The Inverness Shean trail is the last section of the Celtic Shores Coastal Trail on the west coast of Cape Breton Island. This section is 16 km long (10 mi) but the entire trail is a 92-kilometer multi-purpose trail stretching from the Canso Causeway to Inverness.
View of Inverness Harbour from the trail
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 Inverness Shean 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)
5. Inverness Shean Trail – 16 km (10 mi)
This section is 16 km long and will take you from Blackstone to the town of Inverness. The map below shows you how the trail (indicated in red) comes right into the town and overlooks the harbour and beach.
Map of the town of Inverness
Check out this map for a detailed look at the trail. The Province of Nova Scotia has graciously allowed me to use the maps on their Nova Scotia Trails page. Please read their disclaimer.
This trail takes you inland toward Lake Ainslie which is one of the largest natural freshwater lakes in Nova Scotia. The Southwest Margaree River starts here, flows through the Margaree area before it empties into the Gulf of St. Lawrence at Margaree Harbour.
You have already crossed several causeways and bridges along the Celtic Shores Coastal Trail. Well, there is one last one at Deepdale called the Deepdale trestle. It is over 300' long and 100' feet in the air. Unfortunately, I don't have a picture of this so please send me one if you can.
A section of the Inverness Shean Trail
Once again, this trail is filled with informational panels about the history of the area.
You will go through forestland for the next 2 km before reaching the last trailhead at Inverness. Get ready for the view at the trailhead kiosk. A harbour, a 2km boardwalk along the beach dunes and a new links golf course called Cabot Links.
This is a beautiful area and to have scenery like this so close to your community must be awesome.
A trail kiosk complete with maps & local information
Many folks from the town were walking down to the boardwalk for some exercise I was there. The boardwalk is beside the Cabot Links golf course so it must be quite something to golf here. Apparently, this is the only 'true links' course in Canada. Plans are underway for a second course in the area.
Inverness is a full service town with accommodations, eating establishments, grocery stores and gift shops. There is also a Visitor Information Centre on the Main Street and they will certainly help you with the next part of your trip.
The trail meets the boardwalk in Inverness
I know of some people who have spent some time in Inverness after visiting other parts of Cape Breton. The beaches are warm here and this is a big attraction. Some folks spend the day at the beach and others enjoy a day of golf at Cabot Links.
If you have a bicycle you could actually bike to Mabou for a day-trip. It is only 16 km (10 mi) one way and would make a great 1-day cycling adventure.
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