Thursday, September 18, 2008
Driving the Cabot Trail
As we had been planning our trip we read a lot about the Cabot Trail. The Cabot Trail is a very scenic 185 mile loop that circles the northern end of Cape Breton. Much of the road is in Cape Breton Highlands National Park. Because the road is steep, curvy, and narrow in places, it is usually recommended not driving it in an RV. The other options are to drive it all in one day, or spending one or more nights in an inn or B&B along the way. Wanting to sleep in our RV, we decided to drive it in one day.
We started the day with a stop at the Cape Breton Highlands National Park Visitor's Center near Cheticamp, then headed up the coast. As we climbed into the highlands of the National Park we drove into fog which grew steadily worse. Unfortunately, we drove most of the western part of the road in dense fog and missed some of the more dramatic scenery. We have since heard this is not an uncommon problem.
After we came down from the highlands and turned east, the fog cleared. Since there was a waterfall off a short side road we decided to investigate.
We drove to the parking lot for Beulach Bahn Falls and hiked up the short trail. As some of you know, Barbara is a self admitted "waterfall junkie!" This one did not let her down. We later were told that this is probably the best waterfall along the Cabot Trail.
After we got to the east side of Cape Breton we stopped in the village of Neil's Harbor for Lunch. This is a view of part of the harbor, with the ubiquitous stacks of lobster traps.
The eastern part of the Cabot Trail gives one many views of the rocky coastline.
After a long day of driving, we finally got back to our campsite. The day ended with a very colorful sunset.
After driving the Cabot Trail, we are still glad we didn't take the motorhome. There are definitely some tough stretches (and we are used to driving California's Highway 1 and the western mountains). It IS drivable in a motorhome but you would need be careful in a couple of stretches. If towing, we would advise driving the toad separately through the worst stretches, if possible. If you don't mind motels, booking a room makes a lot of sense if you really want to explore the area.