Judique – The Judique Flyer Trail Section 2
Terrain & Tread: The trail tread is moderate unsurfaced for the first 4 kms then good as it topcoated for over 25kms.
About The Judique Flyer Trail Section:
The Judique Flyer Trail Section of the Celtic Shores Coastal Trail begins at Trail Marker 20.5 at Chisholm River Trestle. Over the next four kilometers you will be treated to spectacular coastal view-scapes as the trail hugs the shoreline of Centennial Beach at an elevation of approximately 70’ directly over the beach below. Watch as you pass for pilot whales or fishing boats. Here the trail hugs the ridgeline of rugged cliffs and offers never ending views of the rocky beach and crashing waves down below.
At TM 24 you will arrive at Walkers Cove. An Interpretive Panel at St. Michael’s Pioneer Cemetery highlights the old Walkers Cove Wharf and Cannery, the location where the survivors of the sunken freighter ”the Hurry On” came ashore, and other local anecdotes of a bygone era. Take the time to explore the tombstones of Scottish settlers from the early 1900’s.
At TM 26 you will arrive at Baxter’s Cove Look Off. Parking, Picnic Shelters and Interpretive Signage will welcome you. You will want to visit Baxter‘s Cove public beach and the wharf with the nautical esthetics to create a memorable first impression. – Baxter’s Cove is only one of two known saltwater fishing seaports located directly on the 22,000 km Trans Canada Trail(TCT) in Canada, the other being Squamish, BC. In season you can buy fresh lobster & fish directly from one of the local fishermen.
Out of Province road tourists that arrive in Cape Breton often choose to travel the west coast’s Ceilidh Trail due to its coastal route and connection to the Cabot Trail. Baxter’s Cove is the first active fishing port they encounter on Cape Breton. Due to the inland nature of the Trans Canada Highway, Baxter’s Cove is possibly the first actual Atlantic seaport a visitor will encounter.
Traveling on two kilometers north you will pass directly through a large wetland teaming with flora and waterfowl before arriving at the center of the community of Judique. To the west of the trail at “The Alexander Trail” crossing you can access the beach and picnic area and shoreline of St Georges Bay. Traveling east about .7 kms on the Alexander Trail you will arrive at The Celtic Music Interpretive Centre featuring live Celtic music and dance, an interpretive museum, gift shop, and a restaurant. In the community core you will find The Tartan Gardens, a C@P site at The Community Centre (beside the Celtic Music Centre), St. Andrew’s Parish, St. David’s Pioneer Cemetery, a convenience store (selling cold beer, wine & spirits), automotive service & fuel.
After a fulfilling stop of food, beverages and celtic music, head back on the Judique Flyer Trail Section of The Celtic Shores Coastal Trail and travel north another two kilometers past the former location of Judique Station to TM 30 at Michael’s landing. This stop features a memorial Cairn of the first pioneer, Scottish born Michael MacDonald who first settled here in 1775.He spent his first winter beneath the watchful eye of the Micmac settlement across the pond at Indian Point. Archeological digs at this site has produced fire pit carbon dating results showing this encampment was in use more many centuries before the scots fist settled on these shores. Michaels Landing also features ample parking, picnic shelters, interpretive signage, and an awesome vista for bird watching and picture taking.
Traveling north approximately 1 kilometer to Judique Interval trestle, you will again be treated to abundant waterfowl, waterways and wetland. At the Shore Road Crossing you may want to temporarily leave the trail to access an Inn approximately three kilometers north on Route 19 at Civic #134 Stoney Brook Rd.
Back on the trail and heading north approximately four kilometers you will come to Allan Ian’s Pond at the former railways Maryville Station. The rest stop here features another interpretive panel descripting the former nearby cannery at Maryville Wharf, and the once common winter sport of local’s harness racing on the ice covered ponds.
You can access Maryville fishing harbour by leaving the trail to the left approximately one km. You can buy live lobster or fresh fish in season daily from one of the local fishermen.
Back on the trail and traveling approximately two kilometers to Joe Effie Rd. If you wish , you can again exit the trail left(then right one km) to access Little Judique Harbour. This harbour features charter boat cruises, a public beach (unsupervised), and fresh lobster and fish from the local fishermen.
Back on the trail at Joe Effie Rd., the Judique Flyer Trail will continue approximately one kilometer to TM 40 at Little Judique Harbour trestle. Here you will find picturesque ponds on either side of the trail causeway. Situated at this end of the Judique Flyer Section is a picnic rest area and an interpretive panel reflecting a train wreck on the causeway on Dec. 28th, 1944 which took the life of trail engineer Frank Philpott. If you have time, help yourself to wild mussels that grow on the rocks below the trestle, being mindful of the current of course.
You will now leave the Judique Flyer Trail Section and continue to the Chestico Trail Section of the Celtic Shores Coastal Trail
Judique Community-Quick Facts:
– Judique was once known for the rallying cry at dances, “Judique on the floor, Who’ll put ‘er off” as a challenge to all to either a step dance, if not a fight.
– This community is home to the “Dean of Celtic Music” and Order of Canada recipient Buddy MacMaster, Olympian Judoka Amy Cotton, NHL’s Andrew MacDonald with the New York Islanders
– “Judique Dan” MacDonald was once World Wrestling Champion in 19__.
– The Judique On The Floor Days festival and Kintyre Farm Scottish Concert is held here annually in mid- August.
– The Alexander Trail connects the community to the Celtic shores coastal Trail and the shoreline if St Grerges.Bay.
Judique Flyer Trail Section – Quick Facts:
-19 kms on former CN rail bed adjacent to wetlands & waterways. It is a historic and culturally significant trail section of the Celtic Shores Coastal Trail, The Trans Canada Trail, and The International Appalachian Trail.
– Located on the Scenic Western Coast of Cape Breton from Long Point to Little Judique Harbour and is only one of three trails on the TCT that features adjacent salt water fishing port.
– The route takes the traveler by a pioneer cemetery, The Celtic Music Interpretive Centre, a cairn commemorative of pioneer Scottish settlement and Indian Point, a protected Mi’kmaq archeological site.
– The trail follows the exact route of the famed “Judique Flyer”- a coal fired steam train that ran along Cape Breton’s western coast for the better part of a century.
– Ten trestles have been decked and railed, the trail has been ditched, shaped and topcoated, look offs created with interpretive signage, benches, and signage.
– Strong volunteer & community support and well used for hiking, cycling, horseback riding, snowmobiling, quadding, snow-shoeing, cross country skiing, bird watching and sight-seeing. All user interests are represented by the volunteers managing the trail.
– Instrumental initial partners include The County of Inverness, Nova Scotia Health Promotion, Nova Scotia Dept. of Tourism, Nova Scotia Dept. of Natural Resources, Canadian Military Engineers, and the Trans Canada Trail.
– Adjacent landowner and users issues are minimal thanks to good media protocol during and after development. Participation by Natural Resources enforcement, local law enforcement and trail volunteers and users have all attributed to a positive trail experience. Trail etiquette and regulatory signage is quite visible and enforced by enforcement agencies.
– The boldest development challenge was a kilometer of spectacular coastal trail at Centennial Beach required shoreline storm surge erosion protection and trail realignment that would have been undo-able without significant partner participation. Over 22,000 tons of armor-stone installed.