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Travelling to Cape Breton Island in early May

Canberra
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Travelling to Cape Breton Island in early May

We are doing the impossible I realise but are wanting to do Cabot's Trail in one day. We have booked into Sydney and are travelling the Trail anti-clockwise. We don't mind early starts and enjoy driving so hoping we can see some of the highlights at least on the Trail. Is the road clear at that stage of the year and facilities? Also keen to walk the skyline trail - achievable in early May and in the time available? Thanks

Cape Breton Island...
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1. Re: Travelling to Cape Breton Island in early May

Well, If there is still snow on the Skyline , I doubt it would even be open . You need to find someone who lives in the Pleasant Bay area or Cape North area that is familiar with that Trail . Every year , there is a lot of snow up on North Mountain and French Mountain and there is often some still in the woods in May .

Now, the Skyline under good conditions needs 2 1/2 to 3 hours to do the full loop. You will leave Sydney and should be in Ingonish in maybe 1 hr.40 minutes, then another hour max to go around the tip and be at the Skyline . Skyline to Cheticamp 1/2 hour ,then to Sydney would be about 2 hours .

Check with the Highlands Nordic Ski people at Cape North as that too could be an option . There are three highway cameras that show that area of Cape Breton. Look under Nova scotia government highways and then find "all cameras" and look for Mabou , French Mountain and South Mountain. In another site called nova Scotia webcams , look for the cameras at the Highland Links which is the golf course in Ingonish .

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2. Re: Travelling to Cape Breton Island in early May

You can easily drive around the Cabot Trail in a day and you could take some shorter walks or hikes. Check out the Middle head trail at Keltic Lodge. However there may be snow there too. There is a lot of snow around in the northern mainland where I live now, but there is another full month until May.

http://www.cabottrail.com/info/hiking.htm

experienceingonish.ca/blog/…

http://www.cabottrail.travel/thingstodo.cfm

Canberra
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3. Re: Travelling to Cape Breton Island in early May

Thanks heaps for your comments. This is really useful information. Is it a particularly long winter this year or is it normal for so much snow to be around at this time of the year? I note the lobster season doesn't start till later which is a real shame - we had ourselves ready for lots of lobster and scallops......

Nova Scotia
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4. Re: Travelling to Cape Breton Island in early May

It has not been a particularly long winter. In terms of snow, I am a skier and so am well aware of snow. We did not have a great deal of snow this winter, but had two dumps a couple weeks ago.

May and June are lobster season along the Northumberland Strait and I believe in part of Cape Breton. Anyhow you will be able to get lobster on your trip.

Halifax
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5. Re: Travelling to Cape Breton Island in early May

Spring here can be a mixed bag depending on whether we are influenced by Artic Air or warmer coastal.

To answer your question we have had colder this year and more snow than probably last 5 years.

The posts above great info for hike but not sure you would then have time to finish Cabot Trail.

Were you intending to go back to Sydney for the night or spend on trail, the latter would me my suggestion.

Obviously depending on your time schedule and plans ie flying from Sydney or Halifax or driving?

Nova Scotia
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6. Re: Travelling to Cape Breton Island in early May

Ah, Lulu, you are not a skier! We had very little snow this winter! On the northern mainland where I am it should be gone from the woods soon. The fields around here are mostly bare.

Canberra
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7. Re: Travelling to Cape Breton Island in early May

We will be driving the loop of Cabot's trail and ending in the west. Any suggestions for accommodation places? Usually do something around the $100 per night if we can. We are driving south to Halifax the next day as we have heard that area is pretty spectacular too.

Cape Breton Island...
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8. Re: Travelling to Cape Breton Island in early May

Early May ; not a lot open . Check Cheticamp and Inverness. Call Nova Scotia central reservations

at 1 800 565 0000. Check for cottages first . Deal with owners directly and "bargain" .

Halifax
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9. Re: Travelling to Cape Breton Island in early May

Good Advice from caperbeach above. Inns and B&B's another good alternative as most are owner occupied.

If they were away they would probably be back soon to gear up for the season.

You can check Canada Select website for many others.

Le Maison Fiset has excellent reviews very elegant in Cheticamp, opens May 2nd,

maisonfisethouse.com/en/rates_and_packages.p…

Edited: 10:33 am, April 03, 2013
Nova Scotia
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10. Re: Travelling to Cape Breton Island in early May

www.tripadvisor.ca/HACSearch?geo=499215

tripadvisor.ca/Hotels-g499218-Mabou_Cape_Bre…

Here are the TA listings for Cheticamp and Mabou. You should be able to find something.