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  • , Cape Breton Highlands National Park
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7 Best Look Offs Around the Cabot Trail (Virtual Tour)

Story by: Team Destination Cape Breton

It’s no wonder why the Cabot Trail is present on so many ‘World’s Best Drives‘. The trail is 298km with beautiful vistas, artisan shops, beaches, amazing cafes, mountains, hiking trails, wildlife (stops to catch breath), waterfalls and amazing coastline views!  There’s an age old debate on which way is the way to drive the Cabot Trail and we certainly have an opinion but we’d love to hear what is your favourite way to drive around the trail, clockwise or counterclockwise.

Cape Smokey Look Off

The spectacular climb up Cape Smokey allows you to see almost all the way to the south side of Cape Breton. The view here is best appreciated in the early morning so you can watch the sunrise over the Atlantic while you begin an amazing tour around the Cabot Trail. If you’re afraid of heights the drive up Smokey Mountain may not be your favourite part of the trail. Be sure to stop at the top to savour the view before continuing.

Lakies Head

Lakies Head look off is a simple, little spot but its beauty has been admired for ages. Feel free to enjoy the view from your car or get out and explore the headlands for a few minutes before you encounter your next favourite view.

Sunrise Look Off 

This view may be a lesser-known spot to enjoy a view but it’s one the best places to see Aspy Bay and the North Mountains all in one view. Pro tip: this view in the autumn is one of the best on the island.

North Mountain Look Off

Who doesn’t love freshly paved, winding highway climbing a mountain? The drive up North Mountain is one of the best parts of the Cabot Trail, especially due to the look offs. This mountain climb has 4 unique look offs with 1 in particular that steals the show. The Aspy Fault look off shows the incredible Acadian forest in the fault for 180º. This view is one of the best on the Trail.

MacKenzie Mountain Look Off

Not to be outdone by North Mountain, MacKenzie Mountain look offers a unique view of Pleasant Bay, Robert’s Mountain, Gampo Abbey and Pollet’s Cove.  Be sure to keep your eyes on the ocean as you’ll often see whale watching tours taking people from Pleasant Bay to look for pilot whales, seals and minke whales.

View of Skyline Trail from the Cabot Trail

Since you can’t actually drive on the Skyline Trail you can at least appreciate the view of the Skyline Trail from the Cabot Trail. Look to the top of the headland to see ant-sized hikers completing their hike. Also, if you have binoculars be sure to scan the side of the headland as you can often see black bears munching on berries.

Cap Rouge Look Off

Saving the best look off for last is a great way for your virtual tour to get better and better. This essential ‘Cabot Trail look off’ is found here and often packed with other visitors enjoying the view. This look off is best viewed for sunsets and selfies!

Team Destination Cape Breton 1

Team Destination Cape Breton

Our team at Destination Cape Breton is always exploring our beautiful island. We love discovering our hidden gems, working with partners and putting our island the pedestal it deserves!

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