A three day, two night varied experience including paddling from Mabou Harbour, hiking in the Mabou Highlands, and cycling on the traffic-free Celtic Shores Coastal Trail. Optional extra golfing at Cabot Links and Cabot Cliffs (note that the golf courses are closed early in 2020; this option is not currently available).
“Thank you for a great vacation that worked our muscles, included our minds and relaxed our souls. It was great!” – Jan R. & James H.
WHY THIS TRIP?
- Mabou is a cultural and musical gem of Western Cape Breton Island.
- The hiking is magnificent, and breath-taking in both ways.
- Celtic Shores Coastal Trail.
- golf on Cabot Links and/or Cabot Cliffs (advance reservation required)
This is primarily an easy route, but some days may fall into the moderate category. You can expect time to stop and small the roses, but some of the rides may be on more hilly terrain.
This is a moderately easy experience. The paddling is tailored to the group abilities and weather, in sheltered waters or along the coast. The hiking can also be adapted to the group, and can be steep in places; good footwear is necessary. The biking is easy, on flat terrain, and can be made easier with an e-bike if you prefer.
Start: Port Hawkesbury, 11:00, for 45 minute transfer to Mabou. Optional transfer from Halifax departs at 08:00 – contact us to arrange.
Finish: Port Hawkesbury where an optional transfer can return you to Halifax at day’s end.
Please contact us to arrange alternate plans, if necessary.
Meet in Port Hawkesbury for transfer to Mabou. Afternoon sea kayak 4-6 hours
Meet in Port Hawkesbury (a good place to park your vehicle if you’re driving yourself). Enjoy an al fresco lunch on arrival in Mabou, in preparation for an afternoon of paddling from Mabou Harbour. Depending on weather and your group’s experience and energy, the destinations will include the gentle wetlands of the lower Mabou River, the West Mabou Beach, and the hidden stone beaches with waterfalls along the coast. In any case, Mabou Harbour is a lovely inlet, leading to coastal scenery rivalling Scotland’s, with gorgeous hillside meadows tumbling down hillsides toward the sea. We look forward to showing you the beauty first-hand. Afterwards, you can choose to dine pub-style at the Red Shoe (closed for covid in 2020), or fine dining at the Glenora Distillery. (Note that the dining options are limited in 2020). L
Hiking 4km or 12km, with optional extras.
The views from the hikes in the Mabou Highlands, where there is a choice between short and long hikes, are beyond description. The entire west-facing highland slope provides unparalleled views over the sea. We sometimes see whales spouting far below, and the trail-crafting has been superb. You will be affected by the natural magic of this undeveloped place, large parts of which have now been protected by the Nature Trust. BL
Note that you can customize today’s experience with golf on Cabot Links and/or Cabot Cliffs (advance reservation required; no longer available for 2020), or an optional independent 64km bike ride.
If you are at all interested in golf, we highly recommend it. The two courses are amongst the world’s best, and the views from the fairways and greens are consistently superb. If cycling is your preference, there is a wonderful ride around the Lake Ainslie loop that can be done independently. B
30 - 60km bike ride on the traffic-free Celtic Shores Coastal Trail.
Follow the former rail line and the Celtic Shores Coastal Trail from your haven in Mabou, through the small community of Port Hood toward Port Hawkesbury, relishing views of the Gulf of St. Lawrence along the way. Stop for a quick dip at one of Port Hood’s five beaches, known for stretches of sandy shores and (comparatively) warm waters. Finish, if you can make it that far before we pick you up, at the end of the trail near Canso Causeway and Locks. Your adventure concludes in Port Hawkesbury where an optional transfer can return you to Halifax at day’s end. BL
All details and pricing are subject to change without notice.
WHAT’S INCLUDED IN THE COST OF YOUR TRIP?
Guided: C 1485 (per person, double occupancy)
Includes 3 days, 2 nights, 2 breakfasts, 3 lunches, sea-kayak and equipment, hybrid bicycle rental, experienced local guides, maps, route instructions, taxes.
Does not include single supplement charges (pricing can be found in next booking step), airfare to/from tour, and guide(s) gratuities.
Not available for this tour
Please see above for accurate pricing and inclusions, unless we have proposed a customized trip for you and those details are provided in your custom proposal.
1. Choose an advertised date to join a small group, or see our Join a Group page to see where groups are already forming.
2. Pick your own dates. We will confirm quickly, and are happy to talk with you as you make your choice. If you would like a private guided date, price remains the same as advertised if you have at least six. If you prefer self-guided, we usually only require two participants to initiate a new date at the advertised price, and can sometimes reduce prices for you if you have four or more.
All details and pricing are subject to change without notice.
2022 Guided dates:
- Jul 1-3
- Jul 15-17
- Aug 12-14
- Sep 9-11
2023 Guided dates:
- Jun 30-Jul 2
- Jul 14-16
- Aug 11-13
- Sep 8-10
Self-Guided available any dates, except for those listed above. New dates are also welcomed for guided or private departures.
Interested in custom or private departures?
Mabou is a cultural and musical gem of Western Cape Breton Island. The center of an abundance of natural treasures, we are excited to help you explore it. The paddling is sublime, in the protected and picturesque Mabou Harbour, and along the hidden, seldom-visited coastal beaches. The hiking is magnificent, and breath-taking in both ways. The cycling, whether you use regular or electric bikes, is easy, and simply gorgeous. The traffic-free trail along Cape Breton’s western shore can take you all the way from Mabou, through Port Hood and Judique along the Celtic Shores Coastal Trail, with superb, uninterrupted views over the Gulf of St. Lawrence as you approach the Canso Causeway. Combining such awe-inspiring scenery and out-of–the-way charm with nights in a comfortable inn, and an exceptional choice of cuisine, make this an exquisite experience and a delightful three day adventure.
You can extend your stay or change the plan to play the world-famous Cabot links and Cabot Cliffs golf courses, with enough advance notice to secure a precious tee-time. You can also spend six more days cycling the famous Cabot Trail.
The Mi’kmaq word for Mabou is Madawak – “where two or more rivers meet and flow into one larger river”. It is also the heart of surrounding rural Gaelic communities.