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Cabot Trail - Why Counter clockwise? (just curious)

Northern NJ
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Cabot Trail - Why Counter clockwise? (just curious)

This is just a question out of curiosity. I noticed in many guidebooks and even here on the forums when discussing traveling the Cabot Trail it's almost always from Cheticamp to Sydney (counter clockwise).

We had planned to tour the trail in the opposite direction - I thought that would be the best way to go since it would mean that the coast line would always be on our side of the road and it seemed like we'd have better scenic driving that way.

Does it matter which direction the trail is traveled? Does one direction offer a better experience then the other or is it all just a matter of personal preference and itinerary?

Hubbards, Nova...
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1. Re: Cabot Trail - Why Counter clockwise? (just curious)

My family is originally from Cape Breton and every time we visited we always started on the Ingonish side and drove around to the Cheticamp side. It is definitely safer that way. It is so gorgeous there that your head is always twisted to the right and you are right, you do get a better view. It's also easier to pull over into the "viewing stations" for those special pictures.

Cape Breton Island...
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2. Re: Cabot Trail - Why Counter clockwise? (just curious)

Cheticamp to Sydney is clockwise and Sydney or Ingonish to Cheticamp is counter clockwise. We always went from Sydney to Ingonish to Pleasnat Bay then to Cheticamp and Margaree. which is counter clockwise.

Sydney
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3. Re: Cabot Trail - Why Counter clockwise? (just curious)

dexterdanny,

My wife and I operate a B&B in Sydney and virtually all of our guests over the last 10 years have done the cabot Trail - some clockwise, some counterclockwise and even some others have done it both ways. Personally I have done it several dozen times and have done it both ways and see little difference - both ways are great. My recommendation to my guests is to do the Cabot Trail either when you come onto the Island (ie before visiting the Sydney/Glace bay/Louisbourg area) in which case you would do it clockwise or after you visit the Sydney area in which case you would do it counterclockwise. Ii may sound silly, but I would base how I did it more on what I planned to do during the trip, particularly in the evenings. For example I may want to bve in the Sydney area for Tuesday night to see the men of the deeps perform at the Miner's Museum Theatre and I may want to be on the west coast of the Island to go to the Thursday night "Ceilidh" in Inverness. When I plan a trip for one of my guests I try to work it out so that they get full eventful days and great evening entertainment so that they can discover the true essence of the Cape Breton culture.

Cheers

Northern NJ
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4. Re: Cabot Trail - Why Counter clockwise? (just curious)

""Cheticamp to Sydney is clockwise and Sydney or Ingonish to Cheticamp is counter clockwise. We always went from Sydney to Ingonish to Pleasnat Bay then to Cheticamp and Margaree. which is counter clockwise.""

OUCH! Thanks for pointing that out....I can't believe I typed it backwards! That's what I get for sneaking in a little forum time and a post while at work :-)

Cape Breton Island...
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5. Re: Cabot Trail - Why Counter clockwise? (just curious)

Part of the puzzle relates to timing.

If you want to see a sunset on the water, then being on the Margaree side for the evening sunset is the best . If you want to find some of the fiddle music in the evening , then you are looking at locations like Mabou, Inverness, Margaree , Cheticamp, Baddeck and a few others.

So, the drive can be either way and certainly looping back a few times will give you a whole different view.

Counter clockwise is certainly less travelled , and likley you would not encounter buses and RV's near as much.

Best tell us your prefered destinations while on CB and then we can maybe refine the options.

Dartmouth, Canada
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6. Re: Cabot Trail - Why Counter clockwise? (just curious)

My wife insisits on clockwise. That puts her on the inside so she doesn't have to look over the steep sides. The point is moot as there are drop offs on both sides.

Cape Breton Island...
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7. Re: Cabot Trail - Why Counter clockwise? (just curious)

No problem "dexterndanny" now get back to work. Just kidding. LOL. Have a great trip.

Toronto, Canada
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8. Re: Cabot Trail - Why Counter clockwise? (just curious)

This is basically a repeat of a post that I put under attractions.

We were a little short on time and didn't have the time to spend several days on the Cabot Trail, which everyone agreed we should do. If you try to squeeze it one day it is very long especially as you want to stop so many places on the way.

What we ended up doing was booking a private tour through Tartan Tours in Sydney. Diane the owner, picked is up at 8:00 a.m. from our hotel in Sydney and we got back at 5:30. She was willing to stop anywhere that we wanted for pictures and knew all the best places.

She picked the best way to travel for pictures, the best viewpoints, gift shops, restaurants etc., although we realize there is some personal opinion. We would have been totally green and probably stopped everywhere.

We can from Sydney and missed the first access so I am sure that she went clockwise. She had a little cutoff that she took us around that she would have missed the other way I think and she said it was more picturesque at a couple of points.

My husband who would usually do the driving, was thrilled with the day as it was so relaxing. Diane, who is a bit of a character, had lots of information to give about the things we saw along the way as well as about life in Cape Breton. It was a thoroughly enjoyable day and a great option if you don't have as much time to spend on The Trail as you would like.

Sorry I am not adding much to the discussion about clockwise or counter as I don't remember all the details but I did think this was great place to post my recommendation for Tartan Tours, as it was a really great day.

-- Spriglet Today

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Sydney nova scotia
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9. Re: Cabot Trail - Why Counter clockwise? (just curious)

Diane From Tartan Tours in sydney always goes clock wise, unless her clients request to go the other way, have traveled with her before and shes quite knowledgeable about mostly everything on the Island. If you want true Cape Breton Hospitality Tartan Tours is the company to go with.

10. Re: Cabot Trail - Why Counter clockwise? (just curious)

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