The peaks of the hills and the swells of the coastal waves make the Cabot Trail seem like a bit of a heaven on earth. This trail is one of the most beautiful in Canada, and an absolute recommendation from yours truly. If you intend to see it, my best advice is to plan for at least three days, in order to see everything. Even that might not be enough time. Our plan? To see as much as we could in one day.
I don’t recommend trying to do the Cabot Trail in only one day, unless you are very pressed for time. While we did stop at several locations, some of them ended up being very rushed. Still, one day of the Cabot Trail is better than none at all.
The Cabot Trail is roughly 300 km, but there is plenty to see and do along the winding roads. This site offers great suggestions for itineraries and accommodations along the route, but for us, the itinerary was kept a secret by my aunt.
Our first real stop of the day – where we spent more than just ten or so minutes at a scenic look out – was at a beach whose name I sadly do not remember (and did not snag a picture of). It was a beautiful rocky beach, but the water was cold, even for July.
Although the Micmacs were the first people in the area, the trail is name for John Cabot, who first arrived in the 15th century. The region was colonized as people from various European nations arrived, seeking a new life in the west. Driving along and witnessing the natural beauty firsthand, it’s not hard to see why people settled here.
We only drove past The Keltic Lodge, but even that quick glimpse was enough to see it is a beautifully luxurious choice of accommodation along the trail. Its scenic and somewhat secluded location provides the perfect getaway, complete with a golf course, spa treatments, and various styles of room or cottage to choose from.
Our next true stop was Mary Ann Falls, and boy did I fall in love with the beautiful scenery. It’s about a 15 minute hike in, and there’s a fairly steep staircase, but the falls are beautiful.
My biggest – and frankly only – disappointment with our day on the Cabot Trail was that we didn’t have nearly enough time to spend at Mary Ann Falls. You can swim in the water, and even just being there felt relaxing. Still, we had spent more time at the earlier beach than we intended, and we still had one more stop before our mysterious pre-booked deadline stop.
Even knowing that our next stops would also be scenic and awesome, it was really hard to leave the falls. I definitely intend to return whenever I next make a trip on the Cabot Trail!
Our next stop comes hand in hand with a bit of a safety warning – Green Cove is beautiful, but can be deadly. People who have ventured too close to the rocky edge during times with high waves or strong wind have unfortunately fallen to their deaths. Still, as long as you’re careful, Green Cove is stunning and a great stop along the Cabot Trail.
As I said – just be careful. It’s a beautiful stop and it would be a shame to pass it up.
We arrived at our last stop and most – okay, all – of my frustration at spending hardly any time at Mary Ann Falls vanished. My aunt had booked us on a whale watching boat.
My excitement was high, but I tried to keep myself in check – I know how sightings can sometimes be infuriatingly minimal. We boarded, praying to whatever sea god would help us out that we would be lucky, and boy were we ever. We saw at least ten pilot whales, several of whom stayed close to our boat for most of the tour.
While these were hardly the total number we saw, I spent a lot time simply watching them swim without my camera in front of my face. They were graceful, adorable, and the baby in the group was incredibly playful – swimming under the boat and popping up on the other side.
My aunt had definitely saved the best for last, and I’m grateful we got there in time. The whole day was extremely fun, largely due to spending time with my family, but also simply for the pure beauty of Nova Scotia. It’s one of my favorite provinces in Canada, and certainly – thus far, at least – the most beautiful one I have laid eyes on.
If you find yourself out east, don’t pass up the Cabot Trail – you never know what adventures await!
Have you driven the Cabot Trail? Do you have a favorite stop?