Cape Breton Highlands is not readily accessible by public transport so it is best to have a car to not only get there but to get around as well. The Cabot Trail is one of the park's highlights and you need a car or a bike with a great set of legs to get around. You can better utilize the pullouts for viewing, eating or getting to trailheads.
There's a small car and passenger ferry that crosses a narrow strip of water near one end of the Cabot Trail at the village of Englishtown. If you're driving the trail, this can cut off about 20 or 30 minutes of the drive between Baddeck and the Trail, by bypassing the North River area and St. Anne's. It connects up closely to the Highway 105. Follow the signs for Englishtown from either the Highway or the Cabot Trail. The cost is $5.00 and is payable once you're on the ferry. It takes about 5 minutes to cross the channel and boats load-and-go so there is never much of a wait.