorists pass too fast, too close, with oncoming traffic. If you should happen to meet up with a driver and politely ask that they leave bikes a little more room, they are quite rude.
The back roads are better, but stay off the main highway.
- Family Travel
Be aware that Grand Manan is often foggy, especially during the early morning hours. We only ran into this issue once during our stay: around 4:30 one morning we were awoken in our tent by a *very loud* fog horn that went off incessantly for at least an hour. This might not be a problem if you were staying at an inn, but I wouldn't be surprised if you were able to hear the foghorn from indoors. Since the fog horn morning was the same day we had reservations for a whale watch, we were concerned that we wouldn't see anything. Quite the opposite happened. The sky cleared up by the time we left shore, and the sun was shining on all the whales who came to the surface to say hello!
Fog is Always Lurking
A simple calculation - cold water of the Bay of Fundy meets warm summer air and the result is Fog. This is a common occurrance along the Fundy coastline, but on a normal summer day the heat of the sun begins to win the battle and usually burns the fog off by late morning. That is what happened during our second day on the island. The fog had not completely lifted from Southwest Head, only a few miles away as we came back into the sunshine near Deep Cove, with one persistant fog bank still holding onto its headland!
- Budget Travel
Ice Cold Water
Make no mistake, the water in the Bay of Fundy is COLD. This is because the Arctic current flowing south along the coast of Labrador and Newfoundland meets the warm Gulf Stream flowing up along the US eastern seaboard. The result is that the Gulf Stream is deflected across the Atlantic Ocean to warm the cliffs of Cornwall, England while the cold Arctic current is diverted onto the Nova Scotia and New Brunswick southern coasts. Mind you, it is this cold water and it's resulting microscopic sealife that is so attractive to the summer time feeding habits of the whales! During these warm summer months, you can actually feel a sudden air temperature drop when you get within about 10 miles of the coastline along the Bay.
However, since we were both brought up along this frigid coast, we had to at least get our feet wet on this beach at North Head to help us recall that numbing sensation!
Natural Beauty, Natural Dangers
The west side of the island is generally composed of 150 to 300 foot cliffs with hiking trails all along them. But these are not cliffs at the local state or national park that are roped or fenced off. You are welcome to get as close as you want - even to climb around where you dare. But that means that there is always the danger of falling.
There are also loose rocks and stones along the beaches, trails and cliff tops. I would strongly recommend you never venture too far on your own. It would be very easy to twist or break an ankle of leg and the terrain would make it virtually impossible to get back on your own.