Thursday, August 23, 2012

Cabot Trail - Cape Breton, Nova Scotia

The beginning of the Cabot Trail near Baddeck, NS

I recently returned from a wonderful trip to Nova Scotia, Canada with my husband.  When my husband suggested we go on a driving trip, I mentioned Nova Scotia.  We have never been there before and while researching our trip, we found out about the Cabot Trail.  The Cabot Trail is a 185 mile scenic roadway that loops around the island of Cape Breton, Nova Scotia


The views from the trail are astounding.  There are lots of lush green mountains.  And lots of blue water in the forms of gulfs, bays and coves, that lead out into the Atlantic Ocean.  We were fortunate to catch a bright sunny day for our trip after a recent rainfall.

Ingonish Beach
A portion of the trail runs along the outskirts of Cape Breton Highlands National Park of Canada. There are numerous hiking trails that take you further out on the mountains for better views of the coast or inland to see the forest and several natural waterfalls.  Originally we were going to do some hiking, but the weather was too hot and humid, so neither one of us wanted to venture out of the car much.  We did stop at Ingonish Beach to dip our feet in the water.  There were several people swimming, but for us Connecticut folk, the water was way too cold.

Lighthouse at Neil's Harbour

The car trip non-stop around the island trail is six hours.  With all our photo, snack, and lunch stops, we did it in nine hours.  We also drove off the trail a little to see the Bay of St. Lawrence at the top of the island. 


Bay of St. Lawrence at Cape North
Then we were off the the western side of the island at Pleasant Bay.  This was by far my husband's favorite part.  This side of the island featured a curvy, winding road that hugged the mountainside. 


 Every time we rounded one of the curves, my husband's face would light up like a kid on Christmas Day. 

Pleasant Bay
This part of the drive is what he had been looking forward to since seeing the pictures online of the roadway.  It was his "zoom, zoom" moment.  And he relished every minute of it.  I just made sure my seat-belt was secured.

 
We reached an altitude of 1480 ft above sea level at the highest part of the trail. It did get a little foggy at times, but we could still see pretty far out.


All in all, it was an amazing trip.  Definitely worth the drive.  The Cabot Trail has something for everyone.  There are so many cute, cozy towns to stop in.  There are plenty of photo opportunities and scenice vistas to admire.  There are beaches, lighthouses, golf courses, hiking trails, museums, whale watching tours, and more. Have I sold it to you yet?


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