About The Cabot Trail

A Rich History and Breathtaking Scenery

Map of the Cabot Trail, Cape Breton Island, Nova ScotiaThe Cabot Trail, named one of the best road trips in the world by Lonely Planet, is a trail that winds through stunning landscapes, along the Margaree River, a Canadian Heritage Salmon River, and through spectacular rugged highlands of the Cape Breton Highlands National Park of Canada.

The history of the Cabot Trail is a long and interesting one. The trail was named after Italian explorer John Cabot (Giovanni Caboto) who reached our shores in 1497, sailing on a mission for King Henry VII of England. The name also celebrates the meeting of Cabot and the Mi'kmaq people, the original inhabitants of Cape Breton Island, at Aspy Bay over 500 years ago.

The Cabot Trail, completed in 1932, joined previously isolated fishing villages along an approximate 300 kilometre loop. Today the Cabot Trail connects eight major communities with intriguing histories, ranging from the Acadian Region to Irish and Scottish settlements. These vibrant communities are gateways to outdoor adventures and cultural festivals. Allow several days to explore and experience this magnificant area.

Seasons Along The Cabot Trail

The spring season is a time of awakening; the sea ice moves off shore, the hiking trails are cleared of snow. The colourful buoys and traps are stacked high on the wharves in preparation for the lobster and crab seasons.

The Cabot Trail comes to life in the summer. Playing a round of golf or splashing in the surf, there is something for everyone. Wander the villages, hike the trails, enjoy the festivals and explore the living tradition that is unique to the communities along the Cabot Trail.

The autumn colours are spectacular along the Cabot Trail, with activities set against a colourful palette of orange, yellow, gold, and red. Enjoy the Celtic Colours International Festival that is a gathering place for hundreds of musicians in October.

The Cabot Trail in winter promises its visitors many adventures. Try snowmobiling on the beautiful, well-tended Highland trails. Challenge yourself on the groomed cross country skiing trails of North Highlands Nordic Centre, or try Telemark skiing at Ski Tuonela in Goose Cove. There's magnificent downhill skiing at Ski Cape Smokey. Snowshoes open up a world of discovery for adventures along the shores or through the woods of Cape Breton Highlands National Park.