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Mountain Biking the Cabot Trail
A cycling adventure in Cape Breton

©Outdoor Adventure Canada

An 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

masthead photo courtesy




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