Cabot Trail
Cabot Trail
4.5
About
One of the most magnificent loop drives in North America treats visitors to the spectacular scenery of the Cape Breton Highlands.
Duration: More than 3 hours
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  • AIWIW
    Houston, Texas639 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beautiful views
    Beautiful views and several options to pull over and enjoy the scenery and take pictures. Certainly not extraordinary views but yet very nice and isolated. Several small towns on the way for snacking etc.
    Visited August 2023
    Written August 18, 2023
  • must_travel_soon_10
    Mississauga, Canada1,800 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beautiful scenery
    Unless you hike, camp, cycle or other outdoor activities, it's basically a scenic road trip done in a day. Skyline trail was underwhelming, although a pleasant walk. Lots of great seafood restaurants enroute. Not a bucket list destination.
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written September 18, 2023
  • BobN06
    Avondale, Pennsylvania685 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beautiful drive and lots to explore
    Some beautiful views along the way and an overall nice drive. We came just as the leaves were beginning to change and I can imagine it would be glorious in peak. Plenty of places to stop along the way although many close after the summer season.
    Visited October 2023
    Traveled with friends
    Written October 16, 2023
  • KK78
    Bay Shore, New York803 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    The long way around...
    Be prepared for the 184 mile loop around the island because once you start there's only one way out! Gas up, bring water and snacks too - a lot of places were closed. There are places to stop along the trail, for overlooks, hiking, etc. Ingonish Beach was a nice place to rest. The Lone Shieling Hike is a very short path, nice place to stretch your legs if you're not a serious hiker. Bog trail Hike also is along a wooden boardwalk. Bring the bug spray!
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled with friends
    Written October 24, 2023
  • World_travellor79
    Sudbury, Canada165 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Stunning
    We did the entire trail from one end to the other and absolutely loved every second of it. A must see for sure. A well maintained roadway that offers many (many) scenic stopping points and places for everyone to get out and enjoy the views. We spent an entire day taking our time and appreciating the views / geography of the area.
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written March 12, 2024
  • The_Wanderer1992
    Columbia, Maryland2,518 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beautiful Drive
    My husband and I drove much of the Cabot Trail at the end of April. It's a long drive, but very beautiful with mountains and coastline. Part of the trail includes Cape Breton Highlands National Park. A few towns with very expensive gas and food options are along the trail. Some construction is going on and not always the best road conditions.
    Visited April 2024
    Traveled as a couple
    Written April 29, 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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AMsays
Thornhill, Canada4,652 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2021
The Cabot Trail is named after Giovani Cabotto who landed in Cape Breton in the 15th century. I did the Cabot Trail+ in a 12-hr frenzy, driving 525 km over 7 hours. The trail is only 300 km long, but I went off the beaten path many, many times to see UNESCO Biosphere Reserves Bras d’Or Lake and Fundy and Canadian National Historic sites of Marconi (Florence) and Bell (Baddeck). There are phenomenal views, lush vegetation, scenic lookouts, twisting roads and steep inclines to add to the adventure. I did parts of the Skyline Trail and Cape Breton Highland National Park. I looked for whales at MacKenzie Mtn. Lookout (didn’t see any). I found great chocolate at Cabotto, pricey wine at eileanan breaghaa winery and disappointing fish and chips at Meat Cove. All in all, a tiring but very fulfilling day. You can do it all but you just need to plan and prioritiize….
Written August 22, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

traveljean11
Ottawa, Canada67 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2021
I suppose this drive might be spectacular if you are used to the desert (for example). But if you have driven along heavily forested and waterside ( big lake or ocean) roads then this is really not so spectacular. There are only a few spots on this drive where the view was jaw dropping. If you happen to be in the area, it would be worth doing the drive but for me, it wasn't worth making a special trip to NS and then driving all the way over to this side of the province just to do the "world famous Cabot Trail"
Written September 4, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

inmyflipflops
Bobo Dioulasso, Burkina Faso224 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2021
This scenic drive should be planned out well and your stops prioritized if you only have one day but you should not miss doing this drive if you are in Cape Breton. Make sure your car is in good condition and test your brakes. There is a lot of steep and winding parts. If you have kids, make sure you pack a lot of snacks and drinks. Make sure you have bathing suits and hiking shoes at the ready. Part of the trail goes through Cape Breton Highlands National Park so make sure you visit the website to choose a trail or two to hike. My daughter and I hiked Skyline in the late afternoon and it was marvelous. You should also take time for Ingonish Beach on the eastern side or Margaree Harbour Beach on the western side of the island. There are also great choices for meals and shopping on the route. Breakfast at Dancing Goat in Margaree is highly recommended. The Chowder House in Neil's Harbour should also not be missed. Going off trail a bit and heading to Meat Cove at the northernmost point of the island is worth it for the dramatic views.
Written September 3, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Bev Peel
Aurora, Canada18 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2022
We drove the Cabot Trail from start to finish - it was spectacular. Before our trip we had been debating on which direction (clockwise or counter clockwise) would offer us the best views, but I don't think you could choose incorrectly.
We ended up travelling clockwise, and at times backtracking. The views were stunning both ways.
If motion sickness is an issue for you, I would highly recommend popping a preemptive gravol ginger - the road is super windy with lots of elevation changes.
Highly recommend this experience.
Written July 11, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Madison Troy
Sutton, MA35 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2023 • Couples
The Cabot Trail is breathtakingly beautiful! There are so many incredible views throughout the entire trail, especially between Ingonish and Cheticamp. The mountains meet the sea, the windy roads hug the mountain, and the drastic elevation change, it is all such naturally beautiful. You look around with awe taking every mental (and physical) picture possible to savor the moment. Some tips…put your car into the lowest gear possible going down those mountains to save a trip back to the mechanic for new brakes. Do not drive at night so as to protect the wildlife and as there are no street lights. If you are prone to motion sickness, take Dramamine or Gravol, or eat some fantastic Chimes Ginger Chews to settle your stomach before beginning. It really is incredible. Enjoy every single moment!
Written May 22, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

puckstopper31
Edmonton, Canada745 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2022
As per other reviewers, was scenic but expected more from the hype. We also recommend driving counter clockwise for better views and ease of pulling off to viewpoints. Very very little open in the towns along the way…some places nothing at all thus suggest you do during the summer..other thing was going counter clockwise let’s you get into Cheticamp about lunchtime. Roads (pavement ) were excellent to good to poor to seriously bad.
Written April 22, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

IamLindyLou
Pitt Meadows, Canada172 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2022
We decided to do the trail in one day, but in hindsight we definitely needed two or even three days to make our way around. Our main goal was to see the fall foliage, but there were so many other sights to see and villages to visit! Though we were told that the colours were not at their best due to Fiona, we were blown away by the beauty and the majestic scenery! So many times we'd round the corner and in unison we would say, "WOW!!!" We did the gondola ride at Cape Smokey, and though it was a bit pricey, we felt it was worth it for the utterly stunning views from the top of the ride. Had we had more time, we would have hiked around a bit more at the top.
Written October 20, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Allen W
Maryland257 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2022
We recalled this drive being spectacular 21 years ago, with endless spots to pull off and take breathtaking photos. But those memories proved false when we spent 5 hours driving the entire trail last week. There was a distinct lack of any scenery worth noting, only 3 or 4 places where we even bothered to stop for photos, and experienced some bad stretches of road, two road construction sites where we were delayed, and one detour off the trail for a while. A terrible disappointment. Maybe we hadn't been to many parks prior to that visit and we were overly impressed. Since then we have been to many U.S. National Parks, including Yellowstone, the Pacific Northwest, the Columbia River, the Grand Canyon, Acadia and many sites in Europe. The Cabot Trail is very unimpressive after all that. I don't recommend traveling the long distance just to see this park, or enduring a stay in Baddeck just to have access to it. There's really nothing here. Nothing. We spent 4 days in Acadia National Park, Maine, last year and it was a far more rewarding experience. An hour on Cadilac Mountain offered a lot more than the Cabot Trail or anything on Cape Breton.
Written August 2, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

DeanMurphy2020
Orlando, FL7,665 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2022
Cabot Trail is Nova Scotia [Latin for New Scotland]/Cape Breton Island’s scenic highway. It winds along the northern tip of the island for about 185 miles. It passes through Cape Brenton Highlands and Highlands National Park. It is named for explorer John Cabot, and early explorer in 1497—shortly after Columbus chose the Caribbean’s warmer temps. Completion of the initial, but much shorter, route was completed in 1932.

I was part of a two-week guided tour of the Maritimes in June. The group had 48 people on a modern, huge coach. The twists and turns gave the effect of being aboard a ship. The poor driver, Maurice, must have been concerned—not about navigating the curves, but by tour members who forgot to take Dramamine☺ The tour director pointed out items of interest, seemingly always on the other side of the bus. There were, however, stunning views of the ocean/bay and towering cliffs cascading into the ocean. Unable to drive, I would enjoy experiencing this spectacular national park over a period of days, not hours. It was a highlight of my Maritimes tour.
Written September 28, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

MarcoNorthPolo
Lunenburg, Canada127 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2020 • Family
We’ve done the trail before years ago, so we knew what we were in for. Unfortunately, it was rainy and really foggy for the first half of the trip so nothing could be seen. As we reached the top it became clearer and we were able to see much more. We stopped at most of the pull offs in order to take come photos.
On a rainy foggy day you are just driving on the road with nothing to see. When it’s sunny or clear, there are world class views.
Written July 19, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Cabot Trail - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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