The area making up the Cape Mabou Highlands Hiking Trails was settled in the early 1800's by the Scots who came to North America in the hopes of a better life. Several of the trails were cart tracks built and used by these pioneers. The Fair Alistair and MacKinnon's Brook trails were in fact part of the orginal road from Mabou to Broad Cove ( Inverness). Many of the trails bear the names of many of these earlier pioneers. The early 1900's saw most of these settlers leave the area.
In an effort to restore the old cart tracks and build new hiking paths so people could enjoy the spectacular vistas , the Cape Mabou Trail Club came into existence in 1993. The main architect of these trails is Ian Sherman. The lands on which the trails traverse are either crown or private lands, or are under a management agreement with The Nature Trust of Nova Scotia or the Nature Conservancy of Canada. Please respect these lands . The trails are hiking only, no camping or fires are permitted.
In 2009 the trails had to be closed due to the extreme fire hazard from the dead and decaying trees affected by the bark beetle infestation. In 2011 some of the trails were reopened and the club has worked to restore as many of the trails as possible since that time.