On The Water
Blessed with a stretch of sand two miles long, an ocean with the warmest waters north of the Carolinas and the spectacular sunsets that Inverness is known for, this stunning geography is, in large part, the reason many of our guests return again and again. At Cabot, when we’re not on the golf course, we love nothing more than to spend those beautiful Cape Breton summer days on the beach. If you’re heading down that way, we would be happy to help with transportation, beach activities or whip up a great picnic of your choice. With the warm waters of the Gulf of St Lawrence, ideal summer weather and a lifeguard on duty during the day, the Inverness beach is a popular spot for both guests and locals alike.
A great way to spend a leisurely day on the water, enjoy a unique perspective of the spectacular coastline in a sea kayak. The calm, warm waters and beautiful sunsets will be a highlight of your trip to Inverness. This is a great way to explore the shoreline, searching for fossils and beachcombing; you never know what treasures you might find on your adventure. If you are heading out solo and would like to take a guide, one of our Guests Assistants can organize this for you.
Stand up Paddle Boarding
Originating in Hawaii, this sport has caught on throughout the world. A great combination of exercise and fun, stand up paddling can provide a fresh perspective of the water while allowing you to enter the same meditative state you’d feel paddling glassy water in a canoe.
Gillis Mountain Trail Rides
Just around the corner from Cabot Cliffs, in Broad Cove Inverness, Gillis Mountain Valley Farm is a sixth generation Scottish family operation. Offering guided one hour treks and full day tours, Gillis Mountain Trail Rides are guided by experienced and knowledgeable wranglers. Suitable for beginner and advance riders, the one hour trek takes you up Gillis Mountain through old growth hardwood forests featuring coastal views, mountain scenery and various wildlife. The full day trail ride, for advanced riders only, takes you over several mountains, deep into the woods, and across the beautiful 4km Inverness Beach. Lunch and beverages are provided.
Gillis Mountain Trail Rides also offer pony rides for children within the riding ring.
Travel: 5 minutes Duration: Multiple tour options available
Located a short drive away in Pleasant Bay, you can experience some of the best whale watching grounds on the Cabot Trail, on board a 42-foot cabin cruiser. Dolphin, seal, seabird, raptor and bear sightings are also a common occurrence. All equipment is provided, including, rain suit and hydrophones to hear the whales. Other scenic highlights of the tour include unique cliff formations, sea caves, pioneer settlements and waterfalls.
For the more adventurous, zodiac vessels are known for providing close encounters. Both options offer sightings of various marine wildlife and spectacular coastal views of Cape Breton Highlands National Park. A tour with Captain Mark is a must for eco-tourists and photographers. This trip is also available out of the Harbour in Inverness. Peak times for whale watching is June through September.
Travel: one hour each way Duration: 2 hours
The tour to Margaree Island is a three hour journey, alighting from the main harbour in Inverness. After a short steam to the island, you can drop your kayaks in and spend the rest of the morning among the amazing creatures found here, including up close and personal whale sightings.
Sea Wolf Island National Wildlife Area (NWA), locally referred to as Margaree Island, is located 4 km off the coast of Cape Breton. Featuring prominently in the view from the first tee at Cabot, Margaree Island and its surrounding waters support a wealth of wildlife and migratory birds. Over forty species of birds and seventy plant species have been recorded on Sea Wolf Island NWA. Colonial birds breeding at the NWA include the Great Cormorant, Great Blue Heron, Great Black-backed Gull, Herring Gull and Black Guillemot. The island also supports Bald Eagles. Northern Gannet and Common Loon are also regularly observed around the island.
In addition to the many bird species that call the area home, a variety of sea-mammals such as the Grey Seal, Mink Whale and Fin Whale tend to frequent the surrounding waters.
Duration: 3 hours Boat trip, kayaks and safety gear
Sunset Boat Tours
Enjoy a relaxing coastal boat tour on the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Take in the stunning sunsets, observe whales, seals, dolphins, eagles and other sea birds along with incredible coastal views. Enjoy the local music, cold refreshments or maybe even a Lobster Boil. This is a true taste of Atlantic Canada and an experience that should be shared with friends.
Travel: 5 minutes Duration: 3 hours
Salmon Fishing on the Margaree River
An angler’s paradise, the history of the Margaree River is rich. Fall is a spectacular time of year on the Margaree, with the surrounding mountains seemingly on fire with colour. The fall salmon season on the Margaree is known for Atlantic salmon which range in size from fifteen to forty pounds. This is your chance to embark on a world class Salmon Fishing experience on Cape Breton Island’s Margaree River. There are plenty of experienced Guides in the Margaree area, who can give you instruction on the basics or, for the advanced sportsmen, tips on the best pools and local flies.
Season runs from June 1st to October 31st
Travel: 25 minutes each way Duration: Half day trips
Deep Sea Fishing
Many fish swim our waters including cod, mackerel, bass and salmon to name a few. While the waters here boast a bounty of fish, The Northern Coast of Nova Scotia is most notable for the largest concentration of Bluefin tuna in the world. Our tuna charters offer day trips to the local fishing grounds for the opportunity to fight giant Bluefin tuna, through our hook and release program.
The hook and release season runs from August 1st to October 31st each year.
Travel: 5 minutes each way Duration: 2 hours
Hiking and Biking
Cape Breton Highlands National Park – Skyline Trail
Cape Breton Highlands National Park’s hiking trails range from easy strolls to challenging climbs with panoramic views of canyons, highlands and seacoasts. The trails provide a chance to intimately explore the complex habitat of northern Cape Breton Island. Nature doesn’t end at the park’s boundaries as many surrounding areas boast equally breathtaking trails.
Likely the most talked about trail experience on the Island, the Skyline trail is a seven-kilometer, looping, hiking trail on the western side of the Cabot Trail, near French Mountain’s summit. A dramatic headland cliff overlooks the rugged coast from the end of this level trail. You can enjoy an eagle’s view of the Cabot Trail as it winds its way down the mountain towards the sea. Whales can be spotted in the Gulf of St. Lawrence along the route while moose, bald eagles, bears and numerous boreal birds also frequent the area. This may be one of the best spots for picnics and photo-ops on the Island and the viewing decks at the finish are a great place to take in the captivating views. Travel: 1 hour Duration: 7.5K Loop (2-3 hours).
Middle Head Trail
Just beyond the Keltic Lodge in the Cape Breton Highlands National Park, this trail follows a long, narrow peninsula separating two ocean bays, ending on headland cliffs overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, Cape Smokey and Ingonish Island. There are opportunities to see seabirds, seals, whales and eagles, as well as fishing boats in the early summer. Travel: 2 hours Duration: 3.8 km (1 – 2 hours)
Not far from Lake Ainslie, the largest fresh water lake in all of Cape Breton, lies Egypt Falls, or Piper’s Glen as you may find in some guide books. The trail leading to the falls is only 15 minutes, descending downhill through a stand of mixed hardwoods. The last five minutes forces you to ascend the steep walls of the gorge, revealing a beautiful waterfall. A great spot to have a swim, relax in nature with a picnic and some good company. Travel: 10 minutes Duration: 2 km (1 – 2 hours)
The Trans Canada Trail
The Trans Canada Trail is the world’s longest network of trails, stretching over 17,000 kilometres from the Atlantic to the Pacific to the Arctic Oceans, linking 1000 communities and all Canadians. Millions of Canadians and international visitors are using the Trail to hike, cycle, ski, horseback ride, canoe and snowmobile. The Trans Canada Trail offers countless opportunities to explore Canada’s diverse landscapes and rich history.
The Celtic Shores Coastal Trail
As part of the Trans-Canada trail, the 92-km Celtic Shores Coastal Trail stretches from Port Hastings to Inverness. With an entrance at the south end of town, this wondrous trail can be accessed easily to explore the best of Cape Breton’s seacoast. Along the way you will find active fishing harbours, warm-water beaches, great pubs and some of the best live music you’ll find anywhere – hands down. Along the trail, you’ll encounter awe-inspiring natural beauty, paired with the vibrant Celtic culture of our region. This exceptional trail system meanders along the coast providing first-class trail experiences for both guests and locals alike.
Travel: 2 minutes Duration: from an hour to a multi-day excursion
Cabot has a small fleet of bikes that are available on a complimentary basis for our guests. Whether it’s a trip to the beach, a spin to the race track or a ride on the board walk, we have you covered. There are also many great trails in and around the county that are waiting to be explored. Ask one of our guest services agents to get you set up and we will get you started on your scenic tour of Cape Breton.
Mountain Bike Rentals
If you’re looking to go a little bigger, Eagle Eye Outfitters have top quality KHS mountain bikes to explore the many recreational trails in our area. Inverness is located just two minutes from the Trans Canada Trail and just a half an hour to the world famous Cabot Trail. You can depart from town and explore an endless number of quiet back road trails through the woods. There are trails for everyone to enjoy – for all ages and skill levels.