Track 3: Margaree Salmon Museum

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Margaree Fish Hatchery pool. Cape Breton has a number of superb salmon rivers — but none so famous as the beautiful Margaree...

Adapted and abridged from the Cabot Trail Companion.

One of the quintessential Cape Breton sights is the salmon fisherman without a care in the world, casting his line into the legendary Margaree River. John Hart is President of the Margaree Salmon Association, and a lifelong resident of this beautiful area.

In the cosy community of North-East Margaree, set just a couple of hundred yards off the Cabot Trail, lies a true hidden gem: the Margaree Salmon Museum. On Track 3 of the Cabot Trail Companion John tells us why it holds a very special place in his heart.

The museum isn't just about fishing equipment — although there are many fine examples of craftsmanship on display. Here, you'll also discover the amazing life cycle of salmon, and hear about their importance to the local communities, which are collectively known as the Margarees.

The exhibits in the museum all have intriguing stories attached to them, from the section they call the "Bad Boys' Corner", which includes a fearsome array of tools used by poachers, to some incredibly tiny fishing flies that you have to view through a magnifying glass.

Bad Boy's corner at the Margaree Salmon Museum Salmon-fishing has a reputation for being the preserve of the elite, and that's pretty much the case in other parts of the world. But Cape Bretoners are famous for doing things a little differently. Because it's so convivial, the Margaree is an ideal place for beginners to learn the ropes ... and in fact there are even residential fishing weekends run exclusively for women, which have proved immensely popular.

Once you arrive in North-East Margaree, watch for signs to the museum, because you must take a sharp right at the Margaree Valley exit, and then the first left. Then it's a matter of yards to the museum, set in an old schoolhouse. Don't let its size fool you: to quote John, it's "the biggest little museum you'll ever find."


If you'd like more information on this section of the tour, the following links may be of interest. Because we have no control over external sites, if you find a dead link please let us know!

Margaree Salmon Association: comprehensive information about local salmon-fishing

FLOW (Fishing Ladies' Outdoor Weekend)

Nova Scotia Becoming an Outdoors-Woman courses

Official website of the Margarees

Accommodations & other businesses along the way

* = Featured on the Cabot Trail Companion

Big Intervale Fishing Lodge Accommodation ($-$$)
3719 Big Intervale Rd, Margaree Valley. T: (902) 248-2275;

Blue Barn at Twin Stream Meadow Accommodation ($$-$$$)
99 E Big Intervale Rd, NE Margaree. TF: 1-800-565-9463;

Browns’ Bruaich na H’Aibhne Inn & Cottages Accommodation ($-$$)
W Big Intervale Rd, Margaree Centre. TF: 1-800-575-2935;

Cape Breton Clay
E Big Intervale Rd, Margaree Valley.
Also at Chimney Corner (Ceilidh Trail) & Baddeck. T: (902) 235-2467;

Cranton Cottages Accommodation ($-$$)
29 Crowdis Cross Rd, Margaree Ctr. T: (902) 248-2985;

Kingross Quilts
4259 W Big Intervale Rd, Margaree Valley. T: (902) 248-2466;

The Lakes Resort Accommodation ($-$$; campground, cottages & restaurant)
4532 Cabot Trail, Lake O’Law. TF: 1-888-722-2112;

Larch Wood Enterprises (craftsman cutting boards)
117 Bridge Rd, East Margaree. TF: 1-866-735-2949;

Margaree Fish Hatchery
115 Hatchery Rd, Margaree Valley (R at Big Intervale junction; L onto Hatchery Rd). T: (902) 248-2845;

Margaree Salmon Association
PO Box 108, Margaree Centre. T: (902) 248-2578;

*Margaree Salmon Museum
60 E Big Intervale Rd, NE Margaree. T: (902) 248-2848

*Normaway Inn & Cabins Accommodation ($$-$$$)
691 Egypt Rd, Margaree Valley. TF: 1-800-565-9463;

River Trail Cottages Accommodation ($-$$)
1906 W Big Intervale Rd, Margaree Centre. T: (902) 248-2102;

Ross’s Housekeeping Motel Accommodation ($)
1101 Egypt Rd, off Margaree Valley Rd, Margaree Valley. T: (902) 248-2933;

Sheep’s Clothing (knitwear)
373 E Big Intervale Rd, Margaree Valley. T: (902) 248-2921;

Two Macs (Nova Scotian crafts)
6288 Cabot Trail, NE Margaree. T: (902) 248-2182;

If you would like your business to be added to this list, please contact us...