Mountain Biking the Cabot Trail
A cycling adventure in Cape Breton
©Outdoor Adventure Canada
exciting place for a multi-day cycling adventure is the Cabot Trail
in the Cape Breton Highlands. This trail spans 298 kilometers or 185
miles and is a mountain biker's paradise. The Cabot Trail leads you
to astounding views and varied ecosystems including valleys, canyons,
bogs, and barrens. There are descents that will make your knuckles turn
white and cliff edges that drop off into the sea.
A good starting point for the journey is the small town
of Baddeck which has interesting historical significance as it was the
summer home of Alexander Graham Bell who invented the telephone. There
are numerous museums to visit here.
The first leg of the trail will take you to Ingonish
but before you get there you will meet the challenge of ascending Cape
Smokey. Once you reach the top you will enjoy a memorable downhill ride.
The views in this region are as breathtaking as the hills. Ingonish
is a resort area nestled among the shores of two large bays that are
separated by the Middle Head Peninsula. The town is actually a cluster
of 5 communities; Ingonish Ferry in the south, Ingonish Harbour, Ingonish
Beach, Ingonish Centre and Ingonish which is to the north. All of the
communities that make up Ingonish cover an area of a mere 16 kilometers.
They are in close proximity to areas where you can swim, golf or attend
a community lobster supper.
Be well rested for your second day because you will cycle
over both North and McKenzie Mountains. You will travel through Pleasant
Bay and then reach Cheticamp. Cheticamp is an interesting town with
quaint churches and French speaking, Acadian residents. Fishing, tourism
and crafts are the main income in this small community. A boardwalk
skirts the harbour where you can stop for dinner, entertainment or to
purchase some of the local arts and crafts. The final part of the journey
takes you from Cheticamp, over Hunter's Mountain, back to Baddeck .
The worst part of the Cabot trail is not the hard work;
it is when one has to say goodbye. The Cabot Trail is one of those unique
places that will draw you back. Its stunning vistas, friendly people,
quaint fishing villages and amazing sunsets will have you returning
to repeat the experience.
Written by Laurie March
Photos courtesy photos.com