Solo in Cape Breton, Half 2: The Cabot Path & the Most Lovely Drive of My Life

The legendary Keltic Lodge in Cape Breton

The legendary Keltic Lodge in Cape Breton

That is second half in Georgie Jet’s two-part collection on her time on Cape Breton. See half 1 right here.

As I continued on my solo street journey from the west coast of Cape Breton‘s Ceilidh Path, I met the Cabot Path, the place steep cliffs jut out above a kaleidoscope of blues on the Atlantic Ocean. From Glenora Distillery (see half 1) I headed to Baddeck—proper on Bras d’or Lake—to soak up the native coloration and get some relaxation earlier than setting off to Ingonish and Keltic Lodge.

Welcome to the Cabot Trail

Welcome to the Cabot Path

I stayed in Baddeck on the Inverary Inn, a family-run resort good for household reunions on 11 acres on the chic Bras d’or Lake and an in depth stroll to city. On my first evening there, my Nova Scotian good friend Mark and I walked to the Bras d’or Yacht Membership to have a drink on the deck and revel in an off-the-cuff dinner from the Stand and Stuff Your Face (!) meals truck.

The yacht membership has an open-door coverage and jogged my memory of my time in Australia, the place yacht golf equipment are enjoyable social locations and never unique, snooty and members-only. Our dinner and Cape Breton ales have been dropped at us as we sat and admired the sundown over the Kidston Lighthouse and the unreal fantastic thing about the lake. Mark’s sirloin steak and spinach salad have been mammoth-sized and reported to be superb, as was my cup of Cape Breton seafood chowder and halibut fish sandwich (all for $30).

Baddeck Harbor

Baddeck Harbor

The following morning I loved breakfast on the inn after which headed off on the majestic Cabot Path, however not earlier than a cease on the vacationer centre for instructions, suggestions and maps.

Iron art on Artisan Trail (part of the Cabot Trail)

Iron artwork on Artisan Path (a part of the Cabot Path)

The east facet of the Cabot Path can be referred to as the Artisan Path for its focus of native makers and outlets. I used to be glad I had time to discover and cease in most of the artists’ outlets and houses. I visited an iron employee, a pewter store and an artwork gallery, all promoting work made solely on Cape Breton. There are such a lot of artisans on the path that I may have spent a number of extra hours exploring, however I used to be anxious to rise up to Cape Breton Highlands Nationwide Park and Keltic Lodge for an expertise of a lifetime.

The classic Keltic Lodge

The traditional Keltic Lodge

I wanted to buy a day cross to enter the park, which granted me entry to each the lodge and rocky Ingonish Seaside. At Ingonish Seaside, I inhaled the recent breeze coming off the Atlantic Ocean and was drawn to the big stones made spherical and clean by the pounding surf. I used to be tempted to take one house (however inspired to not as they act as a barrier for the dunes). I met many good those that day on the seaside, every one among them in a superb temper surrounded by the fantastic thing about the cliffs and the ocean. I actually consider within the energy of the ocean to appease the soul!

Corson House room, Keltic Lodge

Corson Home room, Keltic Lodge

The Keltic Lodge opened in 1951. In the present day, there are 120 rooms, some in the primary lodge and others in personal cottages or the newly constructed Corson Home, the place I used to be fortunate sufficient to remain.

View of Cape Smokey from Keltic Lodge

View of Cape Smokey from Keltic Lodge

My room had an open-air staircase to a loft with a queen-size mattress however since I used to be alone, I stayed within the luxurious floor stage suite, the place I had a view of the ocean and Cape Smokey, additionally a ski space. On my personal deck have been two traditional pink Adirondack chairs to match the pink roof of the primary lodge.

A Cape Breton ale at Keltic Lodge

A Cape Breton ale at Keltic Lodge

I finished in on the on-property Arduaine Restaurant for a neighborhood ale earlier than sauntering up the hill for an early reservation on the the Purple Thistle. The meal at Purple Thistle (which is a large eating room with giant home windows) was scrumptious, recent and usually Nova Scotian—from the appetizer of Digby scallops with flying fish caviar to the primary course of halibut with lobster.

Digby scallops served on slate at Purple Thistle

Digby scallops served on slate at Purple Thistle

After dinner there was a musical occasion referred to as a ceilidh (pronounced “kay-lee”) within the lounge (see half 1 fro extra on ceilidhs). Music is the guts and soul of the Cape Breton islanders, whose Scottish and French historical past merged to create the distinctive Cape Breton sound. There are ceilidhs each evening on the Keltic Lodge and elsewhere on Cape Breton!

Hiking Middle Head behind the Keltic Lodge

Mountain climbing Center Head behind the Keltic Lodge

The following morning, I loved a breakfast of scrumptious scrambled eggs, toast and low earlier than starting a hike behind the Keltic Lodge referred to as Center Head.

Iconic Keltic Lodge

Iconic Keltic Lodge

The 4km hike took me two hours to finish, and I used to be not alone for lengthy. I met a number of pairs and teams of hikers. It was a wonderful day full with a bluebird sky and musical birdsong, and ultimately probably the greatest hikes of my life. The views of the Atlantic Ocean and craggy cliffs have been spectacular.

View from the hike at Middle Head

View from the hike at Center Head

Later, once I left, I vowed to come back again quickly with my husband Cam in order that he may play the famend Highlands Hyperlinks golf course.

I drove north from Keltic Lodge alongside the Cabot Path unprepared for the uncooked, jaw-dropping magnificence that was to come back. It took about three hours to rigorously traverse the northeastern tip of Cape Breton to the highest to the northwestern half earlier than I landed in Chéticamp. Alongside the way in which I took within the loopy steep cliffs, the infinite Atlantic Ocean, rugged shoreline, and quite a few twists and turns. I finished at each viewpoint I may whereas paying shut consideration to my driving. Distracted driving will not be an possibility on the Cabot Path!

Harbor at Chéticamp, Cape Breton

Harbor at Chéticamp, Cape Breton

At Chéticamp, I used to be signed up for the guided sundown hike ($14 CND) alongside the Skyline Path, additionally inside Cape Breton Highlands Nationwide Park. The temperature had dropped 30ºF from what I’d skilled on the east coast, however I used to be ready with rain pants and jacket, a Skida hat and gator, gloves, smartwool socks, and climbing boots! The hike was not arduous, however information Courtney stopped usually to speak concerning the moose, coyote, and different fauna and flora. Two hours after setting off, we arrived on the boardwalk with the million-dollar view.

Skyline Trail at sunset

Skyline Path at sundown

As everybody took photos of the sundown, I made a decision to stroll again alone—or quite run again. Alongside the way in which I encountered a big moose! He was fairly taken with persevering with to eat however I snapped a couple of pics whereas my palms have been shaking from the chilly (and possibly I used to be a little bit bit nervous, too).

A moose on the Skyline Trail

A moose on the Skyline Path


That evening, a couple of hikers and I savored Acadian meals in Chéticamp at Le Gabriel. Whereas one other musician performed tunes, we ate fish and chips and drank native beer. My time in Chéticamp was manner too quick, as I left the following morning. I vowed to come back again to be taught concerning the French deportation within the 1700s on the museum Les Trois Pignons, see the rug hookers, and soak up extra of the Acadian tradition. I can’t wait!

Extra photographs:

Georgie Jet

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