The Cape Mabou Trail Club now has its own web site: its home page is here. The site is chock-a-block full of useful information for the hiker, including a trails map and brief trail descriptions. Perhaps most useful is a list of news and trail updates, with recent work on the trails noted. The Club now also has a presence on Facebook: search for “Cape Mabou Trail Club”; the information there is largely a repeat of what is on the club’s news and trail updates web page, but, as of this writing, is a bit more current.
Most of the trails are now reöpened; as of 2014 August 28, however, the Bear Trap Trail still has some windfalls that are not cleared, but is otherwise open for hiking; the Rocky Hillside and Poet's Ridge Trails have not been cleared of deadfalls; and the Enchanted Valley Trail has not been completely cleared and is especially weedy at the top.
On 23 June, before much of the summer’s trail work had occurred, a friend and I hiked to the summit of Beinn Bhiorach from the Cape Mabou Trail Head (on the Cape Mabou Road northwest of Glenora Falls). The MacEachen Trail was in generally very good shape, though it had numerous deadfalls that had to be skirted. The Highland Forest Trail was also in fine shape, though with some high plant growth, until one reached the final portion that descends to the col below Beinn Bhiorach and then ascends to its summit, a section which was blocked by several windfalls, some of which were difficult to skirt. It was well worth the effort, as the day’s crystal clear air and bright, warm sun (low 20’s (70’s)) made for gorgeous views of Cape Mabou and beyond from the summit—even Prince Edward Island was easily visible across the Gulf of St Lawrence with some help from optics (my friend’s binoculars and my 300 mm camera lens I call Big Bertha). It was one of the clearest days I have ever been on Beinn Bhiorach and I took full advantage of it! We returned via the Highland Forest Trail, the MacArthur Trail, the Highland Link Trail, and the MacEachen Trail. The MacArthur Trail and Highland Link Trail were in relatively good shape, though ferns and grasses were already beginning to hide the trail (trail markers on the trees make it hard to lose the trail).
The Cape Mabou Trail Club actively maintains the trails, but their resources are limited. If you can contribute funds to keep these trails hikeable and clear, please send them to the address listed here; even small amounts help. And if you can volunteer your time to work on the trails, please contact Nadine Hunt for instructions on where your efforts would be most useful.
- A kiosk with panels containing much the same information as at the other trail head kiosks is now present beside Beach Road Number 1 in Inverness (across from the Inverness Cottage Workshop).
- Park benches overlooking MacIsaacs Pond (Inverness Harbour) and a fine interpretive panel are not far down the trail near the Judique Flyer replica.
- A picnic table and a fine interpretive panel are now located on the south end of the Deepdale Trestle over the Broad Cove River.
- A look-off over the Mabou River with park benches and another fine interpretive panel is now found east of Highway 19 in Mabou not very far down the trail from the highway.
An announcement on the trail’s Facebook page in early September indicates that the surface of the section between Port Hood and Highway 19 in Southwest Mabou is being upgraded with new ditching, grading, and rolling preparatory to laying topcoat surfacing in those portions of the trail which lacked it in that area.
It is amazing to see all these improvements continually being made year after year. These upgrades are done by dedicated volunteers who deserve our thanks for all the planning and hard work that has gone into the trail over the years: the trail sure has come a long way since I first started hiking it nearly fifteen years ago! Hope to see you out enjoying this world-class trail.