” IMAGINE A WORLD…in which all children grow up with a deep understanding of the world around them. Where obesity is reduced through nature play. Where anti-depressants and pharmaceuticals are prescribed less and nature prescribed more. Where children experience the joy of being in nature before they learn of its loss. Where they can lie in the grass on a hillside for hours and watch clouds become the faces of the future. Where every child and every adult has the human right to a connection with the natural world, and shares the responsibility to care for it.” – Richard Louv (‘Last Child in the Woods’ & ‘The Nature Principle’)
Spring, Summer, Fall
Victoria County has mountains & hills, valleys and beaches. There are plenty of opportunities to get active! A strategy to promote activities of all levels for residents of Victoria County was launched in 2011. The program saw consultations with community groups and leaders that created physical activity programs for youth, seniors, First Nations Communities, women and more. Since then, in addition to an increased number on activity opportunities, health & wellness policies have been developed within the county and a number of community partnerships are now in place.
If you are looking for information on activities, healthy eating, overall wellness, check out the Naturally Active for Life link https://naturallyactivevictoriacounty.com/ here. If you want to be naturally active for life – Victoria County is the place to be. Victoria County is considered Cape Breton Island’s Outdoor Centre for Adventure. It excels in all 4 seasons. It is home to the Cape Breton Highlands National Park http://www.pc.gc.ca/en/pn-np/ns/cbreton/index (CBHNP Weekly Events: http://www.pc.gc.ca/en/pn-np/ns/cbreton/activ/hebdomadaire-weekly ) and seven provincial day parks.
A few Developmental Benefits of Outdoor Active Play
- Improved physical literacy and motor skills
- Increased independence
- Reduced stress and improved mental health
- Decrease in sedentary behavior
- Increase in social and creative behaviors
- Reduced fear through gradual exposure to new challenges
- Better risk perception and management skills which help to learn how to
navigate risk and avoid injury
- An appreciation for the natural world and the interdependences of living things
- Self-worth and efficacy
- Increased resiliency, autonomy, and problem solving abilities
- Better overall physical health and avoidance of disease (i.e. diabetes, heart
One of Canada’s top adventures is to cycle the Cabot Trail – 300 kms over 6 mountains. A guide has been developed to help you plan and enjoy this unique adventure. There are many more scenic cycling routes for you to enjoy while visiting Victoria County
- Pedallers by the Bay – https://pedallersbythebay.com/
- Victoria County Scenic Cycling Routes – https://naturallyactivevictoriacounty.com/be-active/cycling/
- EXPERIENCE THE THRILL OF CONQUERING THE CABOT TRAIL BY CYCLING (10 of the Best Biking Trips in Canada) – The Cabot Trail was named one of the Ten Best Biking Trips in Canada! Are you planning a trip to Cape Breton this year? Bring your bicycle! Lots of great trails around too! http://ow.ly/ITUqo
Pamphlet: https://naturallyactivevictoriacounty.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/cyclenovascotia_cabottrailpamphlet2014.pdf Named for famed navigator and explorer John Cabot, the world famous Cabot Trail is a 300 kilometre paved roadway that hugs the mountainous northern shore coastline of the Island. For most cyclists, the loop ride around the Trail begins and ends in Baddeck. The Cape Breton Highlands National Park straddles the upper reaches of the Island, roughly 85 km north of Baddeck via the small communities of Chéticamp (on the west coast) or Ingonish (on the east coast). The road around the Trail is, for the most part, well-maintained.
- Cabot Trail Outdoor Adventures – Cycling – http://www.cabottrailoutdooradventures.com/cycle
Victoria County Active Outdoor Gear Loan Program
Urban Walking Poles Available – https://naturallyactivevictoriacounty.com/active-outdoor-gear-loan-program/victoria-county-active-outdoor-gear-loan-program/
Borrow Gear at Your Local Library in Victoria County! – In partnership with Naturally Active for Life Victoria County (Est. 2011), Baddeck Library offers walking poles “Make Everyday Feel Like A Walk in The Park“. Check them out FREE for two weeks at a time with your library card. Available to all library patrons in Victoria County via Baddeck Branch and the Victoria County Bookmobile. Call 902 295 2055 for information! The Cape Breton Regional Library is lending out a wide variety of sports equipment in Victoria County in partnership with the Victoria County Active Gear Loan Program. Available in Victoria County only, this program will provide FREE access to this equipment through the Baddeck and Ingonish Libraries and the Victoria County Bookmobile. There will be adult and walking poles in a variety of sizes. EQUIPMENT TO LOAN:
WALKING POLES: -20 Series 300 Poles (or Activator) includes duffle bag storage
Bras d’Or Archery Club – Come join us for some fun and physical activity at Baddeck Curling Club (Please see attached). Equipment available for use. Regular schedule meets on Tuesday and Thursdays evenings from 7-9 PM and Sunday afternoons from 2-5 PM. There is equipment available for use by new and novice archers. Targets set-up at 10M, 18M, and 25M. Come out and start to reap the health benefits of archery.
Highland Bow & Arrow is a roadside archery attraction on the Cabot Trail near Wreck Cove, Cape Breton Island. Prices range from $10-$40 depending on age and include an in-depth archery lesson using a traditional bow of your choice / age range. Owner/Instructor Jay will guide you through the culture and technical aspects of shooting bow and arrow in Skir Dhu Cape Breton. After your lesson shooters have 30 mins unlimited arrows to practice with. Experience is approximately one hour. A variety of targets and bows depending on age and preference, set at various distances. Located next to two restaurants: Cal’s Restaurant and The Dancing Moose Cafe with many accommodations nearby. Call to book your group ahead of time!
- Monday 10-6
- Tuesday 10-6
- Wednesday 10-6
- Thursday 10-6
- Friday 10-6
- Saturday 10-6
- Sunday 10-6
Open rain or shine! Closures due to extreme weather or special events will be announced on social media.
Address 43118 Cabot Trail Skir Dhu
GPS: 46.492498838624, -60.443538923652
Telephone: 902 233 4750
Cabot Trail Outdoor Adventures: http://www.cabottrailoutdooradventures.com/
Join us for an amazing half day guided sea kayak tour. Take a guided sea kayak tour with Cabot Trail Adventures. Explore saltwater marshes and pristine barrier beaches.
- 1/2 Day Sea Kayaking Tour
- Kayak Rentals; Hourly and full day rentals, Paddle board rentals
Bike the best of the Cabot Trail. Challenge yourself on our world famous cycling routes, biking the Cabot Trail. Join a half day guided bike tour along the Cape Breton coast in northern Nova Scotia.
- Half day cycling tours
- Daily hybrid bike
Hike off the beaten path. Take a half or full day guided hike in the isolated wilderness areas north of the Cape Breton Highlands National Park. Hike through dense forests, moose browsed grasslands, and along our northern coastal meadows.
- 1/2 day guided hikes
- full day guided hikes
Mountain Pine Adventures – www.MOUNTAINPINEADVENTURES.com
Adventurous Dining, Guided Hiking, Zipline Tours: We share and deliver a passionate and personal connection with Cape Breton Island and all her majestic beauty! We believe the only way to fully appreciate the stunning landscape and historic culture of the famous Cabot Trail is to immerse yourself within it. BEYOND THE TRAIL EXPERIENCE
Kayak Victoria – Kayaking in Victoria County. Immerse yourself in nature and see the coastal cliffs from a different perspective: Explore the small coves, beaches and sheltered inlets of the Cabot Trail by kayak, dipping your paddle alongside seals, seabirds and even whales. Great locations in Victoria County includes Smelt Brook, North River, Bras d’Or Lake, Ingonish & South Harbour.
Sea Kayaking – Outdoor companies provide some amazing scenery and coves to explore on Bras d’or Lakes, St. Ann’s Bay, South Harbour and the Atlantic Ocean with Cape Breton Highlands in the background:
North River Kayak: http://northriverkayak.com/
Eagle North Kayak: http://www.kayakingcapebreton.ca/
Paddledog Kayak: http://www.paddledog.ca/
Cabot Trail Adventures – Sea Kayak: http://www.cabottrailoutdooradventures.com/sea-kayak
Lakeside Adventure Centre Inverary Resort: – http://capebretonresorts.com/our-resorts/dundee/lakeside-adventure-centre
Trans Canada Trail – The Great Trail Launch for Kayaks, Canoes
The Bras d’Or Lakes http://visitvictoriacounty.com/destinations/bras-dor-lakes/ are a majestic world-class inland waterway. The Port of Iona, overlooking the beautiful Bras d’Or Lake, comes alive with Àros na Mara (Gaelic for House of the Sea) Centre and the Trans Canada Trail – The Great Trail Waterway Launch. For more information, check www.arosnamara.com
Hiking “((Paradise is just a Hike Away!)
Some of the best coastal hiking trails in Nova Scotia are located in Victoria County and in the Cape Breton Highlands National Park. Hikers across North America and Europe visit Victoria county for hiking
Trails in Victoria County – https://naturallyactivevictoriacounty.com/trails/victoria-county-trails/
Victoria County Scenic Hiking Routes Map: https://naturallyactivevictoriacounty.files.wordpress.com/2015/09/hikingmapfinalproofsept152015.pdf
Provincial Hiking Trails in Victoria County Map – https://naturallyactivevictoriacounty.files.wordpress.com/2014/01/victoriacountyprovincialhikingtrailsmap.pdf
Hiking Trails of Cape Breton – https://naturallyactivevictoriacounty.com/trails/trails-on-cape-breton-island/
A Fall Hiking Festival in the spectacular Cape Breton Highlands – Hike the Highlands Festival September 8-17, 2017 Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, Canada – A ten day hiking festival on the Cabot Trail and Northern Cape Breton that features guided hikes, evening activities & presentations, the hiker distance award, opening & closing ceremonies and a photo contest.
Uisge Ban Falls (Please note: River Trail out) – https://www.explorenovascotia.com/travel-tourism/destinations/?deid=53
North River Big Falls & Little Falls – https://www.explorenovascotia.com/travel-tourism/destinations/?deid=47
Beginner to Moderate Level Trails to Hike:
- Kayak to and hike on kidston Island – http://baddeck.com/2014/03/14/kidston-island-beach-baddeck/
- Red Island Trail – http://www.hikethehighlands.com/the-festival/hiking-schedule/red-island/
- Freshwater Lake – http://www.trails.gov.ns.ca/SharedUse/ch027b.html
- Freshwater Lake Look-off – http://www.pc.gc.ca/en/pn-np/ns/cbreton/activ/randonnee-hiking/belvedere_freshwater_lookoff
- Warren Lake – http://www.pc.gc.ca/en/pn-np/ns/cbreton/activ/randonnee-hiking/warren
- Middle head Trail – http://www.pc.gc.ca/en/pn-np/ns/cbreton/activ/randonnee-hiking/middlehead
Intermediate to Advanced Level Trails to Hike:
- Franey Trail – http://www.pc.gc.ca/en/pn-np/ns/cbreton/activ/randonnee-hiking/franey
- Money Point https://www.explorenovascotia.com/travel-tourism/destinations/?deid=46
- Mica Hill – http://www.pc.gc.ca/en/pn-np/ns/cbreton/activ/randonnee-hiking/mica (Breathtaking trail winds through Acadian mixed forest and stunted taiga as it climbs to the wind-swept highlands plateau. It offers 360º views spanning the barrens, the dramatic Aspy fault, coastal villages far below and mountains reaching the most northern tip of Cape Breton. Continue along a narrower footpath to Mica Hill’s remarkable outcrops of quartz and mica).
- Broad Cove Mountain – http://www.pc.gc.ca/en/pn-np/ns/cbreton/activ/randonnee-hiking/broadcove
- Clyburn Valley http://www.pc.gc.ca/en/pn-np/ns/cbreton/activ/randonnee-hiking/clyburn
- Glooscap / Cape Dauphin – http://www.moosebait.com/portfolio-item/cape-dauphin/
- Cape Smokey – http://www.moosebait.com/portfolio-item/cape-smokey/
- SugarLoaf http://www.moosebait.com/portfolio-item/wilkie-sugarloaf/
- Tenerife https://www.hikethehighlands.com/the-festival/hiking-schedule/tenerife/
- White Point Trail https://www.cbisland.com/things-to-do/white-point-hiking-trail/
Come Sail With Us – Join us aboard Schooner Amoeba, the original vessel that has been sailing on the Bras d’Or Lakes for 28 years. Captain John Bryson and his crew provide an entertaining, and educational narrative as you sail across the lake, observing the beautiful shoreline and marine wildlife. The history of this area will amaze area you. The way the Captain feeds the bald eagles will astound you. The power of moving completely under sail without an engine will put you at ease. Please join us for a sailing experience as unique and unforgettable as Cape Breton’s Bras d’Or Lakes
Bras d’Or Yacht Club
Canada’s fabulous winter wonderland brings snow enthusiasts out in droves each year. Before you seek out your thrills, be sure that you are well prepared and that you have all the right gear to make every winter outing safe and enjoyable.
Kids Need More Vitamin N
National Geographic contained a great article about the Impacts of Being in Nature on Human Health. http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2016/01/call-to-wild-text
Get the Inside on the Outside – NS Outdoor Network Launched June 14, 2016 in Truro & Naturally Active for Life Victoria County Participated!
Imagine…an outdoor community more meaningfully connected to each other and resources.
The NS Outdoor Network will build and strengthen the self-propelled outdoor recreation community in Nova Scotia by connecting people, information, resources, events, organizations, outdoor spaces, and activities. The Outdoor Network will achieve this objective by facilitating communication, sharing, collaboration and celebration via a web-based hub.
- Website: www.nsoutdoornetwork.ca
- Facebook: facebook.com/nsoutdoornetwork
- Twitter: twitter.com/nsoutdoornet
- Instagram: instagram.com/nsoutdoornet
Please contact Janet Barlow firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions you may have
“Nova Scotia is leading the way in outdoor play, kudos to you folks” – (Tim Gill is one of the UK’s leading writers and thinkers on childhood. His work focuses on children’s play and free time) – (May 19, 2015)
no-fear-19-12-07 (FREE copy of Tim’s book, No Fear: Growing up in a risk averse society)
Connecting Canadians to Nature
Outdoor Adventure in Victoria County
Victoria County is Cape Breton Island’s Outdoor Centre for Adventure. It excells in all 4 seasons. It is home to the Cape Breton Highlands National Park and eight provincial day parks
- Hiking – Some of the best coastal hiking trails in Nova Scotia are located here and in the Cape Breton Highlands National Park. Hikers across North America and Europe visit this area for hiking and attend annually the Hike the Highlands Festival in September.
- Cycling – One of Canada’s top adventures is to cycle the Cabot Trail – 300 kms over 6 mountains. A guide has been developed to help you plan and enjoy this unique adventure. There are many more scenic cycling routes for you to enjoy while visiting Victoria County
- Sea Kayaking – Four outdoor companies provide some amazing scenery and coves to explore on Bras d’or Lakes, St. Ann’s Bay, South Harbour and the Atlantic Ocean with Cape Breton Highlands in the background.
North River Kayaks
Eagle North –
Seaspray Outdoor Adventures – Kayaking, hiking and cycling
Paddledog Sea Kayaking Tours
- Sailing and Boat Tours – Explore the Bras d’Or Lakes and Bird Islands
Ameoba Sailboat Tours – Baddeck
Donelda’s Puffin Boat Tours – Englishtown
Bird Island Boat Tours – Big Bras d’Or
Cape Breton Lobster Adventure Tours – Baddeck
a) Cross country skiing –
1) North Highlands Nordic, Cape North, 12 km trails – groomed and track set for classic and skating, rentals, snowshoeing,
2) Ski Tuonela – Goose Cove, Cross Country (18 kms) and Telemark
b) Downhill Skiing – Ski Cape Smokey
c) Skating – Public skating at Victoria Highland Civic Centre, Baddeck. Public skating at Neil’s Harbour/New Haven outdoor rink.
d) Snowshoeing –
1) Lots of trails to explore at Cape Breton Highlands National Park.
2) Snowshoeing events hosted by Naturally Active for Life Victoria County & Hike the Highlands Festival Society in Partnership with Hike NS.
e) Snowmobiling – An incredible trail system in the Highlands, dependable snow conditions, makes this County a paradise for Snowmobilers
Crowdis Mountain Snowmobile Club
A Step in the Right Direction
Eliot Frosst, VCAN (Victoria County Action Network – Strategy Implementation Team) Resolution & unanimously accepted by all 27 in attendance via Sydney Victoria – passed at the NS Liberal Party AGM
WHEREAS Cape Breton has several Provincial Parks that are closed from October 15 through the winter months, and
WHEREAS there are many Provincial Parks that can be used safely for winter participation, and
WHEREAS there is both a federal and provincial move to get more people involved in outdoor sports, and
WHEREAS many people are perceived as to be physically unfit and do not participate in non-expensive winter sports, and
WHEREAS there are many organizations such as the Victoria County Action Network that work with Provincial Government funding to promote physical activity and nutrition;
BE IT RESOLVED THAT Provincial Parks will have their signage remain during the duration of the year, and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT there will be increased certain services such as outhouses and fire pits throughout the winter months, and
BE IT ALSO FURTHER RESOLVED THAT other additional provincial services for park development that improve physical fitness be increased right across the province.
An Arctic to Antarctic Adventure
Held at the Baddeck Library til March 12, 2015: Kelvin Eisses and friends went on a pole-to-pole journey through the Americas in a film series that explores travel concepts you probably won’t learn about from a travel agency. The focus is on community-based travel and eco-travel, including couch surfing, woofing, volunteering and hitchhiking – along the unexpected adventures that arise along the way! http://www.lanouvelle.net/Living/2010-08-20/article-1688634/From-the-Antarctic-to-the-Arctic/1
Learn how to prepare for hiking here: http://www.adventuresmart.ca/land/hiking.htm.
Enjoy Kalapa Valley
Ultimate Hiking Gear & Skills Clinic
A backpacking trip consists of two distinct activities: hiking and camping. In this informative clinic, renowned long-distance backpacker Andrew Skurka will discuss the gear, supplies and skills necessary to make hiking fun.
Skiing on the North Mountain, Cape Breton
Safe Recreational Water Activities
Help Reduce the Risk of Wildfires by replacing burning permits with an online restrictions map.