Canada: Nova Scotia

Cabot Trail Bike Tour

A classic 6-day bicycling adventure on a paved 200-mile loop
“The Cabot Trail on bicycle was simply amazing – the incredible views, sounds of nature, and the smell of fresh air and ocean all combined to make this the most exhilarating and personally rewarding holiday. I wholeheartedly recommend Freewheeling Adventures.” – Beth J

“This truly is one of the best rides in the world. We liked the several alternative sections that took us off the main roads.” - Cliff G





Itinerary



Start: Meet in Port Hawkesbury at 16:00, or at your first inn at 17:00; an optional transfer is available from Halifax, The Lord Nelson Hotel, noon, day one. Please contact us to arrange alternate plans, if necessary.

Finish: Finish back at the Normaway Inn. There is an optional transfer to Port Hawkesbury or to Halifax, arriving by about 21:00, day six. Please contact us to arrange alternate plans, if necessary.


Day 1

Introductions

An optional transfer departs Halifax at midday. Otherwise, meet late this afternoon in Port Hawkesbury, or at your first inn (a good place to park your vehicle for the week if you’re driving yourself). Live music often follows dinner - an introduction to the musical culture of Cape Breton Island. D (Meal inclusions provided for guided trips only)

Normaway Inn, Northeast Margaree


Day 2

Short: 28.4km +155m/-235m; Long: 53.6km +344m/422m

Ride down the East side of Margaree River Valley to its mouth, where you can stop for lobster on the beach. Short option riders will transfer to Cheticamp from Belle Côte. The long option follows the ocean through the Acadian region to Cheticamp. If you arrive early enough, you can spend the remainder of the afternoon exploring this very Acadian town and its surroundings. You can sometimes whale watch from the bluffs at Cheticamp Island, and can hike or ride off-road to the salmon pools, with opportunities to swim as well. For your independent dinner, choose from several options along the Cheticamp waterfront. BL

Maison Fiset House; or
Auberge des Pecheurs; or Silver Lining Inn; Cheticamp


Day 3

Short: 46.5km +786m/-762m; Long: 78.1km +1393m/-1388m

Today is a challenging day of cycling through Cape Breton Highlands National Park; cycling distances and terrain can be adjusted using transfers. Short option finishes at MacIntosh Brook with a transfer to your inn at Dingwall. Long option includes climbing the second of two 'mountains' each of about 430m/1400 feet. The scenery today is awe-inspiring; the ascents are long, and the descents...ahh, the descents! If only they'd go on forever. BLD

Markland Inn, Dingwall


Day 4

Short: 28.4km +306m/-291m; Long: 54km +601m/-591m

Cycle the scenic route between Cape North and Neil's Harbour (where the shorter ride begins), stopping for a short hike at spectacular White Point, where eagles often soar over spouting whales. Options include swimming holes, waterfalls, beaches, and golf at the Highland Links. BD

Keltic Lodge, Ingonish Beach or
Castlerock Inn, Ingonish


Day 5

Short: 43.6km+359m/-605m; Long: 60.6km +759m/-746m

A nicely undulating ride along the East Coast follows the initial climb over Cape Smokey. You can choose to ease the ride with a transfer up and over Smokey. Enjoy a picnic feast at Indian Brook or an interesting café in the middle of nowhere, and finish at a secluded inn on the shores of St. Anne’s Bay. BLD

Chanterelle Inn, St. Anne’s Bay or
Water’s Edge Inn, Baddeck


Day 6

Short: 35km +297m/-303m; Long: 78.1km +806m/-735m

On this morning’s ride to Baddeck, you can stop to visit the Gaelic College Great Hall of the Clans Museum, or if you are already in Baddeck, visit the Alexander Graham Bell Museum. Bell's airplane, the Silver Dart, was airborne about the same time as the Kitty Hawk. There are good lunch options to choose from in the waterfront village of Baddeck, before climbing over Hunter’s Mountain (152m/500ft.) and along Middle River Valley to finish your activity with a refreshing swim in Lake O’Law. Unless you are continuing to Inverness and the Celtic Shores Coastal Trail with us, your adventure concludes this afternoon in the Margaree Valley, from where optional transfers to Port Hawkesbury or Halifax depart, arriving by about 21:00. B


Description



Note about the route:

A moderate ride with a few steep and challenging sections, especially on day three when there are two 1400ft. climbs. Ride 50-90km (30-55 miles) per day with some optional extra riding available most days. A spectacular ride some parts of which are “black-diamond” challenges.



This is one of the world’s greatest rides; one that all touring cyclists should have on their “must-ride” list! The beautiful coast – the most dramatic in Nova Scotia - meets the breathtaking highlands in ways that make you appreciate both to the fullest, and the scenic magnificence of the paved trail can be truly savoured at the speed of your bicycle. The landscape and the people may demonstrate to you why Nova Scotia’s name means New Scotland. You will ride through the valley of the Margaree River, rich with salmon and its pursuit. You can choose to linger at the famous Highland Links if you prefer golf to cycling, and on some days you can expand your rides onto beautiful wooded trails, or to find swimming holes beneath waterfalls. The cycling, although manageable by most cyclists (and van-supported for the rest!), includes some challenging sections – especially on day three with two 1400ft climbs. Combining such awe-inspiring scenery and out-of–the-way charm with comfortable inns and exceptional cuisine makes this loop ride an exquisite experience you simply have to add to your list!



Learn more



This ride combines very well with other Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, or Newfoundland rides/hikes to make a longer holiday.

Explore more of Cape Breton Island. Visit the amazing Fortress of Louisbourg.

In Halifax, visit the Halifax farmer's market, the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic and the Citadel; all highly recommended. Halifax is the usual arrival point for those coming by air. It is a small ort city with an attractive waterfront, and an abundance of restaurants, bars, cafes, and hotel choices. The new library has been winning international architectural awards.

Read Helene's blog about the ride.



Costs



US 2245 C 2695 (tax included)

per person, double occupancy, includes 6 days, 5 nights, 5 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 4 dinners, luggage handling, support vehicle and full-time guide/driver, maps, route instructions, taxes

US 1995 C 2395 (tax included)

per person, double occupancy, includes 6 days, 5 nights, 5 breakfasts, inn to inn luggage transfers, maps, route instructions, on-call emergency support, taxes

Single
Occupancy

US 545 C 655 (tax included)


Bicycle
Rental

Hybrid: US 135 C 155
Racing: US 255 C 295
Full Carbon Racing: US 395 C 455
Electric-assist: US 395 C 455
(tax included)


Transfer

Optional 4 hour transfer from Halifax to Cape Breton and back $85 per person/return




All details and pricing are subject to change without notice. 15% sales tax included.