Cape Breton & the Cabot Trail

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One of Canada’s best-known drives, the Cabot Trail is a loop that traces the northern shoreline of Nova Scotia’s Cape Breton Island. The reason for its reputation: Striking highland scenery, vast ocean views, and an eclectic mix of culture along the way. As you drive, bike or ride the 300km loop, explore colourful Acadian communities and the spectacular Cape Breton Highlands National Park.

Overview

Length of Trip : 3 - 7 Days

Cost : Depends on the quality of hotels and restaurants you choose to dine in. To see Park Canada's rates for Cape Breton Highlands National Park click here

Best time to go : June to September

Wheelchair friendly : Yes

Family friendly : Yes

Where to eat : Here's what he folks on Chowhound recommend: Baddeck Chanterelle Inn Pleasant Bay The Rusty Anchor Ingonish Coastal Waters Main Street Seascape Cabot Links Golf Course Keltic Lodge Cheticamp Hometown Kitchen Mabou The Red Shoe

Official Site : Cape Breton Highlands National Park www.cabottrail.com

Where to Stay : Click here for a complete list of accommodations available in the different communities along the Cabot Trail.

Getting There : Cape Breton Island is accessible by land, sea and air. Since it’s a loop trail you can enter from either the west or east and make your way around. Cape Breton Island is linked to the mainland by the Canso Causeway, part of the Trans Canada Highway

Note from Robin : Choose your driving direction wisely: If you travel in a clockwise direction, you'll be on the inside lane as you drive along both coasts, better suited for drivers and passengers who dislike driving next to steep cliffs. Driving counter-clockwise offers better views of the ocean, and since it is less popular, those who don't like slow traffic might find it preferable.

Gallery

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Photo: George Simhoni

Scott-Munn-NovaScotiaTourismAgency

Photo: Scott Munn

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Photo: Scott Munn

Wally-Hayes-NovaScotiaTourismAgency

Photo: Wally Hayes

Map

Further Reading

Interested in this Bucket List item? Here's some suggested reading:

DO IT

Cape Breton is begging to be hiked, kayaked and biked.  But that's a lot of logistics. Great Canadian Trails offers a multi-activity itinerary that takes care of all the equipment, planning and logistics.  This 7-day itinerary takes in all the sites at their very best. The Hike, Bike and  Kayak Cape Breton itinerary includes:
  • 6 breakfasts
  • 6 nights accommodation in comfortable cabins with cooking facilities
  • Bike rental and helmet
  • Kayak rental and all necessary gear
  • Expert local guide
  • Transfers to/from hikes as mentioned in the itinerary
  • Compact car rental with insurance
Running May to September, the cost is $1860 per person (single supplements available).  Space is very limited. Click here for more information

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Drive

PRESENTED BY FORD OF CANADA

2016Explorer

2016 Ford Explorer

The new Explorer is a sophisticated way to take on all life’s journeys, from city streets to sand, mud, snow, gravel and grass trails. A more aerodynamic body makes the most of the powerful engines. Choose a standard 290-hp 3.5L, available 365-hp* 3.5L EcoBoost or the all-new 280-hp* 2.3L EcoBoost. Spacious 2nd and 3rd rows mean you can share every journey with up to seven passengers. Or fold the seats flat and open up the possibilities with up 2,313L of cargo space.

* Figure(s) achieved using premium unleaded gasoline.

Product

FOR THIS EXPERIENCE, WE RECOMMEND

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Liberty Ridge (Available for Men and Women)

The Liberty Ridge hiking boot is KEEN’s tough, supportive high-performance leather boot for long trips on gnarly trails. The shock absorbing direct-attach PU midsole delivers lasting comfort, and a full-length shank adds stability. The waterproof upper and KEEN.DRY waterproof, breathable membrane combine to keep your feet dry. Designed to handle any trail surface, if you rack up serious backcountry mileage with a full pack, this is your boot. American Built with materials from around the world.

 

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Gypsum (Available for Men and Women)

Lace up the Gypsum and rack up the trail miles. For stability, comfort and moisture management, this lightweight hiker delivers with built-in technology including a specially designed 4mm lugged outsole, KEEN.Zorb strobel and KEEN.Dry waterproof breathable membrane.

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Saltzman WP  (Available for Men and Women)

The Saltzman Waterproof hiking shoe is perfect for long day hikes and rugged global adventure. The closed mesh upper is light, flexible and tough. The waterproof, breathable KEEN.DRY membrane protects from rain and mud. High-traction outsole and springy midsole combine with a metatomical dual density footbed add long lasting cushioning.

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Targhee II Mid: (Available for Men and Women)

Here's a hiking boot that offers four-wheel-drive performance for your feet. It's designed to be both waterproof and breathable, and the aggressive outsole bites into the terrain. The mid-cut height adds ankle support.

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