At least 5 nature hikes and walks in the vicinity of Cabot Shores and provide a nature connection for hikers of all ages and abilities. You can simply explore the property along Eagle Feather Beach or experience the natural beauty of the trail along the Cabot Shores loop trail along Indian Brook and Church Pond. The Indian Brook Falls trail just north of Indian Brook Bridge and the Red Island trail are a bit more challenging and it is possible even to walk along the beach from the Red Island Trail back to Cabot Shores.
1. Eagle Feather Beach at Cabot Shores
Walk along Eagle Feather Beach just opposite Cabot Shores, bordering the Atlantic and St. Ann’s Bay, with Kelly’s mountain and the Bird Islands in the distance. Better yet, take your dog! From Eagle Feather Beach you can cast out into the Atlantic for mackerel and the rare sea bass (no fishing license required for these saltwater fish)
2. The Cabot Shores’ Nature Trail Loop along Indian Brook and Church Pond
Walk down to Indian Brook, swing back along a cove bordering Church Pond, go through some moose habitat and return to the
dirt road leading back up towards Whiff’s lodge and the chalets. On your way along Indian Brook, you can throw a fishing line in for brook trout, provided you have a Nova Scotia Fishing license.It is marked clearly on the Cabot Shores map and it is about a 25 minute walk, much of it along flat terrain. You can return via the Apple Orchard and go out to the launching area for canoes and the Eagle Feather Ferry to the beach.
3. Red Island Trail:
The Red Island Trail is 3km south along the Cabot Trail from Cabot Shores. Go the parking lot of the St. Ann’s United Church. Walk through an aboretum featuring trees that used to grow on Cape Breton. To the right of the church as you face it, past the arboritum, is the Trail Head. This community trail is 4km loop that begins by following the Bearchois River with great views looking out at St. Ann’s Bay. Just befor beach you’ll see a map of the trail and along the way some nice, community built benches. Go left or north on the beach, facing Kelly’s Mountain all the way to some markers that will take you back into the woods. The photo above shows you the view from the woods toward Kelly’s mountain. You’ll then go back into the woods, bear right and follow MacDonald’s Pond almost to the end and the trail will lead you back up the hill to the original trail. Turn right and you will land back in the parking lot of the church. This trail is categorized as easy-moderate; there are benches in several locations to enjoy the view and a nice community built bridge at the beginning of the trail. Total time: 1-1.5 hours, good for hiking and for snowshoeing during winter.
4. Walking the Beach from Red Island Trail to Cabot Shores
Part of the Red Island Trail goes along MacDonald’s Pond. You’ll see little islands that you can swim to, so you can swim in the
salty, St. Ann’s Bay and rinse off in MacDonald’s Pond.
If your feet are tough and up to it, walk along the beach north toward Cabot Shores. You’ll eventually pass a small pond on your
left and then eventually you’ll come to the Eagle Feather Ferry where you can head back into the Apple Orchard and back to the
main campus of Cabot Shores (see the map above).
5. First Indian Brook Waterfall (called Widow Veiled Falls)
Heading out from Cabot Shores, this trail follows Indian Brook upstream on the North side of the brook. It offers lovely views of the brook as you follow it high above the water. After about 30-40 minutes, the trail descends the steep embankment down to the riverbed. You will find the waterfall across the brook (during warm months you can wade across the brook). This waterfall is classified as a bridal veil waterfall – several smaller waterfalls running parallel. The hike is classified as easy-moderate – the 5 min descent and 10 min ascent on the way back comprising the difficult aspect of the trail.Total time: 1.5-2 hours
Want to see other nature hikes and nature walks? Have a look at our activities and hiking adventures at Cabot Shores.