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Cabot Trail

Travel Guide North America Canada Nova Scotia Cabot Trail

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Introduction

Cabot trail, Nova Scotia

Cabot trail, Nova Scotia

© All Rights Reserved Utrecht

The Cabot Trail is rated one of the top scenic drives by Lonely Planet. It is a 298 kilometres (185 miles) loop around the west coast of Cape Breton Island.

You can travel the Cabot Trail clockwise (inside lane) or counterclockwise (outside lane). Sunsets on the full horizon are along the western coast.

The Cabot Trail provides excellent hiking trails, and some are where you may encounter a moose. Several locations have whale watch tours. Englishtown has "puffin" bird tours. Motorcyclists and bicyclists treat the Cabot Trail as a place to conquer. The Cape Breton Highlands National Park is an attraction of its own, located in the northern portion of the Cabot Trail.

You travel through areas where settlers arrived and cultures thrive from Scotland, Ireland, Wales, England, and France in the 1700's.

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Opening Hours

Travelling along the Cabot Trail is possible year round, though weatherwise it is best to visit between May and September. Also note that trips like whale-watching are also best during this time and boats don't go out on the waters during other times.

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Cost

Though the Cabot Trail itself is free, you will need to pay an entrance fee to visit the Cape Breton Highlands National Park.

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Getting There

By Plane

The nearest bigger international airports are in Halifax and St. John's, Newfoundland. Sydney on Nova Scotia has flights as well and is located nearer the entrance points.

By Car

Being a loop, the Cabot Trail is accessible from a few different points.[1]

Nova Scotia Trunk 19
Take the Ceildh Trail (Trunk 19) from Port Hawkesbury to Dunvegan and turn left on Route 219. Once past Margaree Harbour you will meet a T-junction for the Cabot Trail. Turning left takes you along the coast towards Cheticamp and turning right heads towards Baddeck.

Trans-Canada Highway 105

  • Option 1 – Follow Highway 105 north from Port Hawkesbury approximately 77 kilometres to Nyanza. Turn left at the Red Barn Restaurant and gift Shop.
  • Option 2 – Follow Highway 105 north from Port Hawkesbury approximately 105 kilometres to St. Ann's, where you will find the turn off for the Cabot Trail

Englishtown Ferry
Follow the Highway 105 north from Port Hawkesbury to Route 312, the Englishtown Ferry turnoff. Board the ferry which will cross St Ann's Bay and drop you in Ingonish and on to the Cabot Trail.

By Boat

When travelling to or from the ferry for Newfoundland, you travel a portion of the Trans-Canada Highway (#105) that really is a part of the Cabot Trail, so when anyone makes the trip to Newfoundland, it's very easy to tack on a trip around the Cabot Trail. Either at that Englishtown ferry exit (above) or at Exit 7 just South of Baddeck.

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Sleep

You can find accommodation in the major towns along the Cabot Trail or at the starting points. Baddeck, St. Anne's, Ingonish, Belle Cote, Chéticamp and Dingwall all have options and there are many more along the entire loop.

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This is version 10. Last edited at 18:00 on Oct 30, 09 by Utrecht. 1 article links to this page.

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