Cape Breton Island is easily accessible by land, sea and air. Once you reach the Island you can enter the Cabot Trail from either the east or the west. A loop trail, visitors can begin or end their journey from a number of different points.
By land there are four main accesspoints ways to the Cabot Trail once you cross the Causeway.
1. The first entry point to the Cabot Trail is to follow the rotary just after the Causeway, towards "Inverness/Cheticamp" on Route 19 (Ceilidh Trail). Travel along the coast past Mabou and Inverness, at Dunvegan turn left on Route 219, follow the coast. Just past Margaree Harbour, you will meet the Cabot Trail at a T-junction. Turn left onto the bridge, along the coast toward Cheticamp. Turn right, to travel along the Margaree River toward Baddeck (Route 19 ends at Margaree Forks). Turn left to travel along the Margaree River to Margaree Harbour, or turn right onto the Cabot Trail, to Margaree Valley and Baddeck.)
2. The 2nd route is to take the Trans Canada Highway (#105) (approximately 77 km from the Canso Causeway) turn left onto the Cabot Trail at the Red Barn Restaurant and Gift Shop (at Nyanza). This picturesque drive will bring you by Lake O'Law and through the Margarees.
3. The 3rd access point is to take the Trans Canada Highway (#105) to St. Ann's and turn left onto the Cabot Trail (approximately 105 km from the Canso Causeway or 59 km from Sydney). This choice will take you counter-clockwise around the Cabot Trail. It will eventually result in a T junction. Turn left to travel towards Ingonish.
4. The fourth route is to take the Trans Canada Highway (#105) to the Englishtown Ferry turnoff (Route 312) (approximately 110 km from the Canso Causeway). Cross St. Ann's Bay on the Englishtown Ferry, this will eventually bring you to Ingonish and around the Cabot Trail, also in a counter-clockwise direction.
Whatever way is best for you, we assure you it will be worth the journey! First you must get to Cape Breton Island.
Cape Breton Island is linked to mainland Nova Scotia by the Canso Causeway, a mile-long road and railway system that is part of the Trans Canada Highway.
From Canada you can follow the Trans Canada Highway #2 to the Nova Scotia/New Brunswick border, then follow the Trans-Canada Highway #104 to Cape Breton Island.
From the United States you can follow Interstate 95 north to the US/New Brunswick border. Follow the Trans Canada Highway #2 to the Nova Scotia/New Brunswick border, and then follow the Trans Canada Highway #104 to Cape Breton Island.
Shuttle Services are available.
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From the US to Yarmouth, Nova Scotia
At Yarmouth, follow Highway #103 to Highway #102. Follow the #102 to the Trans Canada Highway #104, which leads to Cape Breton Island.
From Bar Harbor, Maine
For schedules and reservations, contact Bay Ferries Ltd., 1-888-249-7245. Tickets must be picked up one hour before sailing.
From Portland, Maine
Daily service from April 18 to November 6. Reservations required. In the US or Canada, call 1-888-249-7245.
From Saint John, New Brunswick to Digby, Nova Scotia
Follow the #101 to connect with the #102. Follow the #102 to connect with the Trans Canada Highway #104, which leads to Cape Breton Island. Daily service year round; reservations recommended. Call Bay Ferries Ltd., 1-888-249-7245.
From Prince Edward Island to Caribou, Nova Scotia
Follow the #106 to the #104. Follow the Trans Canada Highway #104 to Cape Breton Island. Daily service May through December. Call Northumberland Ferries Ltd., from Nova Scotia or Prince Edward Island, 1-800-565-0201. From all other areas, 1-902-566-3838.
From Newfoundland to Cape Breton Island
Port-aux-Basques to North Sydney, daily service year round. Argentia to North Sydney, three times weekly, June 22 to October. For reservations and schedules, call Marine Atlantic Reservations, 1-800-341-7981.
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The Sydney Airport is serviced daily by regular Air Nova flights via Halifax and on to New York, Boston, Montreal, Toronto and St. Johns. During high season, air service is supplemented with direct charter flights from Toronto, Ottawa, and Montreal to Sydney. Sydney Airport has several car rental kiosks for your convenience.
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