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The end of the road on Cape Breton Island
This was one of the shorter hikes we did. It was only like 3 kilometres and took maybe 40 minutes at a reasonably relaxed pace. As I remember we had just eaten lunch, so it was perfect.It is not a difficult hike, its more of a stroll really. You go up one side of the brook and down the other, ending at a waterfall. You can hear the birds, the...more
The most well known, and most popular, trail in Nova Scotia is the Skyline Trail. Why? Well one reason has to be that it is so accessible. In 2001 the redid the trail to protect some of the fragile ecosystem, building boardwalks. For the first part of the loop a wheelchair would probably be able to handle this trail. Its generally nice and flat and...more
This was a nice hike! we got bored with the Jack Pine Trail, it just wasn't scenic (or challenging) so a few of us took the well marked Coastal Trail. We had plenty of time and it was well worth the effort.If you hike this trail you will get a wonderful taste of Cape Breton's shoreline, the magnificent vistas over the water. the boulders, You will...more
If you want to go for a nice walk rather than a serious hike, Jack Pine would be a good trail for that. It is fairly easy with small elevation gains. You basically go through a Jack Pine forest, which is common in Canada but not so common on Cape Breton. There are some interpretive panels through the walk. What we did was finish this walk, which is...more
Located in the fishing village of Pleasant Bay, this is a small museum that has good exhibits about the 16 types of whales found off Nova Scotia. (Sixteen types!!) There is a nice exhibit about local marine life and you can sometimes see the whales from the patio of the museum (using binoculars) More an educational thing than anything else, they...more
This was an option on our tour. From the website, Salty Bear stops for the night at Pleasant Bay.From May until Mid-October you can see whales( fin whales(huge:75 ft),humpback whales(entertainers),pilot whales,minke whales,and dolphins/porpoises.) There are several different outfits along the north/west coast of Cape Breton Islandmore
As we were staying overnight at the MOUNTAIN VIEW MOTEL & RESTAURANT it was also convenient to have dinner there also. The restaurant was plain but cozy and our waitress was very friendly. Hans had the hot roast beef sandwich ($7.95) and I had the special of the day which was spaghetti and meat sauce ($9.95) which was delicious.more
This restaurant is located within Casino Nova Scotia in Sydney at Centre 200. You must be over 19 to enter the premise. The food here is awesome. There's a variety but the main focus is pasta and seafood. As well, the have the typical pub fare. There is a great selection of deserts, as well. The Casino gives it a bit of a classy feel and it is, of...more
This is the first time in a restaurant where I have called the chef over to tell him how good my dinner was. I ordered the panfried haddock which was absolutely FABULOUS. The fresh baked buns were out of this world. 14 nights away from home; 14 dinners out; this was my favorite by far. Everyone was friendly, the prices were reasonable and I felt...more
In Sydney there is one casino. It is large and spacious and people seem to enjoy it. This is not a Vegas style casino but is a lot of fun if that's why you're there. It's simply something different to do and is frequented mostly by locals. This could be because the traditional tourist season is relatively short in Cape Breton. I've always found the...more
Cape Breton is the land of step dancers and fiddlers, especially around Mabou, the home of The Red Shoe Pub. This is where you can enjoy Cape Breton hospitality. The restaurant/pub is opening for the summer on June 1, 2006. Check the on-line schedule to see who's playing when. You can also enjoy some excellent down home pub cooking and some brews....more
The sunsets are so spectacular at Cape Breton, you will hardly miss that there are no real hot nightspots to have a beer or go dancing. The picnic pullouts offer a great place to not only eat but also have a discreet beer or glass of wine though you will need a plastic cup as alcohol is prohibited. This is Trout Brook not long after we finished up...more
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....more
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.more
The Gaelic College Craft Shop is owned and operated by the Gaelic College. All their proceeds go to the college, which in turn, strives to promote and preserve the Gaelic culture. This is the place to go if you want anything Celtic: kilts, tartans, music, books, pottery, jewelry, sweaters, souvenirs, college clothes like jackets, t-shirts and...more
We stopped at Arts North, a neat wooden building on the Cabot Trail, near Cape North. It's on the northern end of the Cabot Trail. The crafts were exquisite, paintings, ceramics, textiles, jewelry, and on the top floor in a loft, a large collection of quilts. Everything is made by artisans in Cape Breton. The quality is designer level and you won't...more
Flora's is a large white building housing a craft shop. It's on the Cabot Trail, just outside Cheticamp on the west side of Cape Breton Island. The main draw of Flora's is the hand-hooked rugs, all created by dozens of local women who have been doing this craft for generations. There is usually someone there that is demonstrating the technique...more
June is High School graduation and prom month and this year our youngest was a participant in both. Most North Americans would be familiar with these traditions and I'm sure most countries have their own way of celebrating the end of Secondary School. The Prom (short for promenade) is a formal dance that takes place a few days before graduation....more
The best way to eat lobster is to wear casual clothes and expect to get dirty, especially if you're invited to someone's home to enjoy this delicacy. There's a bit of work involved to extract the meat, but believe me, it's worth it. If you eat lobster in a restaurant, a lot of the work will be done for you.If you plan on buying lobster from a...more
There is enormous pleasure to be had from exploring nature, from just sitting listening to the water slap over the rocks or to see an eagle fly. But there is a good reason you are warned not to hike alone, particularly not in a place you don't know well. In late October 2009, a young Canadian folk singer named Taylor Mitchell was attacked by 3...more
Every once in a while, driving through Cape Breton Island, you will see WATCH FOR MOOSE signs. They are very large and hard-to see animals. They can usually be seen by the roads in early morning or around dusk. The signs are usually placed where moose have been known to cross the road and the sign will tell you to "beware" for the next ???...more
When my sister and I were hiking in the Cape Breton Highlands National Park, part of the Cabot Trail, there was a lot of moose poop (or scat, a word that I heard for the first time on the hike) everywhere. In and of itself, this isn't such a big deal. It might put you off chocolate moose droppings for a while and scatologists do suggest not picking...more
Luggage and bags:
If you plan on camping at Fishing Cove, bring a good backpack to cart your gear down there.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Sturdy hiking boots are essential for the more rugged trails and even beaches are a hazzard with all the huge pebbles on them.
Photo Equipment: Polarizer for the clouds and cut down on glare and 300m zoom for wildlife shots.
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: A good tent gives you the freedom to stay where you want, like down at Fishing Cove. A portable stove gives you the choice of eating at any scnenic stop you make.
Miscellaneous: A reflection for Sandy near Pillar Rock. ;)
One of my favourite places to be is Pollet's Cove. It is a 4 hr hike from Pleasant Bay and begins at the end of a long dirt road by the Buddhist Monastery. For complete directions see: http://www.cabottrail.com/info/pcove/This 12 mi hike begins with Heartbreak Hill. The hike is quite advanced going from 0 to 1200ft & the name of this hill says it...more
Getting to Mary Ann Falls is an easy 5-10 minute walk. As you walk along, you'll first see the falls from a bridge, then you continue on and descend a set of stairs and platforms. To get down to the swimming area or to get an even better view of the falls, you'll need to climb down the rocks. This is a nice spot to take a refreshing swim. Much to...more
There was nothing fancy about the small communities that I passed through along the coast as I made my way north. I hit the water at L'Archeveque, then Framboise, Fourchu and Gabarus before I again headed inland. The buildings were often small and weather-beaten or abandoned completely like this small example at Gabarus Lake. All the ports that I...more
Hiking is a great way to stay in shape while traveling and lets you see things not accessible by car too. L' Arcadien is nice six mile loop hike that brings you up 1500 feet into the highlands of Cape Breton and overs panoramic views of the coastline and the city of Cheticamp. It takes two to four hours. If you are camping at Cheticamp campground,...more
Located between Ingonish and Dingwall, in the north-eastern section of Cape Breton Highlands National Park, NEIL'S HARBOUR is a small fishing village.There are a few cottages in Neil's Harbour, but mostly there are local residents who work for the Lobster/Crab and fishing industry.The lighthouse was established in 1899. It is still functional and...more
One of the scenic look-offs at Cape Breton Highlands National Park is the MACKENZIE MOUNTAIN LOOK-OFF. You can actually go whale watching from here. Keep your eyes on the ocean - Look for plumes of vapour as whales surface in the Gulf. You'll find a colour exhibit of whales, species of fish and various sea birds.more
mornin' from Port hood; from my web site www.cbchoices.com**>Margaree Valley- Dave MacDonald-owner; 691 Egypt Road, The Normaway Inn-The Barn [248-2987] [1-800-565-9463] [Open Jun 15th to Oct 15th] www.normaway.com Box 101 Margaree Valley, NS B0E 2C0 =In the Barn -Friday nites @ 8pm @$8=Living Room entertainment-evenings [until Oct...more
Multiple VirtualTourist members suggested the shores of Nova Scotia, particularly the Cabot Trail on Cape Breton Island, as an ideal coastal drive for Canada-bound travelers. The Cabot Trail, which spurs off the Trans-Canada Highway 105, extends north and passes through Cape Breton Highlands National Park before looping back to the 105 only 16 miles (27 km) further up the road. Cape Breton Highlands National Park has 26 hiking trails and 24 stunning viewpoints along the Cabot Trail, so it is definitely worth the small price of entry ($7.80 per adult, $3.90 per youth) to get out of your vehicle and explore. The entire route is approximately 170 miles (274 km) in length.