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10 Hidden Gems on Cape Breton Island

Story by: Team Destination Cape Breton

There is no more rewarding feeling than being among the first few to reach and explore areas that others haven’t yet had the pleasure of witnessing. From undisturbed mountain top hikes to flowing waterfalls, our top 10 hidden gems are waiting to be discovered! 

1. Hiking the Kauzmann Trail

This hidden gem of a trail is found overlooking Aspy Bay. This trail travels along with the North Mountain range and doesn’t involve any climbing! What’s great about this hike is that you don’t have to hike far to arrive at the headland that looks over the bay. Be on the lookout for moose while hiking to the headland!


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2. Tubing the Margaree River

Get your swimsuits on and get ready for a day of sunning yourself on the Margaree River. Drift lazily along with this world-renowned river while watching trout and salmon swim underneath you. Keep your eyes open for eagles perched on the trees nearby hoping to have some fish for dinner!

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3. Kayaking in the Aspy Bay

There’s no denying it, Aspy Bay is one of Cape Breton’s most beautiful regions. To kayak along expansive beaches, intermittent islands, and have mountain backgrounds is an adventure you’ll never forget. If you’re a kayaking rookie, don’t worry Cabot Trail Adventures can help teach you a thing or two!

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4. Biking the Celtic Shores Coastal Trail

If you’re coming to Cape Breton, don’t forget your bicycle! The Celtic Shores Coastal Trail has 92kms of groomed biking trails just waiting for you. The trail travels from Inverness, through Mabou, Port Hood, and Judique, and all the way down to Port Hastings. You can literally bike for days!

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5. Swimming in the North River Falls

Welcome to the most adventurous swimming hole on the island! Go for a dip under Nova Scotia’s tallest waterfall. These falls are 32m tall and are reputably Nova Scotia’s tallest. After a 9km hike through the Acadian forest to the falls, you’ll want to cool off in the pool for a swim you’ll never forget.

Hidden Gems of Cape Breton

6. Fly Fishing in the Margaree

Tie a fly and cast for wild Atlantic salmon on the Margaree River. Find a moment for yourself while exploring one of the many notable fishing holes in this world-renowned salmon fishing river. Be sure to visit the Margaree Salmon Museum as well, it’s a must-see for an avid angler. Be sure to call ahead, the COVID-19 pandemic may affect their hours of operation.


10 Hidden Gems in Cape Breton

7. Sailing Charters on the Bras d’Or Lake

There’s no better way to see Cape Breton Island than by its famous ‘inland sea’, the Bras d’Or Lake! The Bras d’Or Lake is not only a famous body of water, but it’s also a UNESCO-designated Biosphere Reserve. After a day of sailing on the lake, you’ll see why Alexander Graham Bell decided to build his home overlooking the lake. Enjoy a day on the water with one of our many different sailing and chartered tours, click here for more information. 

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8. Surf at Point Michaud Beach

Have you ever wanted to learn how to surf? Did you know that you can actually learn to surf here in Cape Breton? You can take surf lessons at the Point Michaud Beach and finally learn how to catch some waves. You may find it surprising to know that Cape Breton is a highly sought-after location for surfing, especially during the winter months!

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9. Paddling in Whycocomagh Bay

Picture this: set your alarm early, roll out of bed, walk out your door and slip your canoe in Whycocomagh Bay and watch the sun come up while your canoe glides through the still water. If that’s not enough to start your day off on the right foot then I don’t know what is!  If this is your slice of heaven then the Keltic Quay Bayfront Lodge & Cottages has just what you’re looking for. Their cottages decorate the shoreline in Whycocomagh making a quick sunrise paddle almost too easy!

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10. Kayak the West Coast

There are almost too many places on the west coast of Cape Breton Island to put your kayak in the water. Inverness, Chéticamp, Margaree, Mabou, Port Hood, and Chimney Corner are just a few of the places we’d recommend going for a sunset paddle. Is there a better way to wrap up the perfect day in Cape Breton Island? If there is, we’d be hard-pressed to know!

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Team Destination Cape Breton

Our team at Destination Cape Breton is always exploring our beautiful Island. We love discovering our hidden gems, working with partners, and putting our Island on the pedestal it deserves!

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