Cape Breton's Heritage Coast

Itineraries

For those that prefer a little help with vacation planning, these one, two and three-day itineraries will take out the guesswork. Enjoy!

One Day Itineraries

Cape Breton’s Heritage Coast is a unique blend of outdoor adventure, history, and culture. The history and heritage of lighthouses, sailing ships and fisheries, the balance of French Acadian and English languages, and the relaxed island lifestyle inspire the musicians and artisans who live and work here. Come see their work and try your own hand at painting a landscape, photographing a sailboat, or dancing a jig! Kayak the Bras d’Or Lakes, scuba dive on the wreck of the Arrow, watch year-round for shore birds, sea birds, bald eagles, and osprey, and photograph the brilliant Cape Breton fall colours.

 

Isle Madame
Cross the Lennox Passage Bridge and take route 320 to D’Escousse and the Hill Top Art Gallery where you will see a variety of Acadian paintings by Artist Shirley Carpenter. Depart D’Escousse for Petit de Grat for a visit to La Picasse Centre Communitaire Culturel. Head to Arichat to explore early Acadian life at LeNoir Forge Museum followed by a tour of the Premium Sea Foods plant. Take a self-guided tour of Notre Dame de L’Assomption Cathedral before a traditional Acadian meal at L’Auberge Acadienne. This might be the perfect time to book accommodations at this lovely Acadian Inn to end a perfect afternoon on Isle Madame.
Distance: 36km

 

St Peter’s and Area
From the St. Peters’s Visitor Information Centre, head for Battery Provincial Park and visit the Jerome Point Lighthouse. Stroll along the series of three walking trails in the Park before heading to the nearby Nicolas Denys Museum. Stop by to watch boats transit the Historic St. Peter’s Canal before lunching at the MacDonald House Country Inn.
In the afternoon, hit the surf at Point Michaud Beach where you can spend a few hours swimming, birdwatching, and beachcombing. Return to the village of St. Peter’s to check out the shops, including MacIsaac Kiltmakers, Mac's Celtic Gift Shop, and Glad Tidings Christmas Shoppe. After shopping, plan on a Lobster Supper at the Bras d’Or Lake Inn.
Distance: 40 km

 

Dundee and Area
Tee off at sunrise at the Dundee Resort & Golf Club. This resort offers many activities for all ages. Golf, hike, rent a watercraft, or spend an afternoon at the water park in the warm waters of the inland sea. Slow your pace with a walk through unspoiled countryside or a tranquil canoe outing up the Black River. Keep an eye out for bald eagles, deer, rabbits, squirrels, partridge, and ducks en route. At the Dundee Marina, enjoy a bowl of seafood chowder as you watch boats come and go. Next, visit Gallery Ruiraircroft in St. George’s Channel. From here, follow the road as it wanders along the lakeshore to Kayak Cape Breton. Trade car for kayak, and explore the barrier beaches, lagoons, and drumlins. Return to the Bras d’Or Shores Resort, St. George’s Channel, for a refreshing dip in the pool and a restful night.
20 km

Cruising by Boat - 2 days

From the Atlantic Ocean or Strait of Canso, tie up at the Lennox Passage Yacht Club and enjoy a snack at the canteen. From here, cross Lennox Passage and transit the locks of the Historic St. Peter’s Canal from the ocean side into the Bras d’Or Lake. Stop for fuel at the St. Peter’s Marina and provisions in the village before rounding the Cape George Light and setting a course west to the Dundee Marina. Enjoy a tasty meal at the Stuffing Box Restaurant, and drop anchor for the evening in a nearby sheltered cove. 40km

Returning to the ocean, be sure to cross the beautiful Chedabucto Bay to Guysborough for an authentic Nova Scotia Seacoast experience.
 

Three Day Itinerary

Day 1

  • Hike the Cap Auguet Eco-trail
  • Visit Centre La Picasse
  • Little Anse Lighthouse Interpretative Centre
  • Lunch at The Island Nest
  • Tour Notre Dame de L’Assomption
  • Visit LeNoir Forge
  • Dinner at L’Auberge Acadienne

Day 2

  • Travel to St. Peter’s
  • Visit the St. Peter's Canal for a guided tour of this historic site
  • Hit Point Michaud Beach for Surfing, bird watching
  •  Visit the Grey Seal Weaving studio
  • Go for a trail ride at Little Harbour Stables
  • Travel to St. Peter’s for shopping at MacIsaac Kiltmakers, Mac's Celtic Gift Shop, and Glad Tidings Christmas Shoppe
  • Learn about the area’s history at the Nicolas Denys Museum and the MacAskill House Museum
  • Relax with an elegant dinner at the Bras d’Or Lakes Inn followed by musical entertainment in town

Day 3

  • Visit Gallery Rauricroft at St. George’s Channel
  • Kayak on the Bras d’Or Lakes at Kayak Cape Breton
  • Eat lunch on the deck at the Stuffing Box Restaurant, Dundee Marina
  • Round of golf and or splash at the water park at the Dundee Resort before dinner at the dining room
  • Check in to the Bras d’Or Shores Resort for a restful sleep and an early-morning dip in their outdoor pool

 

One Week Itinerary

Monday - Isle Madame

  • Hike the Cap Auguet Eco-Trail
  • Visit theLittle Anse Lighthouse Interpretative Centre
  • Tour La Picasse and shop at the boutique
  • Tour the Marine Research Centre at Universite St. Anne
  • Watch the Island Steppers practice at LeNoir Forge

Tuesday - Isle Madame

  • Take a  walking tour of Arichat
  • Hit Pondville Beach for a  picnic, sandcastle building, and swimming
  • Visit the Hilltop Art Gallery, D’Escousse
  • Grab and ice cream at the Lennox Passage Yacht Club canteen
  • Tour the Clearwater Lobster facility
  • Enjoy a seafood dinner at one of Isle Madame’s restaurants.

Wednesday – Dundee

  • Golf one of the Fabulous Fore in Dundee
  • Stop in for the Coffee Club at St. George’s Channel Hall
  • Kayak on an inland sea at Kayak Cape Breton
  • Stroll along the Dundee Hiking Trail
  • Enjoy the water park at Dundee Resort or Dundee Beach

Thursday – St. Peter’s

  • Visit Battery Park and St. Peter’s Coastal Trail
  • Visit the Nicolas Denys Museum
  • Visit the Chapel Island Mi’kmaq crafts group
  • Take a guided tour of the St. Peter's Canal and lock system
  • Attend a Concert by the Sea followed by a Ceilidh at the Bras d’Or Lakes Inn

Friday – St. Peter’s

  • Visit theWallace MacAskill Museum
  • Tour the St. Peter's Historic Canal with a Parks Canada Guide
  • Spend some time shopping in downtown St. Peter’s
  • Enjoy Wing Night at the MacBouch

Saturday – Point Michaud/L’Ardoise

  • Try surfing lessons at Point Michaud
  • Go for a Trail Ride at Little Harbour Stables
  • Check out the entertainment at any of the local pubs on Cape Breton’s Heritage Coast, or head to Fortress Louisbourg

Themed Tours

History Buffs

  • Browse through the exhibits of a once vibrant but now vanished community at the Point Tupper Heritage Church, Point Tupper and hear the story about this “traveling” church.
  • Discover the history of Thomas and Simon LeNoir at LeNoir Forge, “from the days of wooden ships and iron men” located on Lower Road Arichat, Isle Madame
  • At Boutique La Picasse, Petit-de-Grat, pick up a picasse - a wooden anchor made of soft wood and a large rock used by Acadians in olden times when iron to make regular anchors was not affordable
  • Learn more by taking a tour of Richmond County lighthouses and the exhibits showcased at the replica of the Green Island Lighthouse in Little Anse, Isle Madame.
  • Take a self-guided tour of Notre Dame de L’Assomption Cathedral
  • See the large collection of photography, cameras, and hand-crafted artifacts at the MacAskill House Museum, St. Peter’s; widely considered the world’s best marine photographer, MacAskill’s shot of Bluenose graces the Canadian dime
  • Learn more about the earliest European settlers in Cape Breton and history of the area dating back to 1650 at the Nicolas Denys Museum, St. Peter’s.
  • Take a guided tour of the historic St. Peter’s canal and lock system
  • Visit the Chapel Island First Nation and talk to beadworkers at the Community Centre
  • Fortress Louisbourg

 

Cultural Explorer

  • Granville Green – Check out the Sunday evening concert series www.granvillegreen.com
  • Visit Centre La Picasse, a multifunctional centre and a unique Francophone community & cultural institution located in Petit-de-Grat on Isle Madame. Its main goal is to preserve the French language and to promote and maintain the vitality of the Acadian culture. The Centre La Picasse achieves its purpose through artistic, cultural and community activities and through its educational program.
  • MacIsaac Kiltmakers This unique and International business absolutely oozes with Celtic culture, heritage, and tradition and are widely considered to be the Premier kilt making company in North America. Be sure to make this Celtic icon a destination along Cape Breton's Heritage Coast.
  • Ceilidh at the Inn, 7 pm – 9 pm every Wednesday and Thursday, July 9 through August 19, 2009, Sessions Lounge, Bras d’Or Lakes Inn, St. Peter’s. These Ceilidhs have become St. Peter’s most popular weekly summer event for visitors and residents. Enjoy rollicking, family-style fun in the Celtic Ceilidh tradition featuring local musicians and dancers. Food and beverage service available. Children welcome.
  • Visit the Chapel Island First Nation National Historic Site
  • Sample the Chicken Fricot at L’Auberge Acadienne
  • Concerts by the Sea – Thursdays evenings alternating between St. Peter’s and Arichat
  • Local Community Festival – check Cape Breton's Heritage Coast Weekly Events Bulletin…there is a festival every weekend of the summer!

 

Trail-Heads Tour

  • Cap Auguet Eco-Trail - Boudreauville, Isle Madame
  • Rocky Bay – D’Escousse (Old Doyle Road), Isle Madame
  • Lunch at the Stuffing Box Restaurant, Dundee Marine
  • Pringle’s Mountain Trail
  • St. Peter’s Coastal Trail
  • Stop at the Foodland in St. Peter’s and pick up some items for a picnic supper
  • Beauvais Lake Trail
  • The Creighan, Forchu

 

Hit the Beach!

  • Pack the cooler and start your tour at the unique marble-chip Marble Mountain Beach, a small picturesque village that perches high above Clark Cove on the Bras d'Or Lakes offering splendid views of the southern end of the lake and the many islands that lie just offshore. A nearby museum detailing the fascinating history of the village and the nearby marble quarry.
  • Dundee Beach - splash in the warm waters of the Bras d’Or Lake at this roadside sandy beach
  • At Lennox Passage, picnic at one of the tables scattered through a forest or at the saltwater beach. Explore an operating lighthouse. On route 320, 5 km (3 m) east of the junction of Routes 320 and 206.
  • Build a sandcastle at Pondville Beach; swim in the ocean or in the warm lagoon behind the beach. 1 km (0.5 mi) sandy beach, backed by gentle dunes, a large lagoon and salt marsh. 2 km (1.5 mi) off route 320 through Pondville.
  • Check out Richmond Recreation’s Summer Surf Program at Point Michaud Beach! Point Michaud Beach, a fantastic 3 km (2 mi) sandy beach, backed by marram-covered sand dunes and large cranberry bogs, is also a great spot for beachcombing and birdwatching. 1 km (0.5 mi) east of Point Michaud.
  • Morrison Beach, Framboise Harbour is an unspoiled stretch of sand nestled between a spectacular headland to the west and miles of coastline to the east.

 

Seafood & Seafarers

  • Learn more about our lighthouses and fishing heritage at the Lighthouse Interpretative Centre, Little Anse
  • Marine Research Centre: Guided tour of Université Sainte-Anne's lobster hatchery, touch tank, and fish and shellfish displays (Monday-Friday)
  • Tour the Clearwater Lobster Holding Facility, Cap Auguet, Isle Madame, the largest in the world!
  • Cool off with an ice cream from Claire's Waterside Cafe on the D’Escousse wharf.
  • Have lunch at the Stuffing Box Restaurant, Dundee Marina
  • Take a guided tour of the historic St. Peter’s canal and lock system
  • MacAskill House Museum, St. Peter’s – tour the home of world famous marine photographer, Wallace MacAskill
  • Take a Sailing Excursion at the Bras d'Or Lakes Inn, St. Peter's
  • Pick up some fresh lobster at Lobsters ‘R’ Us, Little Harbour, for supper.

 

Artisans Tour

  • At Boutique La Picasse, Petit-de-Grat, pick up a picasse - a wooden anchor made of soft wood and a large rock used by Acadians in olden times when iron to make regular anchors was not affordable
  • Gallery Ruairicroft, St. George’s Channel, nestled in the hills overlooking the Bras d'or Lake, houses original artwork in oils and acrylics by visual artist Bernie Thorneycroft
  • Grey Seal Weaving, Point Michaud: hand-woven, unique, functional items in silk, wool, linen, and cotton, drawnloom damask silk scarves, shawls, and framed work are available
  • Phone ahead to meet Charles Doucette, Mi’kmaq visual artist: 902-535-3138 or 902-227-7795; view paintings and sculptures at 87 Mountain Road, Chapel Island
  • Hilltop Gallery, D’Escousse, features the landscapes, seascapes, and still lifes of Shirley Poirier Carpenter
  • Mac's Celtic Gift Shop, St. Peter's, has one of the best and largest selections of Celtic gifts in the entire Atlantic region. Celtic Jewelry is a popular choice from their wonderful selection of unique and special items.

 

Rainy Day Itinerary

  • Browse through the exhibits of a once vibrant but now vanished community at the Point Tupper Heritage Church, Point Tupper, open Wednesday – Sunday from 9am-5pm.
  • Tour the Clearwater Lobster Holding Facility (the largest in the world!), Cap Auget, open for tours Monday to Friday from 8am to 4pm. Please phone ahead to arrange a tour 226-3510
  • Discover the history of Thomas and Simon LeNoir at LeNoir Forge, “from the days of wooden ships and iron men” located on Lower Road Arichat, Isle Madame
  • Visit the Nicolas Denys Museum, St. Peter’s, to learn about the earliest European settlers of Cape Breton’s Heritage Coast
  • Wet your whistle at one of our pubs: the Island Nest, Arichat; MacNeil’s Cozy Corner, St. Peter’s; MacBouch Beverage Room and Grill, St. Peter’s; Bona’s Bar at L’Auberge Acadienne, Arichat; Governor’s Lounge, Louisdale; RJ’s Pub & Eatery and Gonzague Gallery, Louisdale
  • To appreciate many of our local plant varieties, visit St. Peter’s Greenhouse Cooperative, St. Peter’s, and Samson’s Greenhouse, Petit-de-Grat
  • Fish mackerel from any of our wharves, piers, canals, and bridges (some locals say that mackerel bite better in the rain!)
  • Looking Good: stay in shape at Kin-Excel Fitness Centre, St. Peter’s, and get your hair cut at one of our great hairstylists in the area
  • Read up on our history with books from our local authors
Live Music
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