New to the Maritimes, but not new to riding

Hi all,

Happy to have found this quirkily named forum. I’m one of the few people I know who just never stopped riding a bicycle after childhood. I’ve dabbled in all disciplines (minus bmx), but my true loves remain singletrack in the woods.

I just moved to Mabou, on the western side of Cape Breton island. My online search for trails has not turned up much in my area. I did make it to the Keppoch, last weekend, and had a blast riding the downhill trails, but it’s too far to get to on a regular basis.
I was wondering if anyone had any insight, contacts or otherwise any information that might help me find some trails to explore on my mountain bikes.


Welcome to the Maritimes! Check out or call the Velo Max bike shop in Cheticamp maybe. ATV trails might be a good start, albeit a bit muddy at times.

Seems there is also a section of the transcanada trail available. They would be gravel trails, but might be something branching off of some interest.

If you find anything singletrack specific, be sure to post it up in our trail section. My mom is from Cheticamp and would love to be able to stop for a trail ride when I’m down that way.

One thing you can try is exploring around with strava to see if any tracks pop up.

Bike shops are a good resource for this kind of information as well. Frame work cycle in Sydney. (I realize that is a jaunt from Mabou)

Probably no MTB specific trails in that area, but the terrain is a potential goldmine. Every time I’m in western Cape Breton and see the rolling hills I think “wow, if I lived here I could build some crazy epic trails.” Alas though it’s to far from most people to build anything sustainable, which is the reason there probably isn’t many trails up that way. If you had the time though, and you could find the right area’s of land, I swear you could build some of the best trails in the region up there.

I mean, look at the terrain just over from you in the Margaree Valley, what craziness could be build there.

try in this facebook forum my friend was living in porthawksbury for a bit and they were a great resource for him.

oh and welcome :wink:

Thanks for all the responses.

I sent an email to Velo Cape Breton the same night I registered here and look forward to hearing back. I also saw the rides leaving from Velo Max on their schedules and will have to see if I can make it to some. I suppose that also makes it the closest bike shop, about 45 minutes away. I think there was at least 15 within 45 minutes where I came from…hehe.

Thanks for the link to the Facebook group, that should make it easy to get in touch with other Capers.

Are you guys aware of the Cape Mabou Hiking trail network? It is managed/maintained by the Cape Mabou Trail Club. Unfortunately, their map and signage say hiking only. The map cites safety and environmental as reasons to prohibit mountain biking specifically. I know enough about trail advocacy to realize suggesting that I should be able to ride there is a very sensitive issue. I’ve hiked a couple of the trails with my wife and son. The entire network is 35 kilometers.

Otherwise, I’ve already explored some very challenging dirt roads and ATV trails. I’ve been on the rail trail too. It’s a nice way to get back to Mabou after emptying the tank on some of the climbs, but doing out and backs on rail trail isn’t the most exciting. I’ll save that for when my son is ready for his Chariot.

Would love to hear anyone’s insight about the Cape Mabou trail network, but I do not wish to open a can of worms.

Thanks all,


I thought I had typed a reply but I don’t know if it’s awaiting approval or if I didn’t actually submit it…

I wanted to thank everyone for the responses. Some of these I’ve looked into already (I’m pretty sure I have the only rides in Mabou on Strava, Garmin Connect). I’ll be watching the facebook group and asking if anyone’s in my area. I noticed on the Velo Cape Breton website there are some MTB rides scheduled out of Velo Max in Cheticamp.

There is a hiking trail network here. It’s quite large (35km). I’ve only been on a couple hikes, and though the sustained climbing would be challenging, it looked very rideable. I bought the trail maps, which cites safety and environmental concerns as reasons why mountain biking is not allowed. There is further signage to that effect at trail entrances. The trails are managed by the Cape Mabou Trail Club. I know enough about trail access and advocacy that asking about riding there could be a very sensitive issue. Does anyone here have any insight?

I’d like to thank everyone for providing great info!