You know you are in Cape Breton when you take in a lunch
time Ceilidh and enjoy a delicious seafood chowder.
Just 20 minutes from the Canso Causeway along Highway 19 –
the Ceilidh Trail is the village of Judique and the Celtic Music Interpretive Centre. Local musicians perform fiddle and piano in Cape
Breton style Scottish music at the Lunchtime Ceilidh.
On our recent visit Donna DeWolfe on fiddle and Allan Dewar on piano entertained. A guest piper from Antigonish, Heather MacIsaac added her talents on the small pipes. Listen to a brief clip on the link.
The chowder was delicious and the desert of warm Blueberry
Bread Pudding was memorable.
Learn about the history of the area, the musicians and Scottish
music. Pickup a few steps on the video
tutorial on step dancing. The gift shop
has a selection of books, CDs and gifts.
Next to the center the Alexander trail is a cool and shady
forest trail leading down to the Celtic Shores Coastal Trail – the 70 KM trail from
the Causeway to Inverness. Bikers and walkers
enjoy this trail along the coastline with access to side trails leading to accommodations
and food. Cape Breton’s Musical Coast is
a pleasure with changing vistas of ocean and a variety of topography. Wild apples, berries, flowers changing with
the seasons, small streams and bridges and coastal grasses. Good opportunity for bird watching and chance
sightings of fox or deer along the way.
Hikers, bikers, snow shoe, cross country ski and outdoor enthusiasts enjoy the Celtic Shores Coastal Trail which runs 94 Km from the Canso Causeway along the west coast of Cape Breton Island to Inverness.
The varied terrain runs along the coast from Port Hastings to Port Hood with spectacular ocean views and on a clear day you can see Prince Edward Island or across the Canso Strait to the mainland of Nova Scotia. At Port Hood the trail heads inland around Mabou, dipping past Lake Ainslie and on to Inverness and back to the ocean.
This is a great year round trail that you can enjoy in every season. The route passes through meadows, farmland, woods and marshes with all the seasonal variety. The trail is built on the bed of old railway tracks so it is relatively level. It is made up of five linked community trails.
There is easy access to the trail from Highway 19, the Ceilidh Trail. Well marked signs and parking areas with interpretive signage that describe the history of the area and nearby communities, the industries and people, and how the trail was built. The trail is made up of five linked community trails and is part of the Trans Canada Trail. A detailed map is available at the Visitor Information Centre at the Canso Strait and online.
Celtic Shores Coastal Trail
In addition to the interpretive signage, the signs for mileage and amenities make it easy for you to find nearby food, accommodations and sights of interest. While you travel the trail take some side trips and enjoy a ceilidh and lunch at the Judique Celtic Music Centre, stop for lunch in Port Hood or Mabou, swim at the many beaches that you find along the way. In Inverness see the old coal mining company houses, enjoy a meal and watch the golfers at the famous Cabot Links. The boardwalk runs along between the 3 KM sandy beach and the golf course along the dunes.