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Author Topic: Best route in Nova Scotia from Baddeck to Cape Breton  (Read 823 times)

Lynne

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Best route in Nova Scotia from Baddeck to Cape Breton
« on: January 24, 2018, 10:47:24 AM »
My husband and I are planning a trip (from Florida) to New Brunswick (Bay of Fundy) then over to and loop around Nova Scotia up to Baddeck and Cape Breton then over to Prince Edward Island.  We travel in a 40ft Dutchstar with a Jeep Wrangler in tow!  I have found a pretty good RV blogger who have done most of this route and planned our trip after these folks who also travel in a 40ft rig

My question is what is the best route from Antigonish to Baddeck and then on up to Cape Breton Highland NP?  It looks like some of this is done on the Cabot Trail which I read has some pretty steep grades??

Also any thoughts or ideas on places or sights not to miss - we love National Parks, hiking, history, seashores - big cities not so much but will want to spend at least one day checking out Halifax.

I have reserved 6 nights at Chignecto Campground in Fundy NP (June 29-July 4) and 4 nights at Broad Cove CG Cape Breton NP July 21-24 - so basically we have 20 days between the two areas!

We appreciate any feedback any of you may have!

HappyWanderer

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Re: Best route in Nova Scotia from Baddeck to Cape Breton
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2018, 08:15:29 PM »
There are some locals who will probably chime in on specific routes on Cape Breton. You are correct that parts of the Cabot Trail aren't suitable for your RV and toad.

On PEI, we really enjoyed Twin Shores campground. As the name implies, the campground faces both the ocean side and bay side. We preferred the bay side; thought the view was better and was quieter.

If you have the time, Campobello Island is worth a visit. You could easily spend a day there. We were last in the Maritimes in 2010, and are planning to return next year.
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Rene T

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Re: Best route in Nova Scotia from Baddeck to Cape Breton
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2018, 03:19:57 AM »
HFX_CDN Lives in Halifax NS. He's the guy to contact. He's in FL right now and I know he's leaving for a extended trip soon and won't be back to FL till the end of February. In case he doesn't read this, you might want to PM him sometime today before he leaves. I'm going to see him today at a mini really we're hosting and I'll mention this to him.

I do know that you don't want to take your MH up the Cabot trail. Stay at a CG close by and use your toad. There are a couple of Good Sam Parks near the beginning.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2018, 03:54:43 AM by Rene T »
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Lynne

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Re: Best route in Nova Scotia from Baddeck to Cape Breton
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2018, 09:45:55 AM »
Thank you both for your replies which are very helpful to us!  I will try to contact HFX_CDN 

hoddinron

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Re: Best route in Nova Scotia from Baddeck to Cape Breton
« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2018, 11:36:53 AM »
We did the Maritimes last summer including PEI, Cape Breton, Lower Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland.

Coming from Maine - we went to Alma where the Bay of Fundy National Park is located, then took the bridge to PEI - stayed a week or so - then took the ferry to Nova Scotia.  There aren't that many roads once you get to Baddeck.  Locals can steer you right on traveling the highlands.  You can do the entire loop (Cabot Trail) in one day including a hike, a lunch stop and a dinner somewhere. N. Sydney is where we stayed (Arm of Gold Campground) before crossing to Newfoundland because it's only 5 minutes from the ferry terminal. Don't miss Fortress Louisbourg - 17th Century French fort with rein actors.

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docj

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Re: Best route in Nova Scotia from Baddeck to Cape Breton
« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2018, 01:32:20 PM »

I do know that you don't want to take your MH up the Cabot trail. Stay at a CG close by and use your toad. There are a couple of Good Sam Parks near the beginning.

With all due respect this is an over-generalization.  The majority of the Cabot Trail is fine; all of it is paved and most has reasonable grades.  There is a section near Ingonish with grades >20% but 10 years ago we did it with a 27' Class B+.   We did it back then because we didn't know any better, and I wouldn't recommend it to others, but it was doable.

As for places to stay, I recommend the Parks Canada campground at Cheticamp which is only a a couple of miles from the beginning of the Trail.  It has some full hookup sites and can be reserved online: https://reservation.pc.gc.ca/ChooseLanguage.aspx

Sandie & Joel

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Rene T

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Re: Best route in Nova Scotia from Baddeck to Cape Breton
« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2018, 03:44:34 PM »
With all due respect this is an over-generalization.  The majority of the Cabot Trail is fine; all of it is paved and most has reasonable grades.  There is a section near Ingonish with grades >20% but 10 years ago we did it with a 27' Class B+.   We did it back then because we didn't know any better, and I wouldn't recommend it to others, but it was doable.



The OP has a 40' MH. I would never do it. They have a toad so it would be much safer using the toad.
Rene, Lucille & co-pilot Buddy
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docj

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Re: Best route in Nova Scotia from Baddeck to Cape Breton
« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2018, 06:36:33 PM »
The OP has a 40' MH. I would never do it. They have a toad so it would be much safer using the toad.

I never said that I would recommend it for him.  What I was trying to do was to counter the impression from a previous post that the Cabot Trail might not be a good road, in general.  A statement had been that "I know you don't want to use your MH on the Trail" which I took as words which might cause others to think that the Trail is a "challenging" drive.  In fact it is a very good and pretty easy road with the specific exception of the grade near Ingnosh.  To get to the Parks Canada CG near Cheticamp you have to drive on a short section of the Trail; I sure wouldn't want someone to be afraid to do that.
Sandie & Joel

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Rene T

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Re: Best route in Nova Scotia from Baddeck to Cape Breton
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2018, 06:55:36 PM »
I agree, Cabot Trail is a beautiful road and very scenic. I believe it feels safer to go clockwise rather than counterclockwise. HFX_CDN, (Ed) will probably expand on that a little.
Rene, Lucille & co-pilot Buddy
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Hfx_Cdn

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Re: Best route in Nova Scotia from Baddeck to Cape Breton
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2018, 07:48:09 PM »
    Lynne, I received your PM, but will reply here as it leaves a better trail and others may wish to add comments or correct mistakes.  As for Antigonish to Baddeck, there is really only one way to go without adding hundreds of miles or taking poorly maintained back roads.  Take the Trans Canada Highway, and it is HWY 104 to the causeway and HWY 105 to Baddeck.
    Personally, I would recommend that you stay in Baddeck and use you toad to do the Cabot Trail.  There are a few steep grades, the worst being Cape Smokey, plus several sections with severe deep drops to the ocean.  So, if you do decide to take you coach, go around the Trail in a clockwise manner, placing you on the inside lane and going down Cape Smokey.  However, it is much more leisurely to use the toad, go counter clockwise and get to see better views of the scenery.  I've never stayed in Broad Cove CG, so I have no idea what it is like.
   While in Baddeck, visit the Alexander Graham Bell Museum.  If you are golfers, the links course at Ingonish Beach has consistently be listed in the to 100 courses in the world.  The recommendation to spend a day at Louisburg is bang on.  Don't short your time in NB or PEI, there is a lot to see and do in both provinces.  Fundy NP has some amazing hiking trails, and there are the Reversing Falls in Saint John, or Moncton's Tidal Bore & Magnetic Hill.
    Go onto each provinces tourist websites and get an idea of what there is, and ask any questions that come up.

Ed
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Lou Schneider

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Re: Best route in Nova Scotia from Baddeck to Cape Breton
« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2018, 11:03:44 PM »
X2 on the Alexander Graham Bell museum in Baddeck.  He was a prolific inventor his whole life and the telephone was only a byproduct of his early work with the deaf.  Afterwards he established a summer estate in Baddeck and did much of his later work there, thus the location of the museum. I went through there with a tour group several years ago and a several hour delay caused by a traffic accident between Truro and New Glasgow made us cut short our planned half day visit at the museum.  It's high on my list to return to the next time I'm in the area.

We were on a 40 ft. tour bus and it circumnavigated Cape Breton in a counter-clockwise direction, as Ed suggests.  But that was with a professional driver at the wheel who was familiar with the road, leaving the rest of us passengers to ooh and ahh at the scenery.  I also suggest leaving a large RV somewhere in the Baddeck/Sydney area and using the toad to tour the Cabot Trail.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2018, 11:34:10 PM by Lou Schneider »

Hfx_Cdn

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Re: Best route in Nova Scotia from Baddeck to Cape Breton
« Reply #11 on: January 26, 2018, 06:39:33 AM »
    I forgot to mention, as you are passing between the Causeway andBaddech, there is an Aboriginal Reservation , with the Bras D'Or Lake on your left.  You will see what many consider the best cultivated oysters anywhere, and there are signs directing you to places you can buy them.  So, it is a great place to pick up a bag, to take along for supper (dinner).

Ed
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Dave in Cape Breton

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Re: Best route in Nova Scotia from Baddeck to Cape Breton
« Reply #12 on: January 26, 2018, 12:29:59 PM »
As someone who lives in Cape Breton, I can say you've received some great advice. Add a stop at the Farmer's Daughter Country Market in Whycocomagh. It's about halfway between the Causeway and Baddeck; the baked goods are awesome and there's good variety in their menu. There's a convenient camp ground in Whycocomagh (Glenview Campground) and a good spot right on the southside of Whycocomagh Bay called the Timeout Campground.

kmaclac

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Re: Best route in Nova Scotia from Baddeck to Cape Breton
« Reply #13 on: January 26, 2018, 02:52:22 PM »
I am glad that this question was asked as Hubby and I are planning nearly the same trip this fall.  We are planning to start in NB right after Labour Day (yes I am Canadian if you are questioning the spelling) and with everything we have on our list to visit in NB PEI NS & NL the trip will be about 7 weeks in length.  So that leads me to my question.

When do the majority of the campgrounds close down for the season?

Thanks

Keran
Ontario, Canada

Keran
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docj

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Re: Best route in Nova Scotia from Baddeck to Cape Breton
« Reply #14 on: January 26, 2018, 04:27:28 PM »
I am glad that this question was asked as Hubby and I are planning nearly the same trip this fall.  We are planning to start in NB right after Labour Day (yes I am Canadian if you are questioning the spelling) and with everything we have on our list to visit in NB PEI NS & NL the trip will be about 7 weeks in length.  So that leads me to my question.

When do the majority of the campgrounds close down for the season?


I can't answer for the region as a whole, but I know that our favorite CG on PEI is open from Victoria Day through Labour Day

Since you're going to both PEI and NS, let me suggest that you try riding the ferry from eastern NS to PEI and then use the bridge back to New Brunswick when you leave.  The reason is that all transit to PEI is free--you pay only when leaving!  With an RV the ferry will be considerably more expensive than the bridge, but you pay nothing going to the island. 

The ferry is an interesting experience (especially for kids).  You can reserve a "slot" and for an RV that is important.  The trip is ~70 minutes plus loading and unloading time.  The ships are large and our granddaughter enjoyed having lunch and ice cream onboard a ship.

We love PEI and suggest that you do more than just go to the Anne of Green Gables National Historic Site.  Charlottetown is a neat town with lots of history.  We highly recommend a concert at the College of Piping and Celtic Performing Arts.  The Canadian National Potato Museum is definitely unique.  And be sure to attend at least one local ceilidh (pronounced "kay lee")
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Hfx_Cdn

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Re: Best route in Nova Scotia from Baddeck to Cape Breton
« Reply #15 on: January 27, 2018, 05:44:06 AM »
    I think you won't have any difficulty finding campgrounds open until after Thanksgiving (Canadian), although a lot do close earlier.  Cape Breton is reasonably busy until then with lots of fall colours, beautiful sunny days with highs of 15 to 20 C, but cool comfortable nights.  However, chethe 3 provincial Tourism websites to see what attractions are still open, not sure when places like Fortress Louisburg close, and even if open I would think their activities would be winding down since the university students head back to school.

Ed
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Rene T

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Re: Best route in Nova Scotia from Baddeck to Cape Breton
« Reply #16 on: January 27, 2018, 07:25:47 AM »
not sure when places like Fortress Louisburg close

We went there and found it to be very interesting. Don't miss it.
Rene, Lucille & co-pilot Buddy
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2011 Montana High Country 343RL
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kmaclac

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Re: Best route in Nova Scotia from Baddeck to Cape Breton
« Reply #17 on: January 27, 2018, 09:44:00 AM »
Thank you for the reply to my question.  I am really looking forward to this trip.  As with all of our holidays we will be spending a lot of time on the golf courses in the area.  Hubby is in charge of planning that aspect of the trip.  I get the sight seeing and where to stay detail. 
« Last Edit: January 27, 2018, 08:18:38 PM by kmaclac »
Keran
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Lynne

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Re: Best route in Nova Scotia from Baddeck to Cape Breton
« Reply #18 on: January 27, 2018, 02:01:57 PM »
Once again, thanks to all for some very helpful comments regarding roads and navigation!  We also certainly appreciate suggestions on sights not to miss!  Planning a great adventure like this from a computer is daunting - getting feedback from folks like you is invaluable! 

Hfx_Cdn

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Re: Best route in Nova Scotia from Baddeck to Cape Breton
« Reply #19 on: January 27, 2018, 02:56:24 PM »
Keran, he had better plan on staying a month or so.  The Links at Keltic Lodge has consistently been world ranked, and the 2 new courses at Cabot Links are ranked 9 and 43 in the world.  The course in Cheticamp while not ranked, is a great course, as is Bell Bay.  Each are well worth the time.  On your way to Cape Breton, a scenic diversion to Fox Harb'r along the Sunrise trail is an amazing course, oh by the way, the 2 courses at Montague PEI, next to the RV campground, and Crowbush are all excellent courses.

Ed
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kmaclac

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Re: Best route in Nova Scotia from Baddeck to Cape Breton
« Reply #20 on: January 27, 2018, 08:17:55 PM »
Well Ed, currently only Cheticamp and Montague are not on the list!  I guess thatís why the trip plans out to 7 weeks. We may have to extend to 8 weeks if he like those ones as well.
Keran
Ontario, Canada
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Frank Hurst

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Re: Best route in Nova Scotia from Baddeck to Cape Breton
« Reply #21 on: January 27, 2018, 10:59:42 PM »
We were like the blind pig finding the acorn. Went to Fortress Louisburg for their 400 year anniversary. Even if there is no special occasion it will be a great stop. Great road around Cape Benton. However, I agree on taking the car. Besides the inclines one would need to make several stops along the way.
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Hfx_Cdn

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Re: Best route in Nova Scotia from Baddeck to Cape Breton
« Reply #22 on: January 28, 2018, 01:45:46 PM »
   Here is the Fortress' website, they are open 9:30 till 4PM mid Oct to mid May.  It has been a few years, but I really liked both courses at Montague, they are not ball eaters like some others, but they are challenging.

Ed

http://www.pc.gc.ca/en/lhn-nhs/ns/louisbourg/visit/heures-hours
« Last Edit: January 28, 2018, 01:48:17 PM by Hfx_Cdn »
Ed & Donna
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bmaclac

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Re: Best route in Nova Scotia from Baddeck to Cape Breton
« Reply #23 on: January 28, 2018, 03:34:54 PM »
Thanks for the info Ed. Keranís hubby here. I had the 2 Brudenell courses on my list, but had them located in a different locale, Georgetown Realty, I believe. I thought I would play at least one of them. Also was looking at Le Portage, but with the number of courses and number of days, wondering how many we can play. If we play both Cabot courses, thinking about passing on Fox Harbír. Would be interested in your list if you could only play 6-7 of the NS courses.
Thanks.  Bill
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Hfx_Cdn

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Re: Best route in Nova Scotia from Baddeck to Cape Breton
« Reply #24 on: January 28, 2018, 07:40:57 PM »
     Bill, it depends on your level of play, and health, as the health of your pocket book.  There is no doubt that the best rated courses are the 2 links courses in Cape Breton, next would likely be Crowbush and.or Fox Harb'r.  Fox Creek in Moncton, NB along with Brudenell, Dundarave, (PEI) and Bell Bay, (Cape Breton), and Glenn Arbour, Halifax are all excellent challenging courses.  However, if you want picturesque relaxing courses, there are dozens throughout all Atlantic Canada.

Ed
Ed & Donna
Winter-Pinellas Park FL, Summer- Maritime Canada
2000 Coachmen Catalina 34' DP (owned 2004 to 2015)
2006 Jeep Liberty Toad

bmaclac

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Re: Best route in Nova Scotia from Baddeck to Cape Breton
« Reply #25 on: January 28, 2018, 08:29:18 PM »
Thanks Ed, Level of play is not bad, we are both struggling the last year or so, but wife is up to 10-12 and I am up to 6-7 handicap. All courses you listed were on my list with the exception of a Glenn Harbour, as had not thought of it.
Thanks
Bill Mac
London, Ontario
2018 FR Sunseeker 2500TS