Cape Breton is such a special place I love it so so so much and it makes it so happy to share with all of you! For our 3rd installment of Cabot Trail content I’ve decided to post a choose your own adventure itinerary (2020 version), so you can plan where you want to eat, sleep, and explore while you’re passing through. The more I do the trail the more I find additional things to do!!
Whether you take your time, and take a few days to make your way around, or you plow through it all in one day and a pick choose carefully where you want to spend your time whatever you need to do to get your butt here DO IT! I’ve done both and both are valid depending on how much time you have to spend in Cape Breton. If you have the time I suggest you definitely try to do as many things as possible!
Obviously with everything that’s going on these days there’s plenty of uncertainties when it comes to travel, but we honestly didn’t run into any issues at all. Everyone was taking everything VERY seriously, we always felt safe and taken of, and still somehow everyone was still super warm and welcoming (typical Cape Breton hospitality I’d expect nothing less). Everything listed below should be available at this time (obviously confirm business hours and plan your visit accordingly).
As per new covid regulations (July 31) please ensure you have masks, as they are currently mandatory for all indoor spaces in Atlantic Canada. And lastly if you’re just feeling not sure about something just ask! Whether you call or email folks ahead of time for check-in info / available amenities etc the businesses along The Cabot Trail would of course be happy to assist you <3 But like I said we didn’t have any issues there was lots of communication from everyone we encountered it was honestly SO great!
As Travis’s parent’s live in Creignish we did have a brief visit with them, and then made our way along the coast towards Margaree to follow a clockwise pattern along the Cabot Trail (see map below). You could absolutely go in a counterclockwise direction too (depends of how you want to plan it or where you’re starting from); the itinerary below is clockwise, but if you wanna go the other way just start at the bottom!!
CHOOSE YOUR OWN CABOT TRAIL ADVENTURE ITINERARY 2020 Edition
When traveling along the Cabot Trail you could take your time, or you could zip right through! Below is a plethora of options so you can totally customize your trip to what you would like to do / see / experience, so whether you like to saunter around gift shops, hike the mountains, spend the day at the beach the below will give you ALL the options. ENJOY!
Broken down into suggestive lists for activities, meals, and accommodations YOU CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE
CLOCK WISE ITINERARY – DAY 1
- Swim @ Chimney Corner Beach
- Paddle Board + Kayaking @ CB West
- Fly Fishing @ A Great Day Fishing
- Tubing @ Life in Tents
- Dancing Goat
- Island Sunset
- Valley View Chalets
- Life in Tents
- Cajun Cottages
- Mi Careme (closes 5pm)
- Trois Pignon
- Gypsum Mines Lake (Hike & Swim)
- Presqu’ile Beach
- Hike Skyline Trail
- Mr Chicken
- Aucoin’s Bakery
- Rusty Anchor
- True North Destinations
- Auberge Doucet Inn
- Blue Bayou
- Beulach Ban Falls (no hike required)
- Shop @ Arts North
- Hike @ Kauzmenn Trail
- Kayak @ Cabot Trail Adventures
- Dingwall Beach
- Hike – Meat Cove
- Whale Watching @ Captain Marks
- Hike – Middle Head
- Hike – Coastal Trail / Squeaker’s Hole
- Ingonish Beach (both salt water side and lake options, as well there is a walking trail around Warren Lake).
- Black Brook Beach / Waterfalls (mind the undertow there’s no lifeguard)
- Not sure if Mary Ann Falls is open this summer (definitely check first)
- Meat Cove Chowder
- Periwinkle Café
- Coastal Restaurant
- Main Street Bakery
- Markland (might be take out only)
- Keltic Lodge
- Knotty Pine
- Castle Rock Inn
- Heart of the Highland
- Hike – Franey
SUP @ Cabot Shores
- North River Falls (or Lower Falls)
- Shop @ Leather Works by Jolene, Funky Hats, Wreck Cove General Store
- Highland bow and arrow (currently by appointment only)
Food can be trickier in this area so be sure to plan ahead as things close up early, and cell service isn’t great.
- The Clucking Hen
- Dancing Moose
- Simply Pizza
- Cabot Shores (take out only when we came through, or if you are staying on sight they were delivering to your dome).
- Cabot Shores*
- River Nest
- Luckenbooth B&B
As with most of my trips I usually tend to leave my last day pretty open for items that maybe didn’t make the cut the day(s) before (in and around the same area). I would highly suggest spending some time in Baddeck. There are lots of cute shops, and places to eat! Baddeck it’s the cutest place I promise you won’t regret it!
- Uisge Ban Falls
- Amoeba Sailing Tours
- Alexander Graham Bell Museum
- Stand & Stuff Your Face
- High Wheeler Cafe
- Tom’s Pizza
- The Bite House (Fine Dining + you will need a reservation)
And if you’re making your way back to Halifax you’ll make your way towards Whycocomagh where you can visit the following along the way:
- Red Barn Gift Shop and Restaurant
- Helen’s Bakery found in the CO-OP in Whycocomagh has the BEST oatcakes in Cape Breton.
- Herring Choker Deli
- Big Spruce Brewing
- Farmers Daughter
Happy Trails my friends!! Comment below with any updates or things I’ve missed and I’ll keep updating the list!
For even more Cabot Trail Content click the links below or pop over to our Instagram @SHORTPRESENTS and view our “CABOT TRAIL” Highlight as well as numerous in-feed posts!
For our previous “Cabot Trail Travel Guide” post click here. If you’d rather eat your way around the Cabot Trail pop over to my recent “10 Food Stops to Make Along the Cabot Trail” post.
Special thanks to Destination Cape Breton for inviting me to explore the Cabot Trail #partner. Also shout out to Lincoln Canada for loaning us some sweet wheels! With heated and cooling seats, full panoramic moon roof, massage seats the Lincoln Corsair was a DREAM to drive around the Cabot Trail.