Located on the Northern part of Nova Scotia just a four-hour drive from the capital of Halifax is Cape Breton Island, home to the scenic highway known as the Cabot Trail. One third of the road passes through the Cape Breton Highlands National Park, which is quite similar to the Scottish Highlands in views and landscapes.
The area attracts thousands of tourists around the world each year and is one of the most famous road trips in all of Canada.
Driving along the Cabot Trail there are many things to see and do from whale watching to cycling and hiking on one of the many trails, the most popular being the Skyline route. Depending on the season, there is a great opportunity to see lots of wildlife including moose and coyote, so keep your eyes peeled and always be cautious.
The trail is 185 miles long so it’s best to give yourself a couple of days to enjoy it all. Most recommend that you rent a car to explore the trail at your own pace. There are many B&Bs, cottages and campgrounds along the way if you’d like to stay at in the area. There are also many tiny communities dotted along the path that are great for stopping in to buy souvenirs or grab a quick bite to eat.
Without a doubt, the most popular time to visit the Cabot Trail is in the fall as the leaves are changing colors and the rolling hills of the highlands are sprinkled with gorgeous greens, yellows, oranges, and reds. There is even an annual festival known as the Keltic Lodge Celtic Colors International Festival to celebrate the changing leaves and season in October.
If you go be sure to bring your camera, a sweater in case of fog or a strong breeze off of the ocean, sunscreen, sunglasses, and some snacks. There are two information stations at both ends of the park where you can pay for vehicle permits, camping and/or fishing licenses. There are outhouses available along the way.