Cabot Trail is one of the world’s best track for a road trip, because of its dramatic, rocky coastline, beautiful waterfalls, and beaches. In our guide for Explore Cabot Trail in Nova Scotia, Canada – we will talk about all the fabulous locations in Cape Breton Island – which are world-renowned for their scenic beauty.
It is among one of the world’s must-see islands. It is a hoop of 300 km long road along Nova Scotia’s Cape Breton. Nova Scotia is so splendid, hence most of the people from Canada or all over the world like to enjoy a vacation there. This scenic highway is located in Nova Scotia, Canada, US. The northern section of the trail passes along Highlands National Park of Cape Breton, while along the Margaree River Valley its southern section is located. IT takes about 3-5 days to properly visit the Cabot Trail and all its sightseeing spots.
The epochal Cabot Trail evidence many vantage places. A few visitors have even spotted whales or eagles in the region. The hoop around Nova Scotia’s Cape Breton highlights the history of Scottish roots. The surrounding of the highlands provides the immaculate environment for various outdoor activities like golfing, cycling, hiking, kayaking, whale and eagle watching and most amazing motorcycling. One can do hiking and camping in Highlands National Park, can play golf at Highlands Link, read artisan shop along the track, or can just have a drive and stare the spectacular view, highland scenery, weather, and Acadian hospitality. Here are few spontaneous spots on the Cabot Trail which worth stopping and looking for.
This is going to be your first stop if you start traveling in a counter-clockwise direction. Those looking for charm and beauty can relax here, golfers will enjoy the Highlands Links Golf Course. Here are few lodges available which provide pool and spa facilities. Families can enjoy by doing camping at shore or beach and can practice surfing, while environment lovers can step out and explore new things of the trail.
2. Lakies Head
If you travel in the counter-clockwise direction, your next stop will be going to be Lakies Head. The mass of stones located on the shore, creating a natural pathway for visitors. Here you can easily find boats or fishers of lobster fishing.
3. The Aspy Fault
It is a popular spot for geologists, this beautiful spot offers a lush valley which runs for about 40 km., which proves that Cape Breton was once connected with Africa.
4. Big Intervale
It is considered as one of the best spots for picnics because this place is less frequently traveled by groups, it is situated on the Aspy river. There are more chances that you’ll get the whole place to enjoy by yourself due to less traffic.
5. Lone Shieling
Lone Shieling is a stone shepherd’s hut that provides a home to the Scottish roots, this is one of the most historic spots of Cabot Trail. Even farmers used to build the same kind of houses with a similar structure for themselves as well as for storing their life-essentials. Canadian visitors can take an inside-out tour of the shieling before exploring the surrounding pathways.
6. Pleasant Bay
It is known as the whale watching capital, visitors mainly came here in search of ocean life and watch fisherman doing fishing, coming back to the harbor and simply relaxing.
7. MacKenzie Mountain
This spot is a few minutes away from the Pleasant Bay, you’ll go up on a hill and it comes to a spectacular watchpoint having MacKenzie Mountain on one side, Pleasant Bay and St. Lawrence Gulf on another side. It is also said that minke and fin whales are spotted here from May to November.
8. Skyline Trail
For those who are fond of hiking and wanted to do it on Cabot Trail, the Skyline Trail is going to be the best place for them. It is a place located a few km away from Pleasant Bay. The Skyline Trail is mostly flat, but due to distance, it takes more than two hours to complete the whole track. The area includes a wide variety of wildlife, important among them include whales, eagles, and bears. At the height of 250 meters there exist a French Mountain from where you can easily see the beautiful backdrop of Cabot Trail. The scenery during sunset worth watching.
This is the most amazing spot for those who are selfie lovers or either we can say it as a selfie point. Anyone who doesn’t visit the Skyline Trail can come here and enjoy the scenic view of Cabot Trail.
This is a larger town along the trail. A village is a gateway of the Cheticamp in Cape Breton, where visitors can take a break and do camping in a tent. Here you also find a lot of accommodation and itinerary. Another few places – which are worth taking a look are:
Dancing Goat: It is a kind of cake or restaurant which is famous for its freshly baked muffins and cappuccinos. Whale Cove Cemetery: If you don’t give attention there is more likely to miss this place which lied close to Margaree harbor. You get more chance to spot a whale here.
Margaree Harbour: It is a Laurence’s General Store in Margaree Harbour, you can take a small walk through this small Cape Breton Island village. Groovy Goat Farm: In front of Groovy Goat Farm and Soap Company is a shop filled with many fragrant soaps made from the farm’s goats milk, you are even welcome there to back bacon where pet goats use to live.
St. Anns Bay Artisan Shops: Along the Cabot Trail you will pass by several small cute arts and crafts shops, selling handmade pottery, glassware, iron, etc. It is the best place to get a Nova Scotia souvenir!
Visiting Cabot Trail is not a single day trip, it usually takes 3-5 days to properly visit all the places. You can enjoy their culture, their music, their food, and countless outdoor activities.
People can participate in various kinds of festivals happens in Cabot Trail, like musical events, kitchen parties. You’ll feel like local while attending all these functions. Here you can enjoy fabulous local seafood at great restaurants available all around. One of the specialties of Cabot Trail that is easily available in all of the restaurants along the way is ‘Lobster’, as fishing is done in many places on the Trail only. Along with Lobster, Crab, oysters, mussels, clams, scallops, and mackerel all are also available in the restaurant’s menu at many places.
Charlene’s Bayside Restaurant and Cafe is the best place to start with breakfast. This restaurant offers you not only normal breakfast but seafood breakfast, it is a bit strange to read and heed this but this cafe is known to serve the best chowder on Cape Breton. Even they serve it for breakfast also. They serve it along with a fish cake and homemade biscuit. The crab cake of the restaurant is also worth trying for because it is too yum as well. Charlene does not only have good and tasty food but also the atmosphere of the place is so pleasant.
Rusty Anchor Restaurant: After a long drive and going through some mountains and forest, hiking and sightseeing, walking and climbing it comes the time for ‘dinner’ and there is no better place then family-owned Rusty Anchor Restaurant in Pleasant Bay. You can easily find the place because of a giant fisherman statue outside! Take a seat on the outdoor area while waiting for the food and do some whale watching, nothing is better than eating food in such a relaxed atmosphere with peace and pure wind all over. The staff here is cooperative and supportive.
High season festivals begin in May and end in October. The Celtic Colours International Festival is a must attending festival which is held each October, which highlights hundreds of Celtic musicians across the Cape Breton and around the world. In between May to October there are food, sporting, music, hiking, and other cultural festivals take place along the Cabot Trail. In winter, you can enjoy snowmobiling, skiing, ice-skating and many more. Due to winters temperature is quite low hence many of the ponds or small lakes got freezer which also provides a good place for ice-skating Victoria country Winter ActiveFest happens in March and February. There is an endless outdoor adventure that is possible around the Cabot Trail, while those in winter activities, one can try kayaking, swimming, boat-tour, hiking and water sports on sea-shore.
After a long full day of the drive, exploration, adventure, and trekking, everyone needs rest and relaxation, for that purpose they need accommodation, various kinds of accommodations are available on the Cabot Trail from cottages to tents to motels and five-star resort suites which will offer a comfortable place for a restful night. One can easily find accommodation in Pleasant Bay, Baddeck, Ingonish or Cheticamp.
The Blue Bayou Resort in Dingwall provides accommodation in the dome where you can stay overnight in those futuristic abodes.
However, the best way to enjoy is doing outdoor camping in Cape Breton Highlands National Park. For getting a super unique experience, one can stay a night in one of the cocoons in Ingonish, but for this either you have to do the prior booking or have to get on a waitlist because nothing is more memorable than sleeping in a thin canvas between great outdoor.