cabot trail cape breton saint ann's harbour 2

Saint Ann's Harbour. Frankly, by the end of our day I was a little confused at what we were looking at. Or which way we were looking. But I was assured that this was Saint Ann's, and that what we saw at the beginning of the day was just another look at this water from a different angle.

The Cabot Trail makes a 185-mile (297-kilometer) loop around the eastern part of Cape Breton Island, passing in and out the Cape Breton Highlands National Park. It encircles almost the entire island, leaving off only the northeastern most points. Since Cape Breton–and all of Nova Scotia–is very narrow (an average of only 128 km wide) you are never far from the sea.

And, as the name suggests, the National Park is mostly mountainous. So as you drive in a counter clockwise direction from Baddeck, as we did, the various bodies of water that surround Nova Scotia are mostly on your right, and scenic mountain vistas on your left.

It's can be about an eight hour drive, if you take your time to stop for photos and the occasional walk on the various trails that are presented to you. And, of course, a lobster lunch at the Rusty Anchor overlooking Pleasant Bay.

We took that eight hours to make the round, with several quick stops for photos, and an interesting walk in the French Mountain Bog. Who knew a swamp could be so interesting?

Here are some of my photos from the drive, not necessarily in order.

cabot trail overlook wildflowers boat cape breton

Somewhere on the west side of the island. There was an overlook pullout, and so we took it. I love the framing of the dark sky, the wild flowers, and the boat speeding up the coast.

cabot trail pleasant bay cape breton

This is the aptly named Pleasant Bay, which is right outside the Rusty Anchor restaurant. At the Rusty Anchor you are paying a bit for this view, I must say. But the food was good.

cabot trail bog plants

A bit of detail from the French Mountain Bog. I love the reflectivity of the dark water.

cabot trail near Saint Ann 3

Just as we turned into the National Park near Saint Ann, we were presented with this postcard scene. I should print it up and sell it in the Cape Breton shops, don't you think?

cabot trail near Saint Ann 2

Near Saint Ann again. A small white outcropping and the reflections in the water stopped us in our tracks.

 

baddeck boats harbour

Baddeck Harbour. Our hotel was just on the water looking at this scene from the other direction. We walked around the cove to get this view of a lot of sterns.

alexander graham bell statue baddeck harbour

Baddeck was the summer home of Alexander Graham Bell and his wife, Mabel Hubbard Bell. There's a very nice museum about Bell in Baddeck that is well worth a visit. But I was charmed by this statue of the two of them seated on a bench overlooking the harbour. I also like that there are telephone poles and wires just behind them. Fitting, don't you think?

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