Cabot Trail

BMW Z4The Cabot Trail, after Peggy’s Cove, is perhaps the 2nd most popular sight for tourists to see when visiting Nova Scotia. It surely is a fantastic drive, especially if you have a sporty car like ours.

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If you choose to take the Englishtown Ferry to shorten your drive to or from the Cabot Trail, consider making some time to check out a nearby puffin colony! If you are planning your trip ahead and are flexible, call the tour operators to find out when optimal viewing times during the summer are, whether bird or whale watching. Our trip happened to time just after the puffins finished bringing up their broods on land and they had moved out onto the water.  However, puffins aren’t the only birds to see.  Cliffs and rocky islands make areas breeding colonies for many pelagic species of birds (those that spend their lives at sea, only coming to land to breed).

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A Black Guillmot flies by after a successful hunt.

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Northern Gannets may be seen soaring.

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Puffins: awkward and even comical when on land or flying, they are truly at home on or in the water. Often one will see them start to fly when a boat approaches, but then give up and dive into the sea to safety.

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Whenever you are surveying a majestic view, pay close attention to any flash of white in trees, particularly near treetops with great vantage points. You may be looking at a Bald Eagle.  However, also keep an eye out along cliffs.  A note for those unfamiliar: it takes about 4-5 years for the adult’s head to turn completely white. As immature birds, their heads are brown.

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Ingonish beach is a popular spot in the summer for locals and tourists alike.  Its white sandy beaches make this one of the best beaches on Cape Breton island to go swimming in the Atlantic.

_DSC6531ingonish_1024Best known for its fine dining and luxury accommodations, the Keltic Lodge at Ingonish is an amazing resort for a romantic getaway vacation by the sea. Looking for something a little more intimate? Don’t overlook the many charming B&B‘s. Cape Bretoners are known for their hospitality.

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The highway through the mountains is simply beautiful and a lot of fun to drive with its many twists and turns.

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The Cabot Trail has many look-offs with fantastic views where it’s safe to pull off to the side to the road.

_DSC6686cabot_1024_DSC3918cabot_1024_DSC8433cabottrailHiking trails can be found all along the Cabot Trail, offering adventure to the casual or serious hiker.  Maybe you just need to stretch your legs a bit along the drive.

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Click the image to enter a 360° view. Drag your finger or cursor, depending on device, to turn around in the scene.

To be surrounded by nothing but mountains and forest is something that needs to be experienced: it can be a very profound feeling. Then out of nowhere a little community appears like a jewel in a crown…

_DSC4181cabot_800_DSC3956cabot_1024A great spot to visit on the Inverness side of the Cabot Trail is the Glenora distillery. Their restaurant and beer selection is makes this a great place to rest for the weary traveller. The grounds are beautiful and the setting, well, this is Cape Breton._DSC4532glenora_1024The Glenora Distillery is the home of Glen Breton Whisky. This is the only distillery outside of Scotland to make Single Malt Scotch, but since they’re not they’re not located in Scotland, they’re not officially allowed to call it scotch. The restaurant here is very good, though somewhat pricey, and the bar has local micro-brewery beers on tap like this Cerial Killer Oatmeal Stout from Big Spruce.

_DSC4541glenora_1024Cerial Killer Oatmeal StoutBig Spruce, Cerial Killer Oatmeal Stout

Glenora Distillery Dining Room & Pub on Urbanspoon

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Here’s my mom on the Cabot Trail in 1960. Yes, Dana, it’s a Volvo.

my mon

© 2015 Carolyn Stampeen



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13 Responses to Cabot Trail

  1. Jean-Pierre Landry says:

    We did the Cabot Trail in 4 days on tandem bike with VCB group, and again this year plus tour of Lake Bras d’Or. Great and quite connected to scenery!

    • Carolyn says:

      Wow, a tip of the hat to you!! I’ve seen bicyclists along the trail a number of times and you all deserve respect! You must be in fabulous shape. :)

  2. Carolyn says:

    Yes, if you stop at lookoffs, you need a permit. They aren’t much and support maintaining the park. We did on that trip, though, frankly, in the past, we didn’t because we weren’t aware we were supposed to – not sure if this changed in recent years, or if we just didn’t notice the signs as we passed Ingonish. We did stop at picnic grounds and did a little bit of hiking as well.

  3. dmilner says:

    the cabot trail is an amazing sight to behold only in person

    • Carolyn says:

      Yeah, photos and videos can feel inadequate when surrounded by those mountains. It’s amazing knowing that places like it still exist.

      Thanks for taking the time to comment!

      Carolyn

  4. I worked on a lobster boat last spring out of Mabou Harbor for the spring season before I had the chance to drive the Cabot trail. The trail along with the rest of Cape Breton is stunning and the people all over the island is what makes Cape Breton a magical place. Well done on the video it brought back some great memories.

    James Mathias

    • Carolyn says:

      Thanks, James. It is a wonderful place and it’s great that you took time to explore the land. :)

      You must have had some pretty stunning views from the water as well!

      C

  5. Toby C. Soileau says:

    fantastic !!

  6. OJCHRISTIE says:

    don t forget the rest of us that run small business in Cape Breton.YOU SHOULD LET PEOPLE NOW IT TAKE 3 TO 5 DAYS TO SEE THE ISLAND.ITS A HOLE DAY TO SEE THE TRAIL.

    • Blair says:

      Thanks for taking the time to comment. We do mention in the video you need a few days to explore the area. We did this whole trip in 1 day and made it back to our cottage near the N.B. border, so it was hard to discover everything. We hope to do a film at a later date, so more could be included then. Please email us and let us know where you are located !

      http://www.visitnovascotia.com/?page_id=3676

      • Gord Taylor, says:

        I heard on the video that you have to stop for a permit in order to stop at any of the lookoffs. Is that factual? We never did before.
        I am with the Red Knights International Firefighters Motorcycle Club, New Brunswick Chapter – 1 We have done the Trail three times now and will be doing it again in August.
        Thanks
        Gord Taylor
        Quartermaster
        RKMC NB Chapter 1

      • Blair says:

        You’re techically supposed to, no one does as it’s not enforced.

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