Monalisa Dash Dwibedy
The author, in this multi part article recounts her experiences while being on a trip to Nova Scotia in Canada from Toronto. She visits various tourist places and narrates her firsthand experience of the same.
Day 7 The Final Part of the Journey: The world famous Cabot Trail
It was our second day on the Cape Briton island. Let me tell you a little about our stay at the Ingonish beach. Ingonish is a popular tourist destination in Victoria County, Cape Breton Island. There are campgrounds and cottages around the beach. We had booked a cottage which was only a two minute walk from the beach.
The most interesting highlight of staying at this particular beach is you can jump from ocean saltwater to a freshwater lake with just a few steps! This welcoming day use area is packed with family-friendly activities. After a refreshing swim/dip in the ocean/lake, one can enjoy the playground, tennis courts, soccer field and picnic area.
The morning sun promised that it was going to be a wonderful day. We hit the road and found ourselves on the world famous Cabot trail. The Cabot trail is a 298 kilometre loop on the Northern tip of the island with magnificent views of mountains and the Atlantic at its best of blue. At places, it’s so breathtakingly beautiful that you want the time to stop for a while as you take in the beauty of nature.
When it comes to the Cabot Trail, the journey itself is the destination. So far, I have not heard of anyone not enjoying this trail. Above all else, it is a path to travel, and how you travel it is up to you.
Let me tell this straight, you will not be able to explore the entire Cabot trail to your heart’s desire in one day, it will definitely take more time. However, if you are short on time, do hike in the Meat Cove for the amazing views. You can even camp in the cliffside campground there.
Some bloggers suggest to ride up to Cape Smokey on the gondola, we did not take the Gondola due to lack of time. It took us almost five hours to drive the whole Cabot trail, exploring few selected view points and trails. At every look-off, you will explore the Atlantic in various moods, somewhere aggressive with stormy waves and sometimes calm like a saint.
There are a lots of food options while you are on the trail, we tried lobster sandwiches, lobster soup and chowder. You will always find food of your choice and will not definitely go hungry in this beautiful island. Always remember that the shops/restaurants close early, most of them by 6 pm, so plan accordingly.
We travelled Nova Scotia in September and the fall colours were not very prominent. If you want to enjoy the fall colours on the Cabot trail, better to plan in early /mid October. However in October, the water would be very cold for swimming /taking a dip in Atlantic.
I think one should visit the Cape Briton island at least twice in their life time. Once during Summer when all you do is enjoy the hikes in the Cabot trail and the Atlantic waters at different beaches. Another time one should travel is when the fall colours are at its peak.
The Cabot trail opens up unrivalled vistas and brings you to experience one of the most beautiful scenic routes of the world. You will create a life time of memories with the spectacular views from the look-offs and the numerous coastal villages along the route.
As you drive down the windy roads, with the salty Atlantic breeze caressing your face, with only a few feet between you and seaside cliffs, you’ll feel the adrenaline rush that comes with being on the edge of the world, intimately connected with nature. If you love to drive, this is one of those roads you would love to be on behind the wheels.
(The writer is an I.T. consultant and lives in Toronto. Views are Personal)