Worthwhile stops along the Cabot Trail, Nova Scotia

For sure there are more stops along the Cabot trail which are worth to stop and admire. This blog just contains a small collection of stops located between the route from the Sydney Airport to Pleasant Bay. Not all of them are directly located on the Cabot Trail but in a short distance.

1. Lookout near Englishtown/ St. Ann’s Bay

Our first view of the Highlands we got near Englishtown and this was exactly the moment I became excited. 

A quick stop gives you a great view of the Highlands and is certainly a welcome photo opt.

2. Cape Smokey Lookout

Just before we reached Ingonish, a steep road goes up to Cape Smokey and one can realize how high the road here is. 

You begin to realize that you are on one of the most scenic drives in the world.

3. Keltic Lodge/ Middle Head

Near the famous Keltic Lodge are several nice possibilities to see the rugged coastline, either near the Keltic Lodge, Ingonish Beach or along the Middle Head Peninsula, depending of your time.


One of my favourite places in Ingonish is the area around a church and the surrounding graveyards near the shoreline.

Further own the road are some lovely views over Ingonish Bay

5. Ingonish Harbour

Passing Ingonish the route leads beside Ingonish Harbour. Its a small harbour and you will see what one would expect from Nova Scotia: Fishing boats, Rocky outcrops.

I always liked to go there in the evening and watching the fishermen.

6. Lookouts north of Ingonish

Several lookouts are on the way to Neil’s Harbour. They are good for nice views and watching fisherboats.

7. Neil’s Harbour.

Neil’s Harbour is as well a lovely fishing town with a lighthouse and a harbour.

8. Detour to White Point.

Leaving the Cabot trail at Neil’s Harbour towards white Point is an awarding detour.

 You can have a short stop enjoying the scenery or add an easy hike what is highly recommended. Breathtaking Views along the hike.

From there you can drive along the coast back towards the Cabot Trail. The scenery is equally beautiful like the Highlands and I am wondering why this area hasn’t been included.

9. Detour from Cape North to Bay St. Lawrence

Another beautiful detour from the Cabot trail is a route towards Bay St. Lawrence and Meatcove.

On the way there you can see a nice church infront of the Highlands and Cabot Landing, the place where John Cabot landed when he discovered North America.

Bay St. Lawrence is at the northern tip and we enjoyed walking around.

 There aren’t many tourist what makes the place even more attractive.

If you have time you can drive towards Capstick and Meatcove and you gonna see unique coastal scenery. 

10. Lookouts between Cape North and Pleasant Bay.

Now you enter the real Highland drive through valleys and eventually going up the Highlands. 

The Aspy fault is certainly a must stop.

11. Pleasant Bay

We left the Cabot Trail again to have a short visit in Pleasant Bay, walking along the beach and admiring the Cliff’s.

12. Mount MacKenzie Overlooks.

Now you will reach the dramatic overlooks that made Cape Breton so famous. Some are overlooking Pleasant Bay, while other ones overlook the McKenzie Mountain. But when you go make sure you go up on this drive on a clear day.

13. Skyline Trail

If your time allows do the 7  return trail to the Skyline trail overlook, we needed in Total 2,5 hours.its an easy trail to the postcard Skyline overlook that can be seen worldwide.

We even saw whales from the high cliffs. The view at the end of the trail will stay in your memory for ever.

We didn’t go further towards Cheticamp since our schedule didn’t allow it. We spent 4 nights in Ingonish and we needed for all of the locations above 3 full days. Its definately worth not just to drive through . You can make a beautiful vacation out of it


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