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Pam Martin & John Kernaghan


A perfect red chair roost overlooking Kidston Lighthouse in beautiful Bras D'Or Lake, a stones throw away from quaint but bustling Baddeck, NS. A welcome respite for travellers expanding their minds with the amazingly illuminating history found in the Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site. Next stop Tatamagouche, NS. 
Read  more about our Cross Canada Paddling Roadtrip, celebrating Canada 150, on our blog: 🇨🇦 @cbwestsup @bluejellyfishsup @visitnovascotia @nstourism @tourcanada @tourcapebreton @capebretontourism @parks.canada @parkscanadaredchair #sharethechair #baddeck #explore #explorecanada #explorecanada #explorens #capebreton #nova scotia #cabottrail #adventuresforthesoul #roadtrip #canada150 #parkscanada #alexandergrahambell #alexandergrahambellmuseum #museum #crosscanadapaddlingroadtrip Although we love the paddling and scenery our adventure is about so much more. Savouring the cuisine of local eateries is high on our list of must do experiences. The Dancing Goat Cafe & Bakery, along the Cabot Trail in Margaree, NS is one of our favourites. It's delicious food, engaging locales and comfortable ambience proved the perfect spot for us to slow our pace and get some work done.  Read more about our Cross Canada Paddling Roadtrip celebrating Canada 150 on our blog: Jeremy Smith of @cbwestsup leads us swishing through the grasses with our gear. He knows all the secret, hidden  launches along the Margaree River, raising the adventure factor of our afternoon paddle to a higher level. 
Check out our blog to read more about our Cross Canada Paddling Roadtrip celebrating Canada 150🇨🇦 @cbwestsup @bluejellyfishsup @visitnovascotia @nstourism @tourcanada @tourcanada @tourcapebreton @capebretontourism @visitcapebretonisland @capebretonpost #visitnovascotia #explore #explorecanada #explorens #novascotia #capebreton #cabottrail #margaree #margareeriver #adventuresforthesoul #roadtrip #canada #canada150 #crosscanadapaddlingroadtrip 🎶 Last night I heard an owl cry 
And so I took a walk outside 
And saw the northern lights dance lightly 
High above a wild Cape Breton Sky 
Felt the north west wind blow softly 
All along the valley from the sea 
And from my doorway watched the moonrise 
High above the hills of Margaree🎶

The Hills of Margaree-Jim Brannigan Paddling on Cape Bretons' beautiful Margaree River feels as though you've been painted into an Old Masters landscape. Jeremy Smith of CB West Paddle Boards @cbwestsup expertly guided us through shallow rapids, respectfully skirted serious salmon fishers, and allowed us to enjoy the bucolic settings along  the quiet portions of this river he grew up on. Soaring eagles & leaping salmon brought us as close to nature as one can get. 
Read more about our  Margaree River adventure on our blog
@cbwestsup @visitnovascotia @nstourism @tourcapebreton @capebretontourism @paddlecanada @bluejellyfishsup #visitnovascotia #explore #explorecanada #explorens #capebreton #novascotia #cabottrail #Margaree #margareeriver #cheticamp #capebretonhighlands #sup #standuppaddle #paddleboarding #paddle #paddlecanada #adventuresforthesoul #roadtrip #crosscanadapaddleroadtrip #canada #canad150 #coasttocoast150 #oldmasterspainting #salmon One of the goals of our cross Canada paddling road trip was to connect with local stand up paddling groups and businesses to give them an opportunity to share their favourite paddling locations with the hope that others may be inspired to explore there as well. And if you decide to venture to some of the locales we visit, you will know who to contact for  local knowledge as well as get you geared up or guided along the way. Jeremy Smith, of CB West Paddle Boards @cbwestsup took us on an incredible  tour of Cape Breton's beautiful Margaree River. This river  has long been on Pams' bucket list but it's secret launches and unpredictable depths have made it difficult to navigate. Jeremy, a Margaree native, made it all possible! Not only was the paddle everything we thought it might be, but Jeremy was awesome accommodating our schedule, providing gear, sorting out a shuttle and bestowing upon us the friendly hospitality Cape Breton is known for. Oh, and we can't forget the fresh cinnamon buns that appeared out of his dry bag during a rest stop! Pure magic!! @cbwestsup @visitnovascotia @nstourism #visitnovascotia @visitcapebretonisland @tourcapebreton @capebretontourism #explore #explorecanada #explorens #capebreton #novascotia #cabottrail #margaree #cheticamp #capebretonhighlands #sup #standuppaddle #paddleboarding @paddlecanada #paddlecanada #adventuresforthesoul @bluejellyfishsup #shareoceanpassion #roadtrip #crosscanadapaddleroadtrip #canada #canada150

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Paddle No. 3 came in Nova Scotia and provided a whole different experience. The swift passage down the shallow Margaree River in Cape Breton demanded you remain mentally alert, a challenge after the overnight ferry from Newfoundland.
The trip aboard Marine Atlantic’s Highlander was comfortable in the cabin that came free just before sailing, but the seven-hour voyage across The Cabot Strait didn’t provide enough time for the sleep we craved.

Beautiful Margaree in the Margaree Valley, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.

The beautiful Margaree River Valley, in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.


Canada 150

Nova Scotia was the second province in our Canada 150 project, a mission to celebrate the nation’s waterways in a 30-day trip from Newfoundland to Vancouver Island.

We had driven alongside the Margaree previous years during visits to Cape Breton’s wonderful fall music festival, Celtic Colours, and wished we could paddle the pristine waters. But we needed some expert help navigating and Jeremy Smith of CB West Paddle Boards offered to lead us down the river he routinely runs tours on.

Jeremy Smith of CB West Adventures

Jeremy Smith of CB West Paddle Boards shares his love of both Cape Breton and Stand Up Paddleboarding  with a smile.


Paddling the Margaree.

Jeremy Smith, of CB West Paddle Boards, showing us his beautiful Margaree River paddling routes.


Jeremy grew up in the area and recently started the adventure company to share his love of the river and coastal areas in western parts of the island.

He met us at the Margaree library, where we carried the boards back to a launch point where water pooled just before a short but swift run would “have you away to the races” in Jeremy’s words.




The location was a short drive from our accommodation, the Margaree Riverview Inn, a clean and basic motel with sweeping lawns and outdoor pool.


Margaree Riverview Inn

The Margaree Riverview Inn – a shingled perch overlooking the picturesque Margaree Valley.

For most of the five kilometre run, it felt kaleidoscopic as we were flying over a marbled river bed of stones. The depth was mostly about 18 inches but our fins crunched on gravel a few times and we got up and walked the boards on a few occasions, twice out of respect for anglers.

And as if on cue, a large salmon performed an arcing leap about 20 metres in front of us minutes into the paddle, while a bald eagle swooped by later.




There was also a couple of exciting moments running rapid water in gaps near rocks and banking sharply to avoid hitting them. The paddle finished with a sedate meander through a marshy area and a channel that led to a local road.

Secret launch!

No one knows the secret launch sites, tucked away along the Margaree River, better than Jeremy Smith of CB West Paddle Boards.

Paddling through Old Master’s Painting

Peaceful Margaree paddling.

Around every turn is another vista reminiscent of Old Master’s landscapes.


Kaleidoscopic river bottom.

Colour surrounded us, from the stormy clouds above, verdant fields and valley to all sides, and the kaleidoscopic river bottom, beneath.

Coloured with the brush of nature.

Painted with the brush of nature, Margaree’s allure is irresistible.


Soaring Eagles, Leaping Salmon & Cinnamon Buns

Mid adventure break.

A mid adventure stop along a calm pool of the Margaree River. Fresh cinnamon buns were a tasty treat after the excitement of gentle rapids, soaring eagles and leaping salmon.

Happy paddler.

The smile says it all!


Jeremy’s CB West Paddle Boards also runs tours at Margaree Harbour and Cheticamp and offers rentals at the Cheticamp beach.

Local Gastronomy

Afterward, we repaired to The Lakes Restaurant in North East Margaree for a nice family-style meal with local friend Hilda Murphy and wine afterward around Hilda’s roaring fire pit.

A local eating gem is The Dancing Goat in Margaree, which was crowded Sunday morning with devotees noshing on menu items like blueberry pancakes and sausage or the Goat’s special oatmeal (Goatmeal?) in a sunny setting.




Meantime in nearby Baddeck, you might want to be enticed by the meals and baked goods at the Highwheeler Cafe & Bakery, which makes killer oatcakes and cinnamon buns. A must-visit is the Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site, which features a museum showcasing the inventor’s breadth of work. Bell also developed new thinking with airplanes, education for the deaf and artificial respiration.

Red Chairs at the Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site.

Enjoying the views of the Kidston Island Lighthouse from Parks Canada’s red chairs at the Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site in Baddeck, Nova Scotia.


It was tough to break away from Cape Breton’s rugged charm, but the pace we had set was unrelenting — 17 more paddles to go!



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