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The Cabot Trail - A view from our expert author


This stunning 300km route ranks amongst the world’s best coastal drives and winds along an area of spectacular natural wonders.

The Cabot Trail is the official name for a road that loops around northern Cape Breton Island. This region is justly renowned for its stunning unspoilt beauty and regularly features high on lists of the world’s best scenic drives.

Cabot Trail, Cape Breton Island by chensiyuan, WikipediaCabot Trail, Cape Breton Island © chensiyuan, Wikipedia

The most spectacular stretch of the approximately 300km trail is the 115km between Chéticamp and Ingonish Beach, much of which passes through the Cape Breton Highlands National Park. From early summer well into autumn, pilot, minke, fin and humpback whales come to feed in the Gulf of St Lawrence and off the northern tip of Cape Breton Island. Whale-watching tours depart from Chéticamp, Pleasant Bay, Bay St Lawrence and the Ingonishes.

The national park apart, there are many other beautiful sections of the Cabot Trail, such as the drive through the Margaree Valley. There are also some pretty side trips such as the one from Cape North to Meat Cove.

This is not a drive to be rushed: plan to stay a couple of nights (ideally more) en route to have time to walk some trails, appreciate the look-outs, take a side trip or two, look round Baddeck, try your hand at sea kayaking, go whale watching, cycling, or just relax on the beach.

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