Alexander Graham Bell once said: “I have travelled around the globe. I have seen the Canadian and American Rockies, the Andes, the Alps and the Highlands of Scotland, but for simple beauty, Cape Breton outrivals them all.”
Named after the famous explorer John Cabot (an Italian, Giovanni Caboto, who sailed under an English flag), the Cabot Trail is one of the world’s most beautiful bicycle routes. The Cabot Trail winds through glorious valleys and along an expansive coast as it traverses the Highlands. Pods of whales can be seen just off the coast, while bald eagles soar on the breezes.
Pedal & Sea Adventures will show you this splendid place as it should be experienced — by bicycle! You will start and finish the tour in Baddeck, the place where Alexander Graham Bell wanted to spend the rest of his life. From there you will cycle clockwise around the trail through the Margaree Valley, Chéticamp, Pleasant Bay and Ingonish. You will have the opportunity to go whale watching, hike the Cape Breton Highlands and relax after an incredible day in the saddle. For those wishing to get in a round of golf that can be arranged, too: The Highland Links golf course was recently ranked as the best golf course in Canada and one of the top 100 courses in the world.
A welcome dinner awaits at our historical inn in Baddeck, where you'll have the chance to feast on fresh lake trout or Digby scallops, arguably the world’s best. This charming hamlet is nestled on the shores of the Bras d’Or Lakes. It's the place where Alexander Graham Bell tinkered, and where an engaging museum bearing his name is located. You will get there early enough to take in the sights before dinner. You’ll be staying at the Telegraph House or The Lynwood Inn.
Day Two — 58 km, optional 25 km (easy to moderate; 1 mile equals 1.6 km)
Leaving your lovely inn, you’ll cycle across the one-lane Baddeck Bridge, where families of bald eagles may be seen showing their young how best to fish. You’ll bike through the splendid Margaree Valley along Lake O’Law. It’s gorgeous, but don’t tarry too long because an old-fashioned Maritime picnic lunch awaits.We have an optional 25-kilometer bicycle ride in the afternoon, crisscrossing the Margaree River Valley. Your ultimate destination is the Normaway Inn, set upon a beautiful 250 acres. You’ll get your first taste of foot-stomping Cape Breton music in the evening at the Fiddler’s Barn! Tonight you'll stay at The Normaway Inn.
Day Three — 50 km (easy to moderate)
Salmon are abundant along the Margaree River making the Margaree Valley an angler’s paradise. You’ll have the opportunity to visit the Margaree Salmon Museum this morning as you leave the valley and join the coast road to Chéticamp. In Chéticamp, you’ll have your first chance to go whale watching (at an additional fee), as well as garnering your first glimpse of the highlands, where you’ll be cycling over the next two days. Tonight you’ll stay at the Maison Fiset House.
Day Four — 81 km (challenging)
Today’s ride will soon have you cycling in the Cape Breton Highland’s National Park. The Highlands encompass almost 1,000 square kilometers of breathtaking terrain that descends to dramatic rocky shorelines. The park is teaming with wildlife: moose, eagles, foxes, deer, coyotes, lynx and bobcats are plentiful. We’re heading for Dingwall, and the Markland Beach Cottages will be your home for the night.
Day Five — 58-70 km (moderate)
You will continue cycling along the Cabot Trail taking the scenic route through Neil's Harbour on the way to Ingonish. Before lunch, you’ll bike down to the quaint fishing village of White Point, where whales and seals often frolic just offshore. The world-famous Highland Links Golf Course is located in Ingonish for those who might want to get in a round of golf before dinner. Tonight, you’re staying at either The Keltic Lodge or The Castlerock Inn.
Day Six — 32-42 km (moderate)
You will continue cycling the Cabot Trail over Cape Smokey where your descent will have you gasping with delight. Before lunch at the Clucking Hen, take the opportunity to visit the area’s local artisans. After lunch it is off to Englishtown where a cable ferry will shuttle you across the St. Ann's Bay, where Giant Angus MacAskill — who stood 7-foot-9 — once lived in the 1800s. We will load the bicycles on the van for the return trip to Halifax.
* Details subject to change.
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