One of the landmarks on the Cabot Trail is the Coastal Restaurant and Pub in Ingonish, the only place in the world where one can obtain the coveted Cabot Trail t-shirt (yes, we each got one after stopping there for an excellent breakfast):
After breakfast we continued north on the Trail, taking the suggested detour from Neil’s Harbor up through Smelt Brook in order to avoid a washout on the road. Upon returning to the Trail, we stopped to see the Crofter’s Hut, a reproduction of the shelters which Scottish shepherds once built to protect themselves (and their sheep!) from storms in the Scottish Highlands. This hut was built by a re-located Scotsman on land he then donated to the Cape Breton Highlands National Park:
We stopped in Pleasant Bay, hoping to go on a whale watch (one local described the oceans here as being “polluted” with them), but all three excursion companies had sold out as of 1PM. Anyone who really wants to experience a whale tour on the Cabot Trail is therefore well-advised to make reservations ahead.
The Trail continues from Pleasant Bay with spectacular views and unparalleled riding.
We made a stop to visit a highland bog and took several photos, although none with the iPad, so I can’t share them here — but there a number of fascinating plants growing there. We had hoped to see another moose, but a park employee was loudly assembling an outhouse near the parking lot, so with the hammering none were to be seen.
The highlight of the day for us was the Skyline trail, a five-mile long hike to a spectacular view of the ocean, the mountains and the Cabot Trail:
If you look carefully at the two photos above, you can see the Cabot Trail as it winds along French Mountain. Imagine what it’s like to ride it on a scooter! 🙂
After descending French Mountain, the Trail enters the village of Cheticamp, where we were fortunate to find lodging for the evening. Tomorrow’s agenda takes us back along the Cheilidh Trail to Port Hastings, and goodbye to Cape Breton Island. Then we point the scooters west for home!