Victoria County, Naturally Active
Bell Bay Golf Club – 18-hole, par 72, 7037 yd. in Baddeck | 902- 295-1333 | www.bellbay.ca
Red Barn Mini Golf – 18 hole mini-put golf – 2 Cabot Trail, Nyanza | 902-295-3036 | firstname.lastname@example.org
- Uisge Ban Falls Provincial Park – Hike/Snowshoe – Hwy 105, Exit 9 (watch for signs), it’s 14.5 km north of Baddeck at 715 North Branch Road, Forks Baddeck. It features signage and clearly marked trails. 1.5-km (1-mi) trail leads to a spectacular 15-m (50-ft) waterfall in a granite gorge. 2-km (1.5-mi) trail following the North Branch River. Beautiful hardwood stands along cliffs. Brochure available. Parking, picnic tables (some with shelters)… read more
- Bald Mountain Trail – Hike/Snowshoe 3 hour Trail Hike – 1,113 ft mountain peak…read more.
- Boiler Trail – Hike/Snowshoe – located in Rear Baddeck Forks and concludes with a visit to the 1930’s Boiler Steamer. The hike is about 3 hours totaling 12,500 steps.
- Gold Brook Mine Trail – Hike/Snowshoe , about two hours to the mine and back. 3.5 Km one way. Some climbing at one point around a twenty/thirty foot gap. At the mine there is a little bit of climbing along the brook and a crossing of the brook which may give participants a soaker if the water is running high. Located in Middle River | video
Sport & Recreation Facilities
Victoria Highland Civic Centre – Ice Skating & Hockey Rink
Cycling in Victoria County
“Develop Plans to Provide Every Child with Opportunity to Learn to Bike”
The Physical Activity Sport and Recreation Branch of the Department of Health and Wellness is exploring the possibility of achieving the commitment in Thrive!: A Plan for Healthier Nova Scotia to “develop plans to provide every child with an opportunity to learn to bike” through a feasibility study. The scope of the All Nova Scotia Children & Youth Bike! Feasibility Report is to prepare options, including timelines and associated costs, for a province-wide, multi-component, multi-setting initiative.
Amy Schwartz – Active Transportation Consultant
Physical Activity Sport and Recreation – Department of Health and Wellness, Province of Nova Scotia
Blue Route Nova Scotia
Cycling, Victoria County
Cyclists use caution – Road conditions change over time. Please use caution and be prepared for unstable conditions on roadways, shoulders & off-road routes.
Alternate Scenic Route
Distance: 33km Start: Buchanan Memorial Hospital, Neil’s Harbour
This Cycling route is often described as a shorter version of the Cabot Trail, having many breath taking views. It has been used in the Tour du Cape Breton and will be part of the Metric (100 km) Century Ride in the Victoria County’s Cycling Festival. You begin the ride by taking a left at the Y-intersection past the hospital. Be prepared for some long gradual climbs. After cycling 9 km you will reach the tip of South Mountain where you will see an incredible view of Sunrise Valley and the Community of Cape North. To your East is the Sugarloaf and North Mountains.
The first leg of this route ends at 13.2 km with two good downhill’s to the turnoff at Effies Brook / White Point. Take a right at this intersection. Two kilometres (15km) from the turnoff you will face your first of four hills with the last one being the toughest.
During the first half of the ride, you will see some incredible scenery and pass by the fishing communities of South Harbour, Smelt Brook and White Point. We encourage you to take the time to visit White Point – a 3 km side trip; the view is well worth the climb going back to the main road. Upon leaving White Point, you are 9.5 km to the end of the loop. You will travel over rolling terrain with some nice downhills before entering the communities of New Haven and Neil’s Harbour. Both are fishing communities with many of the residents’ ancestors coming from Newfoundland. If you like seafood, there are two great places to eat here; Chowder House and Sea Breeze Take-Out. Neil’s Harbour is the centre for services North of Smokey. It has a pharmacy, a doctors’ office, a Co-op grocery store, a nursing home, and a hospital. The route ends by passing through Neil’s Harbour and taking a left at the Y intersection to head back to the hospital.
Westside Middle River Loop
Distance: 18.7km Start: Churches at Middle River, Take Exit 7 off TCH
Cyclists will enjoy this scenic route that takes you through the framing community of Middle River (pop. 300) Middle River was established in 1806, and hosts several sporting events throughout the year in cross country skiing, mountain biking, softball, and running. You begin the route by taking a left at the Churches and proceeding on to the Westside Middle River. After crossing the bridge you will come to a Y- intersection. Proceed right and at 2 km you will come to Middle River Community Ball field and Playground area.
At 4 km, you pass the Parsons’ stonehouse on the right, one of the few stone houses in Victoria County. A kilometre from the house you will come to another Y-intersection – take a left.
At 6.2 km, you pass on your left the Aikman’s stonehouse, a provincial heritage property. You should see some Highland cattle grazing on their lands. During this route you will pass the Gallanders Mountain on your left and Crowdis Mountains on your right. At 11.5 km you come to the end of Westside Middle River Road. Take a right and proceed on to the Cabot Trail. At 15.5 km you will pass by the Middle River Community Hall. The route ends at the churches 3.2 km away from the hall.
MacLellan’s Cross Road Route
Distance: 10km Start: Churches at Middle River, Take Exit 7 off TCH
This short scenic route starts on the Westside Middle River Road. Riders take a left at the churches and proceed over the bridge. There are 2 Y-intersections along this route and you veer to the right at each intersection.
The second intersection will connect you to MacLellan’s Cross Road. Before this intersection you will pass by the Parsons’ Stonehouse, one of the few stone houses in Victoria County.
Cyclists will enjoy the mountains and valley scenery along this route. Near the end of the MacLellan’s Cross Road you will pass by one of the old school houses in Middle River. It is now a craft shop. At the end of this road, turn right onto the Cabot Trail and finish back at the churches.
Baddeck River Loop
Distance: 23km Start: Baddeck Overpass
Cyclists will leave Baddeck via the Margaree Road, cross over the Baddeck Overpass and enter the scenic rural area known as Big Baddeck. Flanked by the Cape Breton Highlands, riders will encompass the picturesque Baddeck River. Travelling through the Baddeck Valley, tourers will cross over several bridges allowing for spectacular viewing of the local waterways.
Four kilometres into the ride you will cross the Red Bridge. Here you may find people enjoying their leisure time swimming, sport fishing, or just relaxing alongside the peaceful waters of the Baddeck River. You may also discover farm animals grazing in nearby pastures since farming has always been a traditional way of life in this area.
When you have reached the St. Andrews United Church at Baddeck Forks you are basically half way through the trail.
St Andrews was constructed in 1865 and has recently been recognized as a Municipal Heritage Property. Alongside St. Andrews is Baddeck Valley Community Hall, which was once a school house (circa 1907) for the residents of the area.
You then cross the Forks Bridge and travel alongside the Baddeck Forks Golf Course. The scenic 9 hole course will provide hours of entertainment for golf enthusiasts of all ages. Cameron’s Hill will provide a gradual climb challenge as cyclists near the end of this splendid tour.
Distance: 23.5km Start: Baddeck Welcome Centre (Tourist Bureau)
The tour begins in the resort Village of Baddeck, home of the Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site. This museum is one of the finest in Canada. It attracts visitors from all over the world. Cyclists will leave the Welcome Centre in downtown Baddeck and proceed west down the Shore Road (2.5 km) until they reach Exit 8 at the Trans Canada Highway. Take a right onto the highway where you begin an immediate climb. The highway section of this route is approximately 11 km. There are a few challenging hills along the way but the views of the Bras d’Or Lakes and Baddeck Bay are well worth it.
Cyclists will turn right at Exit 10 and begin their journey back to the Village along the scenic Baddeck Bay. The Bras d’Or Lakes is the site of the Bras d’Or Yacht Club Regatta, held annually in the first week of August. Upon entering Baddeck, cyclists will take a left at Yellow Cello intersection and proceed down Water Street. Here you get to see the waterfront and park. Take a walk on the wharf to see the many sailboats tied up and moored nearby. The tour ends at the Welcome Centre
St. Ann’s Loop
Distance: 45km Start: Gaelic College, St. Ann’s, Exit 11 off TCH
This scenic tour begins and ends at the Gaelic College, St. Ann’s.
This is the only Gaelic College in North America. One kilometre past the College is the St. Ann’s Provincial Day Park, and ideal location for a picnic. As cyclists ride through communities such as Goose Cove, North River, and Tarbot, they may choose to visit one of the fine craft shops along the way.
North River is home to a Provincial Park, and an 18 km hiking trail, along with being a great location for sport fishing enthusiasts. As you travel along to the Barrachois Bridge you exit right on route to the Englishtown Ferry. You will cycle 5 km through the communities of River Bennett and Jersey Cove to the Englishtown Ferry. One of the few remaining cable ferries in Nova Scotia.
As you come off the ferry you may visit the Giant MacAskill Museum or the Englishtown Ridge Campground.
Englishtown is a scenic fishing village located on the beautiful St. Ann’s Bay. Cyclists will encounter several challenging hills upon leaving Englishtown on route to the Trans Canada Highway 6 km away.
Upon reaching the Trans Canada Highway cyclists turn right and ride the final 4.2 km downhill section along the St. Ann’s Harbour to the St. Ann’s Turnoff (exit 11). The St. Ann’s Motel, and the Lobster Galley Restaurant are situated here only 1 km from the Gaelic College, the starting point of the tour.
strong> Big Harbour
Distance: 10.4km Start: Turnoff for Big Harbour on TCH heading for Sydney
A short ride that takes you through the small community of
Big Harbour located along the Bras d’Or lakes. At the end of the road you can see the ferry wharf. A ferry services operated between Ross Ferry and Big Harbour until 1961 and was the only route to Sydney. The Seal Island Bridge has replaced the ferry service. Traffic is light on this road.
Distance: 1.6km Start: Creek Rd. Turnoff (Just past Skyline Cabins)
This is a very short route that offers spectacular views of Ingonish Harbor, Middle Head (Keltic Lodge), Ingonish Beach, Fresh Water Lake, Cape Smokey Mountain and Keltic Cape Smokey Ski Hill. This is not a loop, and you return via the same road.
Distance: 5km Start: Turnoff for Keltic Lodge and Ingonish Beach off Cabot Trail
This is a scenic route which offers spectacular views of Cape Smokey Mountain and Keltic Cape Smokey Ski Hill along with the majestic Keltic Lodge. About ½ km in take a right and proceed to the beach and tennis courts located in Cape Breton Highlands National Park. Once back to the intersection take a right and head towards the Keltic Lodge. About ½ km down the road you will come to a look off. This is where you will see the spectacular view of Cape Smokey Mountain, the Ski Hill and Ingonish beach.
Just past the look off you will come to the Cape Breton Highlands Link Club House and Golf Course, one of the world’s top golf courses. You will pass the coffee shop and White Birch Inn and then come upon the Keltic Lodge. Just past the Lodge is the Middle Head Hiking Trail. A popular hiking trail that offers great views of the surrounding areas. You will turn at the Keltic Lodge and head back to the turnoff at the Cabot Trail.
Big Bras d’Or Route
Distance: 31.3km Start: Big Bras d’Or Turnoff Exit 14 off TCHTrail
This route begins at the turnoff and heads toward the fishing community of Big Bras d’Or. After cycling 8 km you will come to the Factory Road sign. Take a left here and head down to the wharf and see the fishing boats of this community. Back on the main road and a short distance away is the Mountain View by the Sea Campground and Bird Island Tours (2 & ½ hour cruise). There are 4 tours daily from May to September where visitors can see Atlantic Puffins, razor billed auk, black quillemonts, cormorants and seagulls nest off the Cliffside’s.
Our next destination is Black Rock Lighthouse approximately 5 km away. Cyclists take a left at Black Rock road sign and head down the road about 2.2 km until the pavement ends. Take a left on the gravel road and proceed down to the end where you will see the Black Rock Lighthouse. This is the entrance of the Bras d’Or Lakes from the Atlantic Ocean. From the lighthouse we head back to the main road and take a left at the end of Black Rock Road.
The main road ends at Millville 4.7 km. Cyclists will take a right at this intersection and proceed on the shoulder of the Trans Canada Highway (Be cautioned about the presence of rumble strips that take most of the shoulder in that section) to St. James Road (6.6 km away). Take a right at St. James Road and go down this road about 1 km to the Dalem Lake Provincial Day Park. This park has a nice sandy beach and a hiking trail around the Lake.
After leaving the park take a left and head down the St. James Road. At the end of St. James Road, take a left onto the main road where this route ends at the Big Bras d’Or turnoff 4.7 km away.
Distance: 9km Start: Dingwall Turnoff, Cabot Trail
This short scenic tour takes you to Dingwall, a small fishing community that once mined gypsum.
About 3.5 km in, you come to the end of the paved road where Courtney’s store is located. Here you can see the Dingwall Harbour and Sugarloaf Mountains in the background. Aspy Bay Boat Tours are located in Dingwall and visitors can enjoy a 3 hour historical cruise and watch for ship wrecks, whales and sea birds. About 1 km from Courtney’s Store to the right on a gravel road is the Markland Resort. Well worth a visit for its view and food. Cyclists return to Dingwall turnoff via the same road.
Distance: 22km Start: Pioneer Restaurant, Cape North
This is a short scenic route that offers the cyclist some spectacular views of North Mountain and Sugarloaf Mountain. This is not a loop and riders will turn around at Big Intervale and cycle back on the same route. There are very few hills and lots of nice downhill’s. You will pass an unique establishment at the beginning of your ride – the Arts North Craft Store. Take time to visit each business. Just past Arts North you will come around a corner and a spectacular view to your right of Sugarloaf and North Mountain’s.
Big Intervale is at the entrance to the Cape Breton Highlands National Park from Cape North. At the left of the entrance is the Beulach Ban Falls and Aspy Hiking trail – about 2.5 km in on a gravel road. There is a small daycamp and primitive camping to your right at the entrance.
The route ends at the Pioneer Restaurant. Excellent meals are served here with their specialty being seafood. They also have homemade ice cream. Take time to visit the North Highlands community Museum and Forge next door to the restaurant. On your way back to Cape North, there are 3 hills you face.
Bay St. Lawrence
Distance: 35.8km Start: North Highlands Community Museum, Cape North and Cape North United Church are nearby. This route is one of the top three scenic cycling routes in Victoria County with an incredible view of the North and Sugarloaf Mountains.
PLEAse KEEP: The route begins at the North Highlands Community Museum and heads towards Bay St. Lawrence..After cycling 10.3 km you will arrive at Cabot Landing Provincial Day Park. Take a drive in and see the cairns and monuments of the explorer, John Cabot, acknowledging his visit to the area and the first Nova Scotia – Newfoundland telegraph cable. There is a nice long sandy beach at this park. A great place to stop for lunch. Continuing on, 6 km from the park on the main road you will enter the community of St. Margaret’s Village where you will see their Catholic Church on the left and view of the harbour at Bay St. Lawrence. At Bay St. Lawrence Wharf there are whale cruises available from June to September. A short ride away is the entrance to the harbour. There is a Little Red Schoolhouse Museum located almost at the end of the road. Turn here and head back to Cape North just past the Aspy Bridge (17.9 km). At the end of the ride visit the North Highlands Community Museum, next door to the Pioneer Restaurant, Cape North.
Central Cape Breton Loop
Recommended for Advanced Cyclists. Distance: 58 km Start: Little Narrows Community Centre, Route 223
The route begins by taking a right after leaving the Little Narrows Community Centre. Only 0.8 km away is the Little Narrows Community Beach where there are picnic tables are changing rooms. You will pass through the communities of Estmere and Ottawa Brook before heading into some challenging hills. At 10.3 km you will pass the train bridge on your right. MacKinnon’s Harbour will be your next community on this route. At 21 km you will pass the Highland Heights Inn and the Nova Scotia Highland Village, the only Scottish Outdoor Museum of its kind in Nova Scotia. As you come into Iona you will see the Iona/Grand Narrows Bridge and Ferry, and you will pass the Iona Post Office, the first Post Office in Cape Breton to have a Gaelic sign.
At 23.1 km you will come to an intersection and turn left past St. Columba Church. Just past the church is the Rankin Memorial School on your left. At 24 km you will come to MacCormack’s Provincial Park, a beautiful picnic park that overlooks the Bras d’Or Lakes. Grass Cove and Gillis Point are your next communities. At 30.9 km you will be going over several hills and will be able to look out over Maskell’s Harbour. After the bridge there are several hills and at 35.1 km you will start to go downhill. This section of the road is very windy and the last turn is severe. At 37.9 km you will come to an intersection and will be able to see Washabuck Beach. Turn left at the intersection and proceed into Upper Washabuck. At 46.6 km you will pass over the Washabuck Bridge and will see St. Columba road and Cains Mountain road. Follow the highway to the right, at 49.2 km you will come to an intersection with South Cove on the right. Turn left at the intersection at 52 km you will be in Hazeldale. You will pass Little Narrows Gypsum Plant, Matheson’s store and the Little Narrows Ferry before finishing the tour at Little Narrows Community Centre, 6 km away.
Mary Ann Falls
Distance: 16km Start: At Warden’s station, just past Broad Cove Campground
Terrain: All gravel road
May Ann Falls is a great place to visit and enjoy a swim and a picnic lunch. This is a high traveled road, keep to the right at all times. There are hills on this route (one way).
Gold Brook, Middle River
Distance: 10km Start: Entrance to Gold Brook Road from the Cabot Trail
Terrain: Gravel Road
Fascinating Fact: Gold was extracted on the mountain in the early 1900’s to 1914.
A scenic trail that follows Middle River and offers a few hills (nothing serious). This is a one- way trail. Turn at the end of the road.
Garry Road, Middle River
Distance: 10km Start: Off the Cabot Trail at Middle River Terrain: Gravel Road
An easy ride on a gravel road with a nice panoramic view of the valley and the Highlands. This is a one-way road. Turn at the end of the road to come back. You will pass a pine plantation along the way.
Distance: 18km Start: End of pavement by Englishtown Ferry, continue straight
Terrain: Gravel road, rocks, off-road terrain with washouts and bridges
A scenic route featuring St. Ann’s Bay and mountains. This is a one-way route that has two tough hills in and two out. Riders will have off road terrain on this route so have good brakes and carry tools. Not many use this route, especially past the houses.
Start: Ross Ferry Community Centre, – take Exit 13 off Trans-Canada 105 Highway on route to Sydney – 15 minutes down road from turnoff –
Terrain: Pavement and gravel roads off-road
This scenic route provides cyclists with a picturesque view of the Bras d’Or Lake. Most of the route is on pavement with some gravel sections.
Start: Baddeck Valley Community Hall Baddeck Forks.
The route begins on pavement and will cross a one-lane bridge before turning right on North Branch Road (gravel). Go down two hills before crossing another bridge – be careful as bridge is on a turn. The next section has rolling terrain until you get to Uisage Ban Falls Provincial Park. There are a number of hiking trails at this Park (waterfalls and picnic area) and is a nice place to stop and enjoy a break. After leaving the Park, you will climb two short hills. At the intersection take a right. You will go down a hill, up a tough one and then down another to an intersection. Take a left here. You will enjoy the next section.
After the hill you will come across another bridge. Just past the bridge is a short hill to another intersection. Take a right. The route continues with a downhill, a short hill and then rolling terrain with more downhill’s to the finish. The gravel road ends just past the golf course. Take a right at the intersection and go on pavement. A short ride will have you cross a one-lane bridge. Just past the bridge on your left is Baddeck Community Hall.
Slatey Point, Clyburn Valley
Distance: 16 km Start: At Clyburn parking lot, past the bridge Terrain: Gravel road and off-road
Mountain bikers will enjoy riding along the Clyburn River and Valley. The route can be broken into three sections: to the gate; Gold Mine Cabin; and Slatey Pt. Cabin. This is a one-way route – in and out trail.
Riders will cycle about 2.5 kms. to the gate on the gravel road. Past the gate, you will be on the off-road terrain for 2 kms. to Gold Mine Cabin. There is a privy toilet here. Behind the Cabin are ruins of the Gold Mine buildings (hotel, cold room). You will then cross a bridge about a half km. away. Up the brook about one mile or so is where the gold mine is located (it is hard to find).
From here to Slatey Pt. you will experience tough technical sections of rocks – brooks that are gone dry and four bridges. It is approx 3.5 kms to Slatey Pt. from Gold Mine Cabin. One bridge is no longer there. At Slatey Pt. there is a privy toilet. Just past the Cabin you can follow a path that takes you down to the Clyburn River. There is a nice pool here for swimming but the water is cold.
EXPERIENCE THE THRILL OF CONQUERING THE CABOT TRAIL
Named for famed navigator and explorer John Cabot, the world famous Cabot Trail is a 300 kilometre paved roadway that hugs the mountainous northern shore coastline of the Island. For most cyclists, the loop ride around the Trail begins and ends in Baddeck.
The Cape Breton Highlands National Park straddles the upper reaches of the Island, roughly 85 km north of Baddeck via the small communities of Chéticamp (on the west coast) or Ingonish (on the east coast). The road around the Trail is, for the most part, well-maintained.
Framework Cycle & Fitness
Secret to a Long Healthy Life: Bike to the Store
Residents & Visitors Enjoyed Outdoor Skating on the Pond Winter 2014 – Baddeck – (winter months)
Located and entry off water street, behind Baddeck Building Supplies. A special thank you to all for clearing the snow for public use, small milk crate bench, garbage can and access to shovel. It is greatly appreciated.
Baddeck Curling Club – located behind the Highland Civic Centre
Community Wellness Room A Success– Baddeck Academy
Community Wellness Room at Baddeck
Mondays, Tuesdays & Thursdays – 6:00 to 8:00 pm
Wednesdays, 5-7 pm
Ages 16 & up FREE – * Please note: No School No Program
Supervisor was Josh Green email@example.com or 295-3215 or 371-3211.
Heritage Way Community Walking Path – Alderwood, Baddeck Open to the community, maintained during the winter and is well lit at night. 10 minutes to do 1 lap of the Path and is 1/2 km long or 660 Steps. For further information, contact : Wilhelmus van Hal, Director of Recreation, Alderwood Rest Home Phone 902-295-2644 ext. 226 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Partners in Your Health: Victoria County, Naturally Active Victoria County, Thrive NS Obesity Strategy, NS Health & Wellness, CBVRSB and Baddeck Academy
Rockinghorse Ranch Offers lessons, pony rides, petting zoo (goats, horse, ducks, chickens, 2 little pigs, lama, donkey), educational sessions until 5:00 pm. Natural Horsemanship is taught. Open for tours; checkout the animals who have been rescued. To book your time or for further information, please contact Dale 902- 295-2743 | www.rockinghorseranch.ca