Celtic Shores Coastal Trail
Welcome to Celtic Shores Coastal Trail! We have been waiting for you! The 92-km Celtic Shores Coastal Trail stretches from Port Hastings to Inverness on the west coast of beautiful Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia. Explore the best of Canada’s seacoast as you journey along the trail where awe-inspiring natural beauty is matched by the vibrant celtic culture of our region. This exceptional trail system meanders along the coast providing first-class trail experiences for bikers, hikers, runners, quadders, skiers, snowmobilers and horseback riders.
Along the way you will find active fishing harbours, warm-water beaches in Port Hood, West Mabou and Inverness. Highlights include the Celtic Music Interpretive Centre in Judique, Glenora Distillery in Glenville, Cabot Links and Cabot Cliffs Golf Course in Inverness, and the not-to-be-missed Red Shoe Pub in Mabou. All of this is complemented with a host of accommodations, restaurants, places to shop and some of the best live Celtic music – hands down. Plan your visit from a multi-day cycling or trekking itinerary to a short 1-2 hour introductory visit.
With direct access from Mabou River Inn.
Cape Mabou Hiking Trails
The hiking trails of the Cape Mabou Highlands are situated alongside the Northumberland Strait section of ocean between Mabou and Inverness on beautiful Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, Canada.
There are three trailheads: From the village of Inverness on the Sight Point Road ( a narrow and often rough road), from Cape Mabou via Glenora near the windmill, and the most accessible and popular trailhead is at Mabou Mines, about 12 km from the village of Mabou.
There are 17 trails making up this network of paths that follow the rugged coastline, hardwood glens or highland plateaus for a total distance of about 30 km. Please note that not all trails may be open at any given time. There are a few wet sections but for the most part the trails are dry, with some small brook crossings. Hiking these uncrowded trails will get your heart pumping but you will be rewarded with wonderful views and peaceful surroundings.
Note: The trail club along with Inverness County Dept. of Tourism and Recreation is planning a 3 Peaks Hike on Aug 27, 2016. More details will follow. Keep that date in mind!
West Mabou Beach Provincial Park
Length: 2.5-3 km
Duration: 1 hour
Cell Service: No
The Western Coastal Trail runs from behind the parking lots near the beach along the bluffs, adjacent to, and overlooking the beach. This is the most popular trail. The trail runs through a small section of twisted spruce before it opens up into an old pasture field, providing wonderful views the whole way. You can either follow the trail down to the south end of the beach and walk back on the sand, or you may choose to walk back to the parking lot or road through a series of inland paths and loops. Any one of these loops is about 2 km of easy, family friendly trails with some benches along the way. Karst topography or sinkholes are a common but interesting geological feature along the trails here.
The other network of trails that make up the West Mabou Beach Provincial Park can be accessed from the road that turns off just as the pavement ends , about one km from the beach entrance. You can park at the end of this road or drive in about .5 km to access the Whale Cove Trail. There are a few options once on this trail. You can take the first right (Lighthouse Trail), which takes you through some woods before you get to Sam’s Cove. The trail follows the edge of the shoreline back to Whale Cove and the end of the Whale Cove Trail. If, at this point, you continue back up to your car you have walked about 2.5 km with maximum grade of about 40 meters. The other option is to take a left at Lighthouse Trail junction, eventually crossing a small footbridge, turn right towards the water on the Old Ferry Road Trail eventually finding your way back to the Whale Cove Trail. Hikers should note that these trails can be wet at times. This loop is also about 2.5km.
We launch the kayaks at the Mabou Waterfront Wharf, approximately ½ km from the Inn. Kayaking up the River or into the Harbour provides a calm sheltered area with low to moderate tidal influence. Enjoy a leisurely self-guided tour of Mabou Harbour and the Mabou River. It is a beautiful setting, ideal for beginners, or there are expansive waters for those seeking to challenge themselves. A perfect opportunity for those who just want to get out and enjoy a peaceful morning, afternoon or evening on the water. Chances of seeing Bald Eagles are excellent.
2 Single Kayaks – Self Tour $20.00/hour each (15% Tax extra)
1 Double Kayak – Self Tour $30.00/hour (15% Tax extra)
We have an assortment of mountain bikes, which can be taken on the Celtic Shores Coastal Trail (30k to Inverness, or 22k to Port Hood), for a short trip around the village (3k), or to West Mabou Beach (8k).
If you are really energetic a day can be taken in by cycling to the Cape Mabou Trail Head (approx. 28k), at Mabou Coal Mines, then hike the Cape Mabou Trails (see trail info), then the ride back home.
If you still have some zest you could take in some music at the Red Shoe, a dance at West Mabou, Brook Village or Glencoe, or enjoy a pint on our deck. (all distances are one way)
Bicycles (Mountain Bikes)
– $7.00/hour (tax extra)
– $20.00/ ½ day (tax extra)
– $35.00/ full day (tax extra)
We are very fortunate to have world class professional courses within close proximity to Mabou. (all distances are one way)
Cabot Links Golf Course – Inverness 20 minutes https://www.cabotlinks.com
Cabot Cliffs Golf Course – Inverness 25 minutes https://www.cabotlinks.com/golf/cabot-cliffs
Bell Bay Golf Course – Baddeck 45 minutes http://www.bellbaygolfclub.com
LePortage Golf Club – Cheticamp 1 hour & 15 minutes http://www.leportagegolfclub.com
The Lakes Golf Club – Ben Eoin 2 hours http://www.thelakesgolfclub.ca
Fishing is permitted in tidal waters and does not require licensing although there are limits and restrictions on species, so please inquire if you are interested and we’ll try to help. Inland fishing does require licensing and it can be purchased at our local grocery store. If you would like to go out on a boat as an observer for a day of lobster or tuna fishing, please let us know and we’ll see what can be arranged. Please call us for more information on trout and salmon fishing concerning licensing, seasons, and guides. As part of the Inverness South Anglers Association we have been actively involved in river restoration and stock enhancement for trout and salmon since 2004. We have restored over 14 km of streams, allowing for fish passage and creating spawning habitat.
The Inverness South Anglers Association hosts an annual fishing derby, usually the first Saturday of June each year. 2016 with be the 9th Annual John F. MacInnes Memorial Trout Derby. It is located at ‘The Landing’ just off Route 252 approximately 5 minute drive from the Inn.
Note: 2015 Posting by Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada
regarding Atlantic Salmon- Nova Scotia
- The yearly fishing quota for small salmon (grilse) will be reduced from two to zero in the Atlantic salmon recreational fishery. It is now mandatory to release all Atlantic salmon during the angling season;
- The use of an artificial fly with single barbless hook is now required in rivers and streams where it was already mandatory to use an artificial fly to angle.
Fisheries and Oceans Canada Gulf Region
Striped Bass Recreational Fishery in the Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence for 2015 and 2016
Moncton, NB – April 7, 2015 – Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) today approved the Multiyear Plan for Striped Bass Recreational Fishing in the waters adjacent to the Maritime Provinces in the Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence for 2015 and 2016.
Compared to 2014, seven days in the retention fishery and 31 days in the catch and release fishery have been added for both 2015 and 2016.
- In 2015 and 2016, the striped bass recreational fishery will take place from May 1 to October 31;
- In 2015, the retention fishing periods will take place from May 11 to 31, from August 1 to 23, from September 4 to 7 and from October 24 to 31;
- In 2016, the retention fishing periods will take place from May 9 to 29, from July 30 to August 21, from September 2 to 5 and from October 22 to 30.
During the retention fishing periods, anglers will be able to retain a maximum of one striped bass per day and will be prohibited from possessing more than one striped bass at any given time. Outside of these retention fishing periods, all striped bass caught must be released immediately in a manner that causes the least harm to the fish.
Same as in 2014, the following management measures will also apply during the 2015 and 2016 striped bass recreational fisheries:
- The size window for the retention fishery is established at a minimal length of 50 cm and at a maximum length of 65 cm. The length is measured in a straight line from the tip of the nose to the tip of the tail (total length);
- Angling activities will begin two hours before sunrise and end two hours after sunset of each day;
- The use of a non-offset barbless circle hook is mandatory when bait is used while fishing for striped bass in tidal waters.
Trout fishing is generally from April 15th to September 30th, but it is important to consult the angling guide to confirm dates, locations and restrictions.
Nova Scotia Recreational Fishing Regulations in PDF format
For Lobster Boat Tours please refer to: Gillis Lobster Boat Tours out of Port Hood.
For Off-Shore Fishing Charters or professional guides please contact Eagle Eye Outfitters in Inverness.
You could spend the morning and early afternoon on the sandy beach, then stop off at the fishing wharf (during May/June) and bring home some lobsters and have your own lobster boil.
Other Places of Interest:
North Sydney 90 min.
Pictou 2+ hrs
Yarmouth 6+ hrs