Things To Do
Where the Cabot Trail winds through the communities along the Margaree River Valley, pause, stay awhile and discover Cape Breton Island's pastoral, slow beatingheart...
Our culture is a blend of Scots, Irish, French-Acadian and English. Old ways and songs are preserved in a lifestyle which still includes ceilidhs ('kay-lee' pr musical shindigs), quilting, weaving and rug hooking. Memories of a summer in the Margaree, of fall fishing for salmon or trout in our Canadian Heritage River, or, of fun at the Celtic Colours International Music Festival, will warm the soul back home on a cold winter's day. And for those who like their fun frosty, there are plenty of snowmobile trails throughout the region.
You will find the right mix of old and new here, whether it is one of the locals playing tunes at a valley barn dance, or lobster fishers returning to the wharf at Margaree Harbour. There's exceptional fly fishing for salmon or trout on the Margaree River (one-day licenses are available). Make time to visit the Nova Scotia's oldest fish hatchery as well as the Margaree Salmon Museum, lauded by the New York Timesas its favourite museum on the island!
So much to do, so little time: splurge at some renowned craft and gift shops, enjoy hiking though hills exploding with colour, or paddle the still waters of Lake O'Law. Explore four golden beaches and a spectacular coastline (some of the most scenic on the Island), canoe the Margaree river, or bike part of the Cabot Trail down to the quaint village of Margaree Harbour.
With the Highlands providing a dramatic backdrop, buy fresh cooked lobster or crab and enjoy a picnic on the beach, then bask on warm sand by the ocean, under the gaze of two lighthouses protecting the harbour. Finally, after days well spent, unwind with family or friends in our fine restaurants and a variety of accommodations.
"It can be a disconcerting thing to stand in Nova Scotia's Margaree River Valley on a clear August night. For if it's possible anywhere to inhale the distilled essence of a single place, it is here, where even a jaded city dweller can experience Cape Breton Island's peculiar soul and overwhelming grace.
...Just the ticket in other words, if you're looking for a laid-back place...The Margaree River - gorgeous enough to grace a Canadian stamp - sets the tone. Its pristine waters weave past hamlets like Upper Margaree, South West Margaree, North East Margaree, Margaree Forks and plain old Margaree before reaching the ocean at picturesque Margaree Harbour."
-John Demont, Maclean's Magazine