Canada & Alaska

Michele & Stephen's trip in 2012

The Cabot Trail

Almost every Canadian we have met in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island has told us that we must see the Cabot Trail in Cape Breton. The AA's Keyguide to Canada says of the Cabot Trail that "Switchbacks and almost dizzying changes of altitude can make the drive hazardous". The Cabot Trail is talked of as something to be accomplished rather than just driven round.

The truth is the Cabot Trail is a well maintained two lane tarmac road about 100km long that you could drive in about two hours in any vehicle. Most of the trail (road) is within the Cape Breton National Park and much of it is very attractive. At the very north of the trail you can (and should) take a detour to Meat Cove via Bay St. Lawrence, which is more attractive than the trail proper.

Don't get me wrong the Cabot Trail is well worth a visit (and certainly more interesting than PEI!).

Before the start of the Cabot Trail is the Ceilidh Trail. The highlight of which is the Celtic Music Interpretive Centre at Port Hastings where you can have a one-to-one talk with a fiddle playing guide who will explain that Cape Breton music is authentic 200 year old (and largely unchanged) Scottish music transferred from the bagpipes to the fiddle.

A video in the museum rashly claims it can teach you to play the fiddle in eight minutes. They are wrong!

The well advertised Glenora Distillery provides good food, good live music, a well stocked gift shop, guided tours and accommodation.

They also make a little single malt whisky in the winter when there aren't any tourists to distract them.

At the very north of Cape Breton is Meat Cove were it is often possible to see whales from the shore, but obviously not whilst we were there.

Whilst looking for whales we stumbled over what looked like fossilized turtle shells on the beach.

They are still there if you want them!