September 30, 2023

The Cabot Trail

I have to admit I was a little whiney. Not yet 7am and Jane was ready to go. It was barely even light outside. But we had to get going. We are driving the Cabot Trail today, around Cape Breton island including many many short stops in Cape Breton Highlands National Park. Spoiler alert… even though I was a bit grumpy starting out this was one of my favorite days. This drive is just so beautiful. In Jane’s notes it was described by some other blogger as follows:

The Cabot Trail is a road that hugs the Gulf of St. Lawrence on the rugged northwestern edge of Nova Scotia, where around every bend you want to pull over, spew expletives of joy at the stupendous vista, and take another snapshot.

Our first fun stop was to take the worlds shortest ferry ride on the Englishtown ferry. We had a lovely chat with the ferryman during our three minute crossing which covered everything from the state of education to English Premier League football, to the relative strength of various hurricanes, to whether the Packers (he saw our Wisconsin license plate) would win their Thursday night football game. We covered a lot of ground!

Englishtown Ferry

Our next stop was Middle head. A really nice hike which we cut short because we were still worried about time. Jane had read that it was really difficult to get the whole loop done in a day



After that it was just turnout after turnout of stopping to take in the scenery. Our next real goal was to do the Skyline hike.



The skyline hike was four miles out and back. With a set of boardwalk steps at the end that give you a pretty spectacular view of the Gulf of St. Lawrence.


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More scenery followed the Skyline hike…until we arrived in Cheticamp, where we decided to stop for lunch at the Doryman’s pub, rather than eat another day’s worth of turkey and salami sandwiches. We had a great view of the bay and I had fish and chips and Jane had chowder. The chowder was great. My irish red ale was also very good. We think that our waitress secretly could not believe that Jane would like the IPA she ordered and so brought her a bud light instead.

At the end of the trail, Jane made a “wrong turn” that led us to the Big Spruce brewery instead of our camp ground. We enjoyed a couple of pints before heading back to relax for the evening. We made a campfire, thanks to our neighbor who gave us some nice dry kindling and paper to get it going! We were still very full from our mid afternoon meal that we warmed up some leftover pizza on the Traeger for an evening snack.

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