Places in Cabot Trail & Cape Breton Highlands National Park
The northernmost road in Nova Scotia finishes at the steep, emerald coast of Meat Cove, 13km northwest of Bay St Lawrence (the last 7km of the road is gravel). As well as watching for frolicking whales in unbelievably clear water, keep an eye on the earth for orchids – some rare species here aren't found anywhere else in Nova Scotia.
A perfect base for exploring the park, Pleasant Bay is a carved-out bit of civilization hemmed in on all sides by wilderness. It's an active fishing harbor known for its whale-watching tours and Tibetan monastery. If you are in the area on Canada Day (July 1), try to be in the stands for the annual monks versus townspeople baseball game.
Cape Breton Highlands National Park
One-third of the Cabot Trail runs through this extensive park of woodland, tundra, bog and startling sea views. Established in 1936 and encompassing 20% of Cape Breton's landmass, it's the fancy feather in Nova Scotia's island cap. There are two park entrances: one at Chéticamp and one at Ingonish. Purchase an entry permit at either park entrance.
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