Canada: Nova Scotia

Cabot Trail Bike Tour

Four nights; five days. A classic bicycling adventure on a paved 320 km loop through the Cape Breton Highlands. Ask about six and seven day options.
“...the most challenging and rewarding vacation we've ever taken. The group size was perfect and our guides were fantastic!" - Jennifer D.


Start: Baddeck, Cape Breton Island, 17:00, day one. Optional 4 hour transfer from Halifax is $85 per person/return. Transfer departs downtown Halifax, The Lord Nelson Hotel, at 12 noon or Halifax airport at 13:00 on day one. Please contact us to arrange alternate plans, if necessary.

Finish: Baddeck, Cape Breton Island, 15:00, day five. Optional transfer back to Halifax by 21:00.

Day 1


Meet in Baddeck at 17:00. Optional transfer is available from Halifax at noon. 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

Day 2

Short option: 63km. Long option: 88km

Begin cycling at about 09:00, riding over Hunter’s Mountain (500ft.) and along Middle River Valley and into the Margaree River Valley. The Margaree has been famous for salmon fishing for eons, and has great swimming holes. Ride down the East side of Margaree River Valley to the ocean for a sumptuous picnic lunch, followed by an afternoon ride or transfer through the Acadian region to Cheticamp. The transfer may allow you some time to explore Cheticamp Island by bike, or to go whale-watching, shopping, or hiking to the salmon pools. 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


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, Dingwall

Day 4

Short option: 55km. Long option: 103km, including 48km to NE tip of NS at Meat Cove

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. Long cycling option requires more independence from van support. BD

Keltic Lodge, or
Castlerock Inn, Ingonish Beach


Day 5

Short option: 83km. Long option: 93km

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. E-bikes are suggested for relaxed ricders. There are paved shoulders through much of the national park, and most of the route has low traffic volumes. National Geographic named Cape Breton Island one of the world's top 20 places to see. We also offer a six, and even seven, day option for self-guided and private groups.

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! See why Cape Breton Island has been chosen as one of North America's Top 5 Islands by Condé Nast Readers' Choice Awards!

Trip history:
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.

Map & Elevations

Click here for the elevation profile

Day # Daily distance
Short option: 63km
Long option: 88km
77 km
  Short option: 55km
Long option: 103km
  Short option: 83km
Long option: 93km

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.


US 1595 C 1945 (tax included)

(per person, double occupancy, includes 5 days, 4 nights, 4 breakfasts, 3 wonderful picnic lunches, 3 dinners, luggage handling, van and guide support, maps and route notes)

US 1495 C 1795 (tax included)

(per person, double occupancy, includes 5 days, 4 nights, 4 breakfasts, luggage handling and daily consultation with your driver for lifts, etc, maps and route notes)


US 350 C 415 (tax included)


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)


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

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