The Chestico trail is the 3rd section of the Celtic Shores Coastal Trail on the west coast of Cape Breton Island. The Chestico section is 17 km long (10.5 mi) but the entire trail is a 92-kilometer multi-purpose trail stretching from the Canso Causeway to Inverness.
The trail overlooking Port Hood Island
This wonderful recreational trail runs almost parallel to the Ceilidh Trail (route 19) on the island. If you want a multi-day hike or bike ride where you can stay at a B&B, small hotel or inn along the way....this is it!
The trail is organized into 5 sections and there are several trailheads and access points with lots of parking. This page highlights the Chestico section.
1. Ceilidh Coastal Trail - 22 km (12.5 mi)
2. The Judique Flyer Trail – 19 km (11.8 mi)
3. Chestico Trail – 17 km (10.5 mi)
4. Mabou Rivers Trail – 20 km (12.5 mi)
5. Inverness Shean Trail – 16 km (10 mi)
The Chestico section of the trail continues for 17 kilometers from Little Judique Harbour through Port Hood to the SW Mabou River. Be sure to check the trail map to get a glimpse of the trail.
The Province of Nova Scotia has graciously allowed me to use the maps on their Nova Scotia Trails page, however, please read their disclaimer.
View of Port Hood Day Park from the trail
There is a little town in between Little Judique Harbour and Port Hood called Harbourview. You will see signs for it along the trail.
There is a little tea room there called Sandeannie's Tea Room and Bakery.
It is great and is a perfect place to stop for coffee, breakfast or lunch. The folks are lovely. And they have lots of home-made goodies.
Their Cape Breton oatcakes are awesome!
Stop by to say hello!
Back on the trail, you will soon arrive at the next kiosk called the Port Hood Station Look-off, you are now in the town of Port Hood.
I investigated part of the trail here. I was spending some time at the Port Hood Day Park and noticed that the Celtic Shores Coastal Trail was not far. Basically it was on the other side of route 19.
The Port Hood Day Park boardwalk takes you to the beach
You have a great view of the boardwalk in Port Hood as well as Port Hood and Henry Islands. It is worth it to go down to the day park and to explore a bit. Port Hood is a full service town with accommodations, eating establishments, a campground, grocery store and gift shops.
Explore Port Hood if you have the time. I checked out the harbour and some lobster fishermen were just arriving with their catch.
Fresh Lobster from the Atlantic Ocean
The trail continues inland past the Port Hood Day Park. Your next kiosk is Glencoe Station which is 5 km from Port Hood. This place is famous for square dances and ceilidhs so organize yourself for a longer visit if you can.
Continue for another 3 km and you will come to the Southwest Mabou River. You are actually above the river with a very nice view. Yes, you are closer to the coast and entering the lovely area of Mabou.
Which will bring you to the next section of the Celtic Shores Coastal trail. This 4th section is called the Mabou Rivers trail.
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