RoadRUNNER’s Bucket List Roads: The Cabot Trail

Jul 12, 2014 View Comments by

RoadRUNNER's Bucket List Roads: The Cabot TrailThe Cabot Trail circumnavigates the mountainous coastline of Cape Breton Island in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia. It was completed in 1932, joining previously isolated fishing villages along an approximately 180-mile loop. The name traces back to the Italian explorer John Cabot, who reached these shores in 1497. The Cabot Trail winds its way through stunning landscapes, and was named one of the best road trips in the world by Lonely Planet. Summer is typically the best time to ride this route.

Scenery: Along many sections of the trail, the road is carved precipitously from the mountainsides, which plunge steeply into the Atlantic Ocean. Consequently, the expansive vistas of land and water are simply stunning. Because Canadians drive on the right side of the road, navigating the route in a counter-clockwise direction provides the best views, but driving clockwise is probably better for folks with acrophobic tendencies.

Points of Interest: Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site in Baddeck (www.pc.gc.ca/eng/lhn-nhs/ns/grahambell/index.aspx), watersports in the Ingonish area, Cape Breton Highlands National Park, and whale watching in Pleasant Bay.

Curves: Mostly sweepers

Traffic: Generally light to moderate

Distance: Approximately 180 miles

Time Required: One to two days, depending on stops

Technical Difficulty: Mostly moderate, but some challenging sections

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