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Driving Up Smokey Mountain On The Cabot Trail Cape Breton, Nova Scotia

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Driving Up Smokey Mountain On The Cabot Trail Cape Breton, Nova Scotia

Smokey Mountain is one of the most stunning locations on the Cabot Trail, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia and something all visitors in Nova Scotia should take the time to see at least once. As the highest peak that you’ll drive over on the way to Ingonish, you’ll be in the perfect position driving up Smokey Mountain to encounter sheer cliffs to the sea on one side, and beautiful natural scenery on the other.

Though driving up Smokey Mountain can feel a little nerve-wracking at first, it’s definitely worth the trip. Once you reach the top of the mountain, you’ll discover the provincial park entrance on the right, and you can spot the Nova Scotia flag fluttering in front of you too! (See video below)

Exploring Cape Smokey

When you drive into the top of the mountain, take a second to find a space to park, and tighten your shoelaces before you head into the trail. The entrance is framed by a wooden arch, and there are plenty of washrooms and picnic tables around if you happen to turn up right in time for lunch.

You can choose to either hike, or ride through the Cape Smokey trail, but be warned that it’s a pretty challenging adventure. If you’re not a very strong mountain bike rider, then make sure that you stick to the path instead. For the average hiker, this winding trail will take you to some incredible views and stunning sights from the cliff tops. If it’s clear enough, you should be able to see Igonish Island and

Middlehead through the gaps in the cloud.

If you feel confident enough to look down, you can watch the waves crash against the rocks below for a few moments, while you catch your breath, before you head back into the adventure. Keep in mind that the track is reserved for hikers only on a weekend.

Making the Most of Smokey Mountain

The drive up to Smokey Mountain is simple enough if you follow the Cabot Trail, however, I’d recommend that you avoid going at the weekend if you want to make sure that you get the most out of your trip. Usually, Saturdays and Sundays are the days that get the most foot traffic, and you might find yourself struggling to overcome the traffic.

Remember to keep an eye out for the local wild life too, there are some reports of Bobcat and Coyotes in the highlands, so be on high alert.

Have you driven the Cabot Trail and seen some of the stunning views?  Let us know in the comments your experience!

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14 Comments

  1. Stacie @ Divine Lifestyle says

    What a gorgeous place. I can’t get over how beautiful the mountains are. I’d love to road trip that trail.

  2. Bill Sweeney says

    That would be an amazing road trip. The beauty of nature is one of the best things you can experience or share with your family.

  3. Maureen says

    This is just really awesome. What a fun drive up Smokey Mountain. The cabot trail looks like a wonderful drive to take. Glad you shared your experience with us.

  4. Meagan says

    That looks like an amazing trip. I really miss the mountains.

  5. Jeanine says

    So gorgeous! I’ve only ever been to Nova Scotia once but think it would be amazing to go for a road trip around!

  6. Pam says

    Sounds like an awesome road trip. I love going on scenic drives. I’ve heard Nova Scotia has beautiful scenery.

  7. Kelly Hutchinson says

    One of my favorite parts of a road trip is the gorgeous scenery. We have The Great Smoky Mountains here!

  8. Jocelyn @ Hip Mama's Place says

    It’s really breathtaking and it’s worth the trip for sure. I agree about not going there on the weekend. I always make sure to schedule trips on a weekday because that means less people especially when you’re with the kids.

  9. Carol Cassara says

    I’ve always wanted to go there because it’s so beautiful. I really appreciate this guide of yours! The view from the top is just stunning!

  10. Theresa says

    What an amazing drive that must be. The spectacular views going through and again at the top would be so worth the trip!

  11. travel blogger says

    These are great tips! My husband and I have been considering going to the Smokey Mountains. I think we will finally have the time and money this fall. It looks so spectacular, I have got to see it!

  12. Crystal says

    Definitely on my bucket list! The mountains call to me. I just adore being immersed in them.

  13. Dogvills says

    Wow. The views are spectacular! I would love to visit someday! I can’t believe the ascent, 725 ft in 1.3 miles of road! Cabot Trail is just awesome!

  14. adriana says

    Oh that view is so amazing! Wow! I’d love to visit one day – I can only imagine it’s beauty in the fall with all of the pretty colored leaves! Loving it!

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