Hotels on the Cabot Trail

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The Cabot Trail, a scenic roadway that takes you around the greater part of Nova Scotia's Cape Breton Island, is one of the most famous drives in Canada. Many visitors to Cape Breton Island set aside an entire day – or two, three or four days – to see the sights along the Cabot Trail. Because there are so many scenic overlooks, cultural heritage sites and hiking trails on the Cabot Trail, spending some time planning your excursion will make your road trip much more enjoyable.
Choose a Direction

The Cabot Trail makes a loop around Cape Breton Island, cutting across the top of the island and closely following the western and eastern coastlines. If you travel in a clockwise direction, you'll be on the "inside" lane as you drive along both coasts. Because the road goes up and down steep grades and curves, the clockwise direction is better for drivers (and passengers) who dislike driving next to steep drops. Many of the turnoffs into Cape Breton Highlands National Park are right turns if you are traveling clockwise.

Driving counter-clockwise may give you a better view of some of the more spectacular ocean vistas along the way. While this direction is less popular (it's billed as the direction for the brave driver), it may be easier to handle if you dislike slow traffic, as fewer people travel counter-clockwise
Some of the popular Cabot Trail stops include:

  • Margaree Harbour and villages in the Margaree River valley, for fishing, the Salmon Museum and water sports;

    Chéticamp, the largest village on Cape Breton Island's Acadian coast;

    Pleasant Bay, for whale watching;
    Hiking trails, scenic viewpoints ("look offs") Cape Breton Highlands National Park;


    Ingonish and the surrounding beaches, for water sports, golf and scenery;
  • St. Ann's, for the Gaelic College and local art studios;
  • Baddeck, for the Alexander Graham Bell Museum, golf and summer ceilidhs (Celtic music and dance events).