The Cape Mabou Highlands should be on everybody’s list of go to places if you are spending some time on Cape Breton Island. Far from the usual tourist route, these trails offer dramatic vistas over the gulf of St Lawrence, elevation gains to get your heart pumping and leisurely strolls though some remnants of Acadian old growth forest (i.e. maple, beech trees with high canopy with ground covered by ferns). And all of this without the crowds of the National Park close by. There are over 12 different trail segments varying in length from 300 to 6.4km and when you start adding them end to end you can easily spend a day or two exploring this part of the island. The Cape Mabou Trail club sells maps at the local store and you might be able to purchase them through mail if you contact them. My favorite hike in all of those trails is to start at Mabou Post Rd Trailhead and take trail 4(Beinn Bhiorach) which takes you up the Cross Mountain to a spectacular view of Finlay Pt and coal Mine Point. After the descent to the dirt road you turn to the right and head over to the Mackinnons Brook Trailhead. Go left towards the shore and the MacKinnons Brook Trail and follow the shoreline until the Oak ridge trail (Rids an Daraich) materializes on your right (you are going towards Sight Point) . Then it’s a steep uphill for a while until you reach the top of the Mabou highlands and the awesome views of the Gulf of St Lawrence. You can than branch into the Highland forest trail to the left and then a right on the MacArthur trail to come back down from the top of the Highlands. You should then be back at the MacKinnons Brook Trailhead. You can then take the dirt road back to your car (MacKinnons Brook Lane). There are numerous other trails to go on in this area so do purchase the map and enjoy!
Drive to Mabou on highway 19, turn to Mabou Harbour and then turn on Mabou Mines Rd and park at approx. 46° 8.556'N, 61° 26.959'W
(a) Click Wiki Edit This Page to get placed in edit mode
(b) When finished, your update is available to view as draft (click wiki update pending in trail to see draft)
* note: editors are notified and must approve the change