Here’s a step-by-step Guide to cycling the 16 km stretch of the Rum Runners trail from Atlantica Oak Island Resort and Marina to Mahone Bay, with the goal of a delish bay-side lunch in a kitschy new establishment.
And why do we think it’s super cool? Step back in time to the roaring 20s and 30s, and envisage a sailors community that went from fishing to international smuggling!
Imagine as you cycle, the history of this route, transporting liquor into the USA during prohibition, hidden treasure amongst the tree-lined coast and island-speckled inlets. It’s a treasure-loving, pirate-seeking palette for a fun day on the bikes!
Want the history? Click here.
Allow 3.5 to 4 hours for this 16 km., self-guided one-way tour, with transportation and bike return back to the Resort. If you’re cycling back, add another 2 hours to the journey. It took our wee fam, with kids ranging from 9-years-old to teenagers about 1 hour and 45 minutes to cycle this route with quite a few water stops along the way.
You’ll have earned a good couple hours for a leisurely lunch and ice-cream in Mahone Bay.
Bring along your bikes or rent them at Outdoor Adventures, at the resort. They’ll kit you out with bike locks, helmets and all your cycling gear. Ask about our special packages that include a transportation voucher back to Resort.
- Set off outside the resort – cross street into the Legion car park. From there you can cycle out the back driveway, turn left and then left onto the Chester Connector trail at point #25.
- Eye Spy – see if you can spot the following along the way:
- CocaCola Sign
- A barking bridge
- A mushy river
- A lake that’s not so Common
3. It’s a straight trail and forgivingly flat the whole way, despite the few dips and bumps. Cross a couple lovely bridges, past a few quiet lakes. The Chester Connector Trail merges with the Dynamite Trail. You’ll know you’re ALMOST THERE when you pass the Water Shed past Martin’s River. Here you’ll see a sign to go left into Mahone Bay. Cycle downhill here and you’ll be at the base of the town.
4. Park your bike just outside the Info booth across the road and here there are public washrooms.
5. We then walked the short stroll through town, turned left and ate lunch at Oh My Cod! A bright and bubbly new establishment with cheery tunes from the 50s and delicious array of food and ice-creams. The kitchen closes for an hour between 4pm and 5pm so plan your journey accordingly. We devoured the Cod and the Haddock dishes, trying to compare the two, but we’re novices here and couldn’t really taste the difference. The cod had a light, crispy coating and was perfectly cooked, served alongside hand-cut chips, home-made slaw and tartare sauce.
The grand finale was scoops of Bear Paw ice-cream and Pralines and Cream for the road. We returned by taxi and then double-backed for the bikes (due to a time constraint?…and not that we’re a little post-winter sluggish.). But guests of the Resort booking a package will include return transportation for both cyclists and bikes!
For more on Rum Running, visit the Maritime Museum on the Halifax waterfront or the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic on the Lunenburg waterfront. For Seven more Slick Cycling spots in Nova Scotia and an interactive cycling map, follow-along on our blog.