“The Cabot Trail in Cape Breton must be one of the most scenic bicycle rides in all of Canada, if not the world.”
The Cabot Trail is a 300km loop around Nova Scotia’s Cape Breton Island. “Rising from the sea and clinging to mountains”, we’ll cycle this majestic and awe-inspiring trail in 4 days accompanied by a professional cyclist and supported by van.
The wonderful Eon D’Ornellas will be joining us. Eon is the owner of the famed D’Ornellas Bike Shop in Toronto and one of Canada’s all-time best cyclist (a 4 time Olympian and two-time Canadian Champion). He’ll be riding alongside providing expertise, inspiration, and riding excitement! This is truly a unique opportunity to ride with a legend. The views, the climbs, the Inns, and the Celtic spirit will all be weaved together to create an exhilarating week of cycling and Cape Breton beauty. The trip is 7 days in total – 4 of which will be spent cycling the Cabot Trail and the other days spent engaged in the Celtic and seaworthy activities that make this Island one of the top ranked islands in North America.
We’ll pick you (and your bike) up from the Sydney airport and spend the first day getting the bikes tuned up and ready to roll. Then from the small fishing community of Dingwall, we head out, cycling clockwise through the fishing villages of Neil’s Harbour and Ingonish. Long, undulating, and dramatic rides along the East Coast, over Cape Smokey and into Baddeck – the colourful hamlet nestled on the shores of the Bras d’Or Lakes. Then up and over Hunter’s Mountain, we’ll cycle through the Margaree River Valley to the western side of the Island where we’ll join the coast road to Cheticamp, a traditional Acadian fishing village rich in culture and traditions. The final day is truly exhilarating as we cycle through the Cape Breton Highlands National Park, up and over two “mountains”, and back into the coastal community of Dingwall where we’ll celebrate with great food, Scottish cheer and Celtic music. On our final day, we’ll pack away the bikes, and head out to sea with Captain Fraser in Bay St. Lawrence, taking time out to enjoy clam chowder at Meat Cove, and a swim at Cabot’s landing, a stunning stretch of soft sandy beach – an absolutely beautiful spot to finally sit and relax.
Hopefully the evening will bring with it an intimate concert with the renowned Barra MacNeils, Canada’s Celtic ambassadors. Steeped in Cape Breton tradition with strong Celtic roots and musical artistry, this talented family will be returning to the Markland for their 8th year to wow us all with their extraordinary musicianship. What a beautiful “note” to end on.
August 8th – August 15, 2019
Thursday August 8
Fly into Sydney Airport, Nova Scotia by 3pm where you’ll be met by LOLA guides to transport you (and your bike) to Dingwall, a charming little fishing community on the northern tip of Cape Breton Island. It is here that we’ll be welcomed by the folks at the Markland – a delightful Inn with comfortable coastal beach cottages.
Friday August 9
A day of bike preparation and sightseeing. Dinner and Entertainment at the Markland.
Saturday August 10 – Day 1 of the Cabot Trail
70km moderate ride from Dingwall to just south of Ingonish. Dinner and accommodation at the Castle Rock Country Inn.
Sunday August 11 – Day 2 of the Cabot Trail
70km moderate ride over Cape Smokey, through Wreck Cove and into Baddeck. Dinner and accommodation in Baddeck at the Lynwood Inn.
Monday August 12 – Day 3 of the Cabot Trail
79km easy to moderate ride through the Margaree Valley and into Cheticamp. Dinner and accommodation in Cheticamp at the Maison Fiset House.
Tuesday August 13 – Day 4 of the Cabot Trail
81km – a challenging and exciting ride through Cape Breton Highlands National Park, climbing 2 mountains of about 1,400ft. Today has long ascents and exhilarating descents with a celebration dinner back at the Markland.
Wednesday August 14 – Day of Cape Breton Fun
Our day of fun and celebration includes whale watching in the Bay of St. Lawrence, lunch at Meat Cove (the most northerly settlement in Nova Scotia), a swim at Cabots Landing (an historic site commemorating the landfall of John Cabot), and an evening of Celtic entertainment at the Markland. Hopefully the Barra MacNeils, Canada’s best known Celtic family, will join us for their annual musical concert.
Thursday August 15 – Depart for Sydney Airport
Note about this route:
The Cabot Trail is truly one of the world’s greatest bicycle rides but it is challenging with 70+ kms/day up, over, and down some dramatic landscape. The roads are paved and most, but not all, have paved shoulders. There are a few sections where the road is rough with gravel and/or uneven surfaces but every year, the surface improves as the road works continue. This trip is for experienced cyclists comfortable with riding long distances at 15km/hr or faster.
$2,900 CAD + HST.
Price Includes: 7 nights accommodation in lovely Cape Breton lodges, all meals (breakfast, lunches and dinners), transportation to and from airport, unique opportunity to ride with a professional cyclist, van support, whale watching, and tickets to Celtic musical event
Price excludes: air travel and insurance, bicycle and bike gear (helmet, repair kits, clothing)
December 1, 2018 Deposit $1,000 CAD
May 8, 2019 Final Payment $1,900 CAD + HST
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