The Cabot Trail

Looking for the perfect fall getaway in the Maritimes? Well make sure to check out the Cabot Trail in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. Especially in October when the leaves are starting to change, but honestly with it’s huge cliffs and beautiful coast, it’s probably just as gorgeous any time of the year.

Cabot Trail, Nova Scotia

The Cabot Trail took us almost a full day of driving, and you could easily stretch it out into more than a day and enjoy all of the sights and stops on the way too. There are so many hiking trails to stop and enjoy during the drive if that’s your sort of thing!

Cabot Trail, Nova Scotia

The Cabot Trail is named after John Cabot, an Italian explorer who adventured to our Nova Scotian shores in 1497 on an expedition for the King of England.

The trail is 298 kilometres of driving (or 185.2 miles) of purely stunning mountains and coast lines. It looks like you stepped into the highlands of Scotland, but instead you are in the highlands of Cape Breton right here in Canada.

We started our road trip out of Sydney, Nova Scotia where we spent the night prior. We drove up to Englishtown and hopped on the tiniest ferry I’ve ever seen in my life. It is a whopping 2 minute ferry ride on an electric cable ferry that takes you about 400 feet across the channel to your destination. There is currently no fare cost due to COVID, however on a normal day this will only cost you $7 per car and it is a really fun way to start your road trip on the Cabot Trail. You can also start your journey through the Cabot Trail at the opposite end as well more near Cheticamp, but we wanted to spend the night in the city of Sydney and go to the Fortress of Louisbourg the day before (make sure to check back later for a blog post and another YouTube vlog of our day at Louisbourg!)

Englishtown Cable Ferry to Jersey Cove

Once you enter the Cape Breton National Park, there are so many “look off points” to pull off the road safely and get out to take in all of the views. We stopped a little bit after Ingonish Beach to find a picnic table overlooking the water.

Our “Perfect Fall Picnic”

If you’ve watched my YouTube vlogs before you’ll know I’m a huge fan of picnics, and this was my opportunity to have the “perfect” fall picnic. This road trip was the day after Thanksgiving here in Canada, so we made leftover turkey sandwiches with a cranberry mayonnaise, with my homemade apple pies cooked in mini skillets for dessert. We even made sure we had a thermos full of tea (since it was a bit chilly by the water) and had a little pumpkin candle for our picnic ambience.

Closer view of our “perfect fall picnic”

After we enjoyed our picnic, we continued driving around the Cabot Trail and making sure to stop at any look out points that we could. A little further up the road in the park, there is a really cute little fishing community – which of course includes a lighthouse! Make sure to pull off the trail a bit and check out the lighthouse here on your road trip.

Lighthouse in the Cape Breton Highlands National Park

Once you are along the northern coast of Cape Breton, there’s an area to drive up further north to “Meat Cove”, which is a little off of the beaten path (literally its a dirt road most of the way to Meat Cove!) its adding a bit more to your “298 kilometre drive” around the Cabot Trail, but the views really are worth it. Even more hills, cliffs and coast to view but it truly is breathtaking.

Once you are back on the “official” Cabot Trail, make sure to always pull over and check out all of the great photo opts there. There are plenty of spots to safely pull over and take amazing photos, or to just simply relax and take in the view.

The Aspy Fault

As you can see from above, it’s even more beautiful (if possible) in the fall with all of the leaves changing colours.

We ended up dragging out our road trip even longer because there was just so much to stop and look at, that we had to stay an extra night in Cape Breton. We decided to stay at the Inverary Resort in Baddeck, Nova Scotia so that we could relax and enjoy the rest of our evening. If you are big into camping, or even “glamping” there are plenty of places along the Cabot Trail for you to stop, we personally chose the hotel route instead, but on our way there we passed these really cool “glamping” domes. They are right on the water and are actually very fancy inside with a full kitchen and everything that you need, some even have hot tubs.

Glamping Domes in Cape Breton Highlands National Park

Whenever you have the opportunity, we highly recommend taking a drive through the beautiful Cabot Trail. It truly is a beautiful experience and a drive you will thoroughly enjoy.

If you want to laugh, and see more of our journey along the Cabot Trail, check out our YouTube vlog below “Exploring the Cabot Trail” – Greg will even give you a tour of an outhouse… lucky you! You’ll also see the fun car trouble we had. Make sure to like and subscribe if you haven’t already!

Check out our YouTube Channel!

Let us know in the comments below where you think we should visit next in the Atlantic Bubble!

Published by MaritimeMeg

Hey Maritimers and fellow explorers! My name is Meg, and my sidekick is Greg! I’m a Canadian/maritimer born and raised, and Greg is an American living here in the maritimes now. Join us on our adventures together!

36 thoughts on “The Cabot Trail

  1. The Cabot Trail is stunning year-round! I have only been once, many years ago, during the summer. It was beautiful then but I can just imagine how breathtaking it would be to see the autumn colours there first-hand. Thank you for sharing your photos. I need to make plans to take my husband out to the east coast in the near future.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for reading! ❀ It truly is such a stunning spot. I hope that you get to take your husband to the east coast soon, there's lots to check out!!

      Like

  2. This trail looks so peaceful and refreshing and the Glamping Domes in Cape Breton Highlands National Park is absolutely stunning. I want to practically live there! Stands for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You both look like you had a great time, the pictures are great ! I also love the ideas of picnics especially in the fall where the leaves change colors and it just creates the perfect view.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I just love doing road trips like the Cabot Trail where you travel through huge areas of natural beauty with as little development as possible. It makes for such a lovely experience and the Cabot Trail looks like there is just so much to explore and appreciate amongst an area of unspoiled nature. You got some great shots showing how beautiful it is there and I also really enjoyed the video you shared on your channel. Hope to get there myself one day.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I don’t know enough about this area to make a single suggestion of where to go- but thank you for sharing your journey with us! Every picture is absolutely beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. On the one hand, your post makes me so excited about trying the Cabot trail – it looks like something my wife especially will like – on the other hand, I’m frustrated about some of the distancing and travel restrictions still in place. Still, thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I totally agree!! I miss travelling abroad so badly this year, so we are trying to make the most of it with our staycations. Thank you so much for reading and I hope you and your wife have the opportunity to check out the Cabot Trail someday! πŸ’œ

      Like

  7. That picnic looks amazing! I remember driving long distances when I went to Nova Scotia and PEI with my grandparents many years ago. The glamping domes look nice too!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much!! And awe wow I hope that you get to visit again someday, lots to do! We really hope to check out the glamping domes next time we visit. Thank you for reading! πŸ’œ

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  8. As usual, I always enjoy your travel story with beautiful captures & vlog captured, love this cabot trail, hope I can be there personally 1 day. Hope the globe health pandemic can be more managed & stable real soon. cheers, siennylovesdrawing

    Liked by 1 person

  9. not really a fan hiking…but everytime i see places like this it really amazes me and want to do it..but not with my family.my family doesnt like hiking to…we rather relaxing on a beach than hiking

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We didn’t get to hike this time, we definitely aren’t expert hikers πŸ˜‚ we drove the trail this time around and it sure makes for a beautiful drive! I would probably rather a beach too haha! Thanks so much for stopping by!

      Like

  10. Nova Scotia is calling me!! Reading your post has just made me wanting to visit this part of Canada even more. I would love to have a picnic by the beach or or by any one of the cliffs along Cabot Trail. Your photos are beautiful and I look forward to when we can travel without so many restrictions in place. Following your blog to learn more about this part of the world from you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awe thanks so much!! I truly appreciate it and I really hope you get to visit this part of Canada someday! It really is a beautiful area with lots to do! Hopefully life goes back to normal a bit more soon and we can all see the world again! πŸ’œ Thank you so much for reading!!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Wow, from the waterfront to the forest, your photos look stunning! How wonderful it was to enjoy some peace and quiet and have a nice picnic – glad that you had a nice time there! Knycx Journeying

    Liked by 1 person

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