- Cabot Trail
- , Cape Breton Highlands National Park
- , Fall
- , Motorcycling
- , Spring
Clockwise or Counter Clockwise, Riders’ Choice
This is a huge debate. Keep in mind, 100% say going around both ways is the solution to the problem…
Some folks say it has better views one way over the other. I think some have had better experiences with weather or traffic and just credit the direction they were going that day. BMW forums suggest to always go counter-clockwise to enjoy the ride. My favourite way is Counter-clockwise. I love the climb at Cape Smokey, and if you go the other way, it is a slow rise up and fast downhill while standing on the brake. This is just my opinion.
But here’s a fact: Less tourists drive counter-clockwise. The reason is that to go this route, you have to pass a huge sign that reads “Cabot Trail – LEFT”. Most tourists go left and therefore complete the trail clockwise. If you pass that sign, 20 mins down the road is the entrance to go counter-clockwise. Because of this, I find you come up on RV’s way less if you travel counter clockwise. If I was your guide for one trip only, that’s the route we’d go. Lots of riders disagree with me, but that’s my two cents.
UPDATE! Since posting, I’ve opened a can of worms on this one! A 20-year veteran tour guide said he always went clockwise if the group only had one go-around. I don’t have that much experience, that’s for sure! One of the points he raised was that bikers seem to be early risers. If you go clockwise on the pretty drive to the trail, with perfect sunny weather you might see mist dance on the water between the Red Barn exit and the trail. It’s at a certain time when the sun comes over the mountains (or hills, if you’re from a true mountain range). I guess it is mind blowing – let us know if you see it.
For the first 5 years of hosting this site, I set up a survey on which way people preferred to ride the Trail. The results are as follows:
60% Counter Clockwise
22% No Preference
*Please note – the never argued, absolutely, guaranteed, correct way to enjoy the trail is to travel both ways.
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Shannon MacMullin is a Gàidhlig learner, singer and storyteller; a community educator, and the Cultural Experiences Co-ordinator at Baile nan Gàidheal | Highland Village. She loves dancing, making beauty in the world & bringing people together.