Five nights; five-days. A classic bicycling adventure on a paved 320 km loop through the Cape Breton highlands.
Start: Baddeck, Cape Breton Island, 17:00, day one. Optional 4 hour transfer from Halifax is $75 per person/return. Transfer departs downtown Halifax, The Lord Nelson Hotel, at 12 noon or Halifax airport at 13:00 on day one
Finish: Baddeck, Cape Breton Island, 15:00, day six. Optional transfer back to Halifax by 21:00
Meet in Baddeck at 17:00. Optional transfer available from Halifax. Evening entertainment and dinner may include live music as an introduction to the unique culture of Cape Breton Island. D (Meal inclusions provided for guided trips only)
Silver Dart Lodge, or
Baddeck Heritage House, Baddeck
Baddeck to Margaree 45km, plus afternoon options
Begin cycling at about 09:00, riding over Hunter’s Mountain (500ft) and along Middle River Valley to enjoy a beautiful outdoor picnic at Lake O'Law. Afternoon options include fishing, finding swimming holes, and wonderful cycling on both paved and gravel roads (very quiet) to remote locations along the Margaree River Valley. BLD
Normaway Inn, Northeast Margaree
Margaree to Cheticamp 53km, plus afternoon options
Ride down the East side of Margaree River valley to the ocean, and then follow the shore through the Acadian region to Cheticamp. After an independent lunch, options include cycling forays into the Cape Breton Highlands National Park, whale-watching by zodiac, shopping, and hiking or off-road cycling to the salmon pools. For your independent dinner, choose from several options along the Cheticamp waterfront. B
Maison Fiset House, or
Pilot Whale Chalets, Cheticamp
Cheticamp to Dingwall 71km
Today is a challenging day of cycling through Cape Breton Highlands National Park. You will climb two 'mountains' of about 1400 feet, breaking for lunch between them. The scenery is awe-inspiring; the ascents are long, and the descents...ahh, the descents! If only they'd go on forever. BLD
Markland Inn, Dingwall
Dingwall to Ingonish 58km. Optional extra 48km
Cycle the scenic route between Cape North and Neil's Harbour, stopping for a short hike at spectacular White Point, where eagles often soar over spouting whales. Options include swimming holes, waterfalls, beaches, and golf on the Highland Links. BD
Keltic Lodge, or
Castlerock Inn, Ingonish Beach
Cape Smokey and Farewell 60-79km
A long, undulating ride along the East Coast follows your initial climb over Cape Smokey (950'). Enjoy a picnic feast at Indian Brook or an interesting café in the middle of nowhere, and finish with a ride to Baddeck, or a visit to the Alexander Graham Bell Museum. Bell's airplane, the Silver Dart, was airborne about the same time as the Kitty Hawk. Rendezvous by approximately 15:00 at the Museum for farewells and the optional transfer to Halifax, which arrives by about 21:00. BL
Note about the route:
The riding is challenging, and 45-80km per day on hilly, paved roads with optional gravel sections. Wide paved shoulders through the national park. National Geographic named Cape Breton Island one of the world's top 20 places to see in 2013.
The Cabot Trail is one of the world’s greatest bicycle rides; one that all touring cyclists should have on their “must-ride” bike tour 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 really savoured and fully appreciated 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 have opportunities to explore the valley of the Margaree River, rich with salmon and its pursuit, to watch whales from a zodiac that gets you up close, to play golf on the famous Highland Links, and on some days to expand your rides onto beautiful wooded trails, all while staying at inns famous for their individuality and charm. Many find the highlight a ride through beech woods to salmon pools, where salmon sometimes leap on their way upstream, and you can swim in deep pools below clear waterfalls. The cycling, although manageable by most cyclists (and van-supported for the rest!) includes some challenging sections.
Combining such awe-inspiring scenery, out-of–the-way charm, unusual inns, exceptional cuisine, and particularly friendly locals makes this loop ride an exquisite experience you simply must have!
Nova Scotia is Freewheeling’s home province. Founders Cathy and Philip exercised their exploratory spirits here first and they still have a deep love for its subtle beauty, relaxed lifestyle and friendly people. You will benefit from an intimate knowledge of Nova Scotia by most Freewheeling Adventures staff.
Maps & Elevations
Before & After
Explore more of Cape Breton Island.
Visit the amazing Fortress of Louisbourg.
Add a day or two of Sea kayaking on Nova Scotia's South Shore.
Contact us for hiking, cycling, paddling, or multisport extensions.
Baddeck, Cape Breton Island, 17:00, day one. Optional 4 hour transfer from Halifax is $75 per person/return. Transfer departs downtown Halifax, The Lord Nelson Hotel, at 12 noon or Halifax airport at 13:00 on day one.
Baddeck, Cape Breton Island, 15:00, day six. Optional transfer back to Halifax by 21:00
US 1695 C 1995
(per person, includes 6 days, 5 nights, 5 breakfasts, 3 wonderful picnic lunches, 4 dinners, luggage handling, van and guide support, maps and route notes)
US 1495 C 1795
(per person, includes 6 days, 5 nights, 4 or 5 breakfasts, luggage handling and daily consultation with your driver for lifts, etc, maps and route notes)
US 395 C 475
US 125 C 145
US 225 C 265
Full Carbon Racing:
US 335 C 395
US 335 C 395
All details and pricing are subject to change without notice. 15% sales tax applies. 50% tax refund for non-Canadians.
May 22-27; Jun 6-11; Jun 12-17 (full);
Jun 26-Jul 1; Jul 3-8; Jul 10-15;
Jul 24-29 (full); Aug 7-12; Aug 21-26 (full); Sep 4-9 (full); Sep 10-15 (full); Oct 2-7 (early fall foliage); Oct 9-14 (peak fall foliage)
Jun 11-16; Jun 25-30; Jul 9-14, Jul 23-28;
Aug 6-11, Aug 20-25; Sep 3-8; Sep 17-22; Oct 1-6; Oct 15-20 (fall foliage)
I want different dates
June - October (fall foliage)
Custom or Private Tours
Want to go but on different dates?
Want to make a change to the itinerary?
We can adapt for you!
Here are some terms:
Bring your friends. We will run most of these trips for you whenever you want, at the advertised price for a group of four or more on a guided trip, or two if it's self-guided! We reserve the right to make changes if the original inns, etc. are already booked.
If you cannot find others, let us advertise the trip for you! Give us a commitment as far in advance as you can. As long as we have the minimum number of guests at the start, the price will be as advertised. The catch is that if it is just two of you and you want a guided trip, you must be willing to pay a 20% premium in the event that others do not join you. The bright side is that, once reserved, you can count on the trip, whether it remains private or becomes a larger group.
Ask for changes to the itinerary.
We are very flexible, and given enough time, can create a new itinerary to match your desires.