The Mabou Rivers trail is part of the Celtic Shores Coastal Trail on the west coast of Cape Breton Island. This section is 20 km long (12.5 mi) but the entire trail is a 92-kilometer multi-purpose trail stretching from the Canso Causeway to Inverness.
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 Mabou Rivers 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 trail takes you to the beautiful Mabou area. The first trailhead is at South West Mabou and the trail continues to Blackstone. Be sure to check out the trail map. The Province of Nova Scotia has graciously allowed me to use the maps on their Nova Scotia Trails page. Please read their disclaimer.
The first several kilometers of the trail are through wooded sections with canopies of trees protecting you from the sun or perhaps the rain. Afterward, you will be alongside the gorgeous West Mabou River.
Watch for eagles as they are plentiful here. If you are here in spring watch for fiddleheads along the river.
The next trailhead section is the West Mabou Road trailhead and it is absolutely beautiful. It was in the evening when I was there so the water was very calm and the light was magical.
This is a wonderful place to view the evening idleness of Mabou Harbour and the Mabou Highlands in the background. If you want to take some beautiful pictures this is the spot!
The trailhead is located just before you enter the village.
After spending some time on the trail I actually travelled off the trail down the Little Mabou Road toward the West Mabou Provincial Park. There is a fantastic beach here and a network of hiking trails.
The sun was setting when I was there and the light on the red cliffs was gorgeous. If you are staying in the Mabou area I would definitely suggest a trip to this provincial park.
If you are staying for a few days in the area and are a serious hiker I suggest that you check out the trails in the Cape Mabou Highlands.
There are square dances every Saturday evening at the West Mabou Hall (1284 West Mabou Road). This is also a definite must! They run all-year long and are for the whole family.
Once you leave the village the trail continues to Mabou Inlet and the river for another 4 kilometers. Eagles are known to frequent this area as well so watch carefully and have the camera at the ready.
As you leave the Mabou area and head towards Blackstone you can take a little detour of about 2 kilometers from the trail and visit the Glenora Distillery.
The Mabou Rivers Trail ends at Blackstone and it is here where you join the last section of the Celtic Shores Coastal trail, the Inverness Shean.
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