The Cabot Trail runs 186 miles round trip. Highly recommend taking a tour bus for seeing the trail. Otherwise the driver will see none of the scenery. Bannockburn tours will take you for $65.00 (cost might be higher today) per person in a van on the trail with an escorted guide.
The Cabot Trail runs through Cape Breton Highlands National Park. The beautiful drive is punctuated with seascapes and 1,500 foot tree covered mountains rising from the sea. Many Scots immigrated to the area, because it reminded them of their beloved highlands back home. Many coves dot the area and hiking trails take you to more remote locations. The longest of the trails is seven miles round trip. Some are fairly easy, while others climb 1,500 feet in two or three miles.
Along the way you stop at wharves, where lobster men were unloading their catch. One of them was over nine pounds: a large fellow indeed. Lobstermen have to check their 250 traps daily during the ten weeks designated for lobster fishing. There is an honor system among them, each one having their own colored buoy. However, there are poachers around, especially at night and on Sunday, when the lobstermen are not allowed to fish.
Along the trail are interesting little towns. One of them is Cheticamp, pronounced shitty camp. The legend says that the Micmacs were there originally and called it that, hoping no one else would come. So says the tour guide. The Acadians, who fled from the Southern Coast on Nova Scotia, made it their home. Even today their heritage can be found all around the town, the homes flying the red, white, and blue tri-color flag with a yellow star.
A word to the wise. The Cabot Trail is very beautiful. But do you know that we have one equally picturesque in the United States? It is Highway 61 out of Duluth, Minnesota on the North coast of Lake Superior. The only difference is that Nova Scotia’s water is salty, while Lake Superior water is fresh. They have lobstermen. We have lake trout and lake herring fishermen. Why travel 2,00 miles, when you can have the same experience in your backyard.