My Epic 5 Day Road Trip Through Eastern Canada

After having 2 amazing road trips with my usual travel buddy, a third idea came up, one that would take us through much of the east coast and explore beautiful nature areas across the U.S and mainly eastern Canada.

The following article encompasses this road trip we did to eastern Canada, so if you’re considering going there for the first time and exploring it, this post will help you prepare for it.

What encompasses Eastern Canada?

Mainly 3 provinces:

  • New Brunswick.
  • Nova Scotia.
  • New Foundland.

Our original goal when we set out was to explore the last one, but we ended up checking out all 3 places.

eastern canada road trip 01

Here is how the Eastern Canada road trip went down (summary):

  1. Started in NYC.
  2. Explored a bit of New Hampshire and the White Mountains.
  3. Continued up to Maine (almost hit a moose!).
  4. Entered Eastern Canada through New Brunswick.
  5. Headed over to Nova Scotia and took an overnight ferry to Newfoundland.
  6. Explored Newfoundland for a few days.
  7. Headed back to Nova Scotia and explored it some more.
  8. Reentered the states and ended the trip in Boston.

For a full itinerary, and exactly what we saw in each of Eastern Canada’s provinces, read more below!

The quick summary of the Eastern Canada road trip we did:

It began in NYC, went all the way to New Foundland, Canada and then back.

During the 7 days that this took place, we drove over 3,000 miles and saw incredible nature views and destinations that I will share with you.

Before I move forward let me say that in the 7 days we had, we truly rushed a lot of the places we saw.

You see, the reason why was because our main goal was to reach a place called Gros Morne National Park, which is in New Foundland and while we did manage to see a lot of scenic spots, including parts of that park, a few mistakes were made which constrained the time we had to enjoy all the places we saw. 

So if you decide to copy this trip we did, I wouldn’t recommend rushing like we did. While the drives were enjoyable, that is pretty much most of what we did, because we were always aiming to see the next beautiful spot and never taking enough time to enjoy where we were and thus we missed some cool places.

How the road trip through Eastern Canada happened:

Since I avoid flying, but at the same time love to see amazing nature places, I had been browsing new spots to visit after taking 2 previous trips:

  1. Here is how the first road trip through the eastern United States we did the year before.
  2. Here is the second road trip we did through the Appalachian Mountains which took place a year afterwards.

I wanted to see something new and just began brainstorming areas in the east coast. Through one search of another, a lot of beautiful images and suggestions started coming up and most of them resided in the Eastern Canada region, specifically what I later discovered to be Gros Morne National Park.

And Gros Morne was the next place I wanted to visit. But being that my last road trip was literally a few months ago, I figured I’d have to wait at least a year until this new one could come to fruition.

However, a strange coincidence occurred which opened up the opportunity to make this trip a reality:

The same buddy I took the previous 2 trips with called me, telling me an opportunity to take another road trip came up and it could happen very soon. Just as well, he said another friend of his was also interested in coming with us.

I took this as a sign and when I showed him pictures of Gros Morne National Park and told him where it was, both he and his friend were immediately down to check it out.

And so in September, just a few months after my second road trip took place, both of them flew up to NYC, and we began the trip early in the morning. While there was no specific itinerary, we ended up doing and seeing the following places in the 7 days we had:

Here is how this eastern Canada road trip went (the map and itinerary):

eastern canada road trip itinerary and map 01

Now like I said before, Gros Morne was the most important place of this trip we wanted to visit, but how we got there and how long that took us was improvised, so the map and arrows you see above are the way things ended up and during each day, we saw amazing spots.

Let me detail each day:

Day 1:flume gorge first stop on our eastern canada road trip

Both my friends flew into LaGuardia airport around 10 a.m.

I picked them up and we immediately went north.

We decided to stick to more inland areas rather than the coast because we wanted to revisit the White Mountains, a place we’d checked out during our first trip and loved.

We also saw a bunch of spots we missed the first time, one of which was Flume Gorge and that was the first main place we visited.

When we made it to Flume Gorge, we didn’t have too much time to left to spend there, because the sun was setting, but we did get to enjoy views like this before leaving.

Flume Gorge is great to check out with family, and the hike is short.

Plus with it being in the White Mountains, you’ll have a lot of other things to see and do there, like exploring Cannon Mountain and the neighboring mountains close to it.

In our case, after we left, we had some time left to check out nearby areas, and so we revisited a place called Beaver Pond, an extremely peaceful, small and beautiful lake we had seen the year before, and one that we wanted to revisit again.

We didn’t stay long at Beaver Pond and the next thing we had to do was travel as far north as possible to save time and distance on the next day’s trip.

But before we left it, we made sure to take in the scenery at this pond, because while it is small, it is still amazing.

Here’s just one of the photos of this beautiful spot (Beaver Pond):

sights we saw on our eastern canada road trip

There’s a hiking trail right near it, as well as another one that’ll get you on the Appalachian TrailShortly after seeing Beaver Pond, we continued north and entered Maine, on a scenic road, at night.

While there, we didn’t really see anything beautiful because it was dark, but we did see many warning signs for Moose, something we didn’t really take seriously until we almost hit one that same night.

I have to warn anyone who drives of hikes in moose areas: They are huge, they are dangerous and you really need to be careful, whether you hike or drive in areas where they live. 

After our close call with the moose, we stayed the night in Maine.

Day 2 (Entering eastern Canada):

Our main goal during day 2 was to reach Canada, explore as many places as we could, and reach the eastern tip of Nova Scotia where there was a ferry that would take us overnight to Gros Morne National Park.

When we began the trip, we stopped briefly at an overlook to check out Baxter State Park and Mount Katadhin from a distance.

We didn’t have time to see it, but decided we’d try to hike it and/or visit the park on the way back. 

A few hours later, we entered New Brunswick, and continued east, now officially in Canada.

During that time we marked a famous place we wanted to see there which is called Bay of Fundy. One of the most famous places in this region is called Hopewell Rocks which you can see right here:

hopewell rocks in nova scotia eastern canada road trip 02

While we really enjoyed Bay of Fundy, we had a reservation to get to the Ferry by 9 pm and so we really rushed it. Our GPS took us through none official roads in Nova Scotia and apparently that would get us to the ferry area faster.

While going through those spots (Near North Sydney), we became paranoid about moose, given the previous day’s experience, but we managed to make it to the Ferry before disembarking.

Now when I discussed my feelings about the Ferry, I warned people that if they could fly into New Foundland, that it would be preferable and I am sticking by that. While it was exciting to get on a Ferry and travel overnight, we did not wish to experience that again, but had to go get back home.

Day 3: 

At around 7 am, the ferry made it to New Foundland, and we immediately were enthralled by the views:

new foundland boat landing eastern canada road trip

When you first dock and drive north, you’ll see these kinds of spots for about 1-2 hours. After that, it will look a bit boring, until you reach Gros Morne National Park itself.

After we docked and drove for about 3-4 hours, we had finally made it to Gros Morne National Park and the entire area was spectacular.

Within the park, what we truly wanted to see was Western Brook Pond, but by the time we had gotten to it, we had to walk a long trail to a docking area to take a tour of the place, but found out that it was packed and decided to reserve a trip the next day.

It is necessary to take a boat to a hiking spot in Western Brook Pond if you wish to hike there (here are other things about Western Brook Pond we learned).

Here’s how Western Brook Pond looks from the trail to the dock:

western brook pond hike to dock new foundland eastern canada

The boat will take you inside those mountain ranges above and within the pond area are beautiful sights. 

From there, you have the option to go hiking and see some amazing spots Gros Morne has to offer, but before you do, check out that link I posted above on things to know about Western Brook Pond, because the short story is that:

You do need a guide and you will need to pay a lot for it. So this is why we never ended up doing it ourselves.

One of our main goals was to explore the most scenic spot in this park and take a popular photo there. Sadly this didn’t come to pass because of the costly guide.

And so we went back to our car, but being that we had time to try other things until the next day’s boat tour, we decided to stay at Rocky Harbor which is right in the middle of the park itself, and during that stay, we witnessed this:

new foundland sunset at rocky harbour eastern canada

I’ll tell you what, seeing that sunset really made up for the disappointing news we got regarding the hike at Western Brook Pond and I don’t know about my buddies, but my spirit was really lifted seeing this beautiful view.

I can also tell you that the general region here occasionally gets the northern lights, so be aware of that!

Day 4:

Today would mark our last day in New Foundland, and we had to make the most out of it.

While we couldn’t hike to Western Brook Pond, we decided to make the best of it and just do the boat tour. At least then we’d get to see something.

The first image you see to the right was one of the many we took there, and the boat ride was unforgettable, and if nothing else, I highly recommend you do it, even if you don’t do the hike itself. Here’s just some of the things we saw:

western brook pond in eastern canada 01

The boat ride was only about 3 hours long and because we had a lot of extra time left, and while we needed to return to the ferry dock at night, we decided to explore as much of Gros Morne National Park as possible.

And so on our way back, we did that. 2 specific spots we explored during this time were:

  • The Tablelands part of Gros Morne.
  • And Trout River, an area just outside the park.

Both proved to be pretty awesome places to visit and we didn’t regret it!

Here’s a picture of the amazing Tablelands section of Gros Morne National Park:

gros morne national park and tablelands photo 01

Ironically, I enjoyed Trout River more than anything else at the park. And I say ironic because this area was outside of the park.

I had always wanted to see oceans with cliffs and had always thought I could only do that in the west coast of the United States, in areas like the Oregon Coast, but Trout River had this, and I couldn’t be happier I got to see that!

Overall, the entire park was beautiful, but after checking out the other 2 spots, it was time to head back.

We also barley made it to the Ferry on the way back and docked back in Nova Scotia early the next morning.

Day 5:

While on the way back from Gros Morne National Park, we explored much of the middle and southern areas of Nova Scotia, but a new suggestion came up, which was to explore the norther area of this province and it just so happened that a famous scenic trail was very close to us: The Cabot Trail:

cabot trail nova scotia in eastern canada road trip 03

The third friend on our trip suggested it as he had heard about it from somewhere and I’m grateful he did, because had he not mentioned it, we would never have known it was there!

And with a whole day to try it and still head home, we went through ALL of it! I included a link above to the coolest places we saw on the Cabot Trail in case you decide to do it too!

This trail took up most of the day and we ended up staying in New Brunswick. 

Day 6: 

On this day, we finally reentered the United States and like we agreed, we wanted to see Mt. Katahdin and so we went west to Baxter State Park.

Unfortunately, when we found out how large this mountain was and that we needed to start very early, we decided we didn’t have time, and just did a drive around Baxter State Park, which was pretty boring.

But if you want to hike the many trails there, the road which loops around the park is worth checking out and there are many cabins and hiking trails and if you want suggestions for fun trails to explore, other than Mount Katadhin, Gulf Hagas is also beautiful (but has many moose and flies there, so be careful).

With time left to see one last major location, we decided to see Acadia National Park, which was about 2 hours from Baxter State Park. When we got there, it was also close to nighttime, but we did get to see enough of it to really enjoy it and want to come back and here’s one reason why:

acadia national park eastern canada road trip spots I saw

I would say that Acadia is definitely a location you need to check out if you’re doing an east coast trip.

Another thing to note is that Maine has some of the most beautiful coastal areas you’ll find in the whole United States and I even wrote an article on Maine’s coast vs the Oregon Coast to showcase how similar the beauty is even though both states are completely different sides of the country.

Followed by our short visit to this park, we stayed the night near Portland, Maine. 

Day 7 and 8:

There was nothing major that happened these days. We were exhausted from all the places we saw, and both my friends were leaving out of Boston anyway, so I dropped them off there, and headed to NYC the following day.

This concluded the third trip I did and with all the locations I mentioned in this article, I also included links to many of them to individually show you what to do if you decide to visit them!  

Want to read about more of our epic road trips? Here they are:

We have done many and here is where you’ll find a list of road trips we’ve been on.

Attention New Yorkers!

Want to know about shorter road trips around the city and state?

No problem. Because I’m a NYC resident and work a lot, I don’t always get to do the types of long, and epic road trips, so in many cases, I’ve had to find areas to hike and do road trips through that are close to the city. 

So if you have a single day or even a few and want to stay within the confines of the state, I’ve got good spots for you to see:

If you want to see beautiful places around New York State to do road trips on, I just put a link in for that for a list of my personal spots.

Then there’s also places specifically near New York City and here they are

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