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Touring the Cabot Trail

An excerpt from:
Capital City Cyclists: Touring the Cabot Trail in Nova Scotia
by Cathy and Mark Cross, September 14, 2009

Cycling on the Cabot Trail was quite an adventure! We made the decision to do the trail counter-clockwise because we were told that the climbs were steeper but shorter in this direction, and the descents were not as steep and twisty. We rented bikes from a bike shop in Sydney, Nova Scotia and allowed ourselves four days to complete the trail. The bikes were Sedna touring bikes, by Louis Garneau, and were equipped with 700 x 32c tires, triple chain rings, the equivalent of mountain bike cassettes, rear racks for panniers, tire repair kits, bike computers and pumps. Our loaded panniers were about 10-12 lbs per bag, or 20-24 lbs total. Touring bikes are set up for more of a comfort ride, although these had road handlebars and shifters. They also have a more upright riding position, which is suitable for carrying more weight. This positioning gives them a higher center of gravity and different handling characteristics from the sporty racing bikes we are used to riding.

Day 1: We started out with overcast skies, cool temperatures and low traffic. The terrain was “rolling.” Passed by the Gaelic College of Celtic Arts and Crafts in St. Ann’s and outside the college stood a “piper” – a student in a full Scottish attire (kilt) who was playing the bagpipes. It was so unexpected and absolutely beautiful and was truly “music to our ears!” As we rode on through mostly forested areas (balsam and spruce trees), the music continued to waft through the air. What a great introduction to our 4-day tour!

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3 thoughts on “Touring the Cabot Trail

  1. Hi There,

    I work for Nova Scotia Tourism and just came across your article. It sure looks like it was quite the adventure. Thanks so much for sharing it. We love to hear from visitors of the province about all the things they like best. The Cabot Trail must been a challenging ride. Terrific photos! Thanks so much for sharing your vacation.


  2. Good to hear stories like this!

  3. Yes, everyone seems to have a great time cycling here. We always hear stories of troubles like bad weather, bike problems, difficult terrain…but in the end it all adds to the adventure and almost everyone leaves happy. Please continue to share your stories with us. Send an e-mail to with pictures and a description of your adventure, or a link to your blog and we’ll post it up for others to see what they are missing.

    Happy Trails…


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