Almost All You Need to Know about the Harvest Moon Trail

Feature photo compliments of We’re Outside 465 Main St, Wolfville
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Harvest Moon Trail East to West

 The Harvest Moon Trail officially opened last fall, after the section from Grand Pre to Wolfville was complete, and was the culmination of 20 years of sweat equity from volunteers and stakeholders to make it happen.
The trail snakes throughout the heart of our beautiful Annapolis Valley  for 110 km, from Grand Pre to Annapolis Royal, crossing highway #1 in many places and allowing (or forcing) it’s users to experience many different kinds of trail surfaces- gravel, pavement , sand, plain old dirt.
And people flock to use it. Bikers, runners, hikers, dog walkers.
There is some information that I have yet to uncover,but I am thinking seriously about attempting  to bike the trail in the fall. Then you will hear the stories about my sore backside and chafed thighs.Something to look forward to. For neither of us.
I was surprised at the lack of solid information out there about the trail access points and amenities along the trail way. Many of us will need a meal, a drink,a soft bed after several hours of traveling on the trail. Some(me) might need an ambulance. 

So, I did a bit of research and comprised some rudimentary facts that may prove helpful to  other Harvest Moon trekkers.
Please note, I’ve only linked to restaurants that I have tried.

Here we go.

Grand Pre
This is easterly beginning point of this awesome trail. Lots of parking at 2242 Grand Pre Road up and across the road from the Grand Pre National Historic Site, which is only a few feet from the trail head. This is the  National Historic Site’s preferred parking area for trail use, leaving the Site’s parking lot for visitors.

Along the Harvest Moon Trail in Grand Pre Susan Carey Photo

Grand Pre has the only section of the Harvest Moon Trail where you can access a winery right from the Trail and that’s the Valley’s newest winery-Mercator.
Please bike/hike responsibly. 🙂

 Wolfville
Access the trail directly across from Willow Park when the Wolfville Visitor Centre is located. You can refill your water bottle from a fountain behind the Visitor Centre. There’s a  all-day parking lot at the trail head. The trail passes close by a Tim Horton’s (turn  left on Habourside Drive)  On Main street, there are some good spots to grab a bite. Try the
Naked Crepe Bistro.  For craft beer lovers there’s Paddy’s Pub. 

In need of repair or a bike rental? Banks Bikes is located at 360 Main St. Wolfville.
Wolfville Memorial Library- 21 Elm Ave- has bikes for loan for the day if you have a adult library card. All  bikes have to be back 1/2 hr before the library closes .It’s first come first serve and the helmet is included.

Along the Harvest Moon Trail in Wolfville
Along the Harvest Moon Trail in Wolfville-Susan Carey Photo

Port Williams is about another 3 km west. The only parking is down the road towards the village where there is a small parking lot on the right before the Gladys Porter bridge. Port Williams is home to Warfarer’s Ale Society, Barreling Tide Distillery, Planters Ridge Winery and Fox Hill Cheese House. The first two you can see from the parking lot, the last two are a bit of a ride-10-11 km. The Noodle Guy is well known for his well, noodles and is just up the street from the parking lot.

Harvest Moon Trail Parking-Port Williams
Parking for the Harvest Moon Trail in Port Williams-Susan Carey Photo

Kentville

Along the Harvest Moon Trail in Kentville at Low Tide Susan Carey Photo
Along the Harvest Moon Trail in Kentville -The Cornwallis at Low Tide Susan Carey Photo

Kentville has several entry points to the Harvest Moon Trail, the first being Eaves Hollow at 19 Main St/Hwy#1. There’s a fair bit of parking .Another good spot is at the  Recreation Hub, next to Kings County Academy(  35 Gary Pearl Drive, Kentville)  The Kentville section of the Harvest Moon Trail has a  bike repair station near the Kings County Academy playground. There are benches along the way.
Getting through the downtown area of the trail in Kentville is tricky.
Enter the town  via the trail from the east end  at Justice Way,turn right and ride a short way along Cornwallis St., crossing via the crosswalk by the Kings County Municipal Buildings and then take another crosswalk at Aberdeen by White’s Funeral Home to get to River St. From there you can ride along River St. until  Webster St. and access the trail again to the right  behind the Baptist church.
There are several spots to grab a coffee and a sandwich, including two Tim Horton’s-Centre Square from Webster St.and a drive through at Aberdeen St.Hills Grills in on the corner of Cornwallis and Webster,Tan and Half Acre Cafe are on Main. Kings Arms  Pub-Main St. and Paddy’s Pub-corner of Aberdeen and Webster are both great places to grab a bite.
Valley Stove and Cycle -353 Main Street can help you if you’re in need of more than air in a tire. If you want to give the trail a try you can rent a bike at Valley Stove and Cycle as well. 902-542-7280

Berwick

The Harvest Moon Trail head in Berwick can be  accessed left off Commercial Street, but for parking,turn left onto Mill St and you will see a picnic area with parking on the right next to the trail. I haven’t done this section yet, but I hear it’s sandy and tough going. There are several places to eat on Commercial St. in Berwick, but if I were you, I’d scoot out to hwy #1 and grab one of those big burgers at Jonny’s Cookhouse. ,about 1.5 km away. The closest place to sleep is Hidden Gardens Bed & Breakfast, 274 Main St.-That’s 1.5 km peddle away too, but in the opposite direction from Jonny’s .There’s a Tim’s on Commercial St.
The Berwick and District Library -236 Commercial Street-has bikes for loan for the day if you have a  adult library card. All  bikes have to be back 1/2 hr before the library closes .It’s first come first serve and the helmet,light, bell and basket is included.In front of the library there’s a bike Fix It station, where you can pump up your tires,adjust your handlebars or whatever.

Kingston

Harvest Moon Trail Parking-Kingston
Harvest Moon Trail Parking-Kingston

This trail head is easy-it’s right by the Kingston Visitor Centre 510 Main St. If the centre is open you can use the washroom and fill up your water bottle.  Since Kingston is half way to Annapolis Royal, the Aurora Inn – 831 Main St, Kingston, is less than ½ a km east away from the centre, if you’d care to stop for the night (They have an onsite restaurant and offer a free continental breakfast). There are several places to eat on Main St. in Kingston-I haven’t eaten at any of them so I can’t comment .The Green Elephant Cafe comes highly recommended by  Tripadvisor though.  I see that the cafe is open from 7 am-8 pm and serves breakfast. Tim Horton’s is 1.3 km peddle east on Hwy 1.

Middleton 

The trail head is located almost at the  very end of Commercial St. There’s lots of parking next to the trail- Foodland and some other stores are to the left of the trail and there is a spacious parking lot. Middleton has several motels on Main St. Fundy Spray Motel(free breakfast)-turn left on Main st at the lights, and  Middleton Motel and Suites( with a pool!) -turn right at the lights onto Main Street.Each are each roughly 1.5 km away from the trail in Middleton. Annapolis Royal is another 44 km from Middleton. Again, I haven’t eaten in Middleton but Angie’s Family Restaurant is well reviewed and it’s just  over 2 km  from the trail head going west on Hwy 1. (71 Main St.) There’s a Tim Horton’s you can stop at for breakfast-241 Main St.

Bridgetown.

This took a little sleuthing. The trail  head is located on Queen St., right off the parking lot of the End of the Line Pub. You are allowed to park in their parking lot-I checked. Bridgetown Motor Inn is 1.2 km east on Hwy #1 from the trail head.Broken Wheel B& B is just  a tad over 2 km west from the trail head west on Hwy 1.Broken Wheel serves a full breakfast from 8-10 am.
For bike parts or repairs,try Oakhaven Bike Barn at 
7019 Hwy #1 in Hampton. (902) 665-5044.

Annapolis Royal

Access the trail by the Old Train Station on Victoria St. Turn left just over a km from the Annapolis Royal Visitor Centre. This is the end of the trail-(or the beginning)There’s lots of parking there. You can also take the French Basin Trail- 112 Prince Albert Road-it connects with the Harvest Moon Trail.
From the trail head there is easy access to Annapolis Royal’s waterfront with it’s neat little shops, historic Fort Anne and the Historic Gardens plus  restaurants such as the Old Town Pub. There’s a Farmer’s Market on Saturday mornings May to October (8 am-1 pm) and on Wednesday in July and Aug.(10 am-2 pm) There are any number of Inns and B&B’s close to the trail head.If you are looking for a motel, the Annapolis Royal Inn is 3924 Hwy #1 .  It offers free breakfast and has a hot tub and pool from June-Sept.It’s  about 1.5 km from the trail head here.Remember though, the trail ends in Annapolis Royal. You not only will be riding on the road, you’ll be adding extra km to your trip.
The Annapolis Royal Library-285 St. George Street- hope to have their bikes for loan later in the fall.

We do have a great biking resource here in the Annapolis Valley and that’s Kings Transit that  goes from Hantsport to Weymouth including stops all the way along in places like  Wolfville and Annapolis Royal.  All the buses are equipped with bike racks until late fall so if you can’t push that peddle another inch-stop and hop on the bus.The schedule is here.