Ceilidh Coastal Trail – Post 1 of 2

July 22, 2019

Monday I headed east from New Glasgow and crossed a bridge onto Cape Breton Island.

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Cape Breton (pronounced BRETT-on) Island covers almost 4,000 square miles, making up roughly 18% of the total area of Nova Scotia.  Most of the province is a peninsula attached to the southeast portion of New Brunswick.  Cape Breton Island extends northeast from the peninsula.

After coming east from New Glasgow on TCH-104, the scenic route I drove on Monday began in the southwest corner of the island, on Highway 19 (aka the Ceilidh Coastal Trail).  A Ceilidh (pronounced KAY-lee) is a social event comprised of Scottish or Irish folk music, singing, traditional dancing and storytelling.

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In Canada what we in the US call a scenic overlook is referred to as a “look-off”.  I stopped at this one shortly after I started driving north.

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This was looking back towards the way I came over from New Glasgow.  The mainland juts out to the right on the horizon

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Next up, the little town of Judique – with a musical history.

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This is the Celtic Music Interpretive Centre in Judique.

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This was a little park & walking trail just past Judique.  Note that the bicycle rack is in the shape of music notes.

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This was a map near the walking trail showing the island and the three main components I would be seeing during today’s drive, the Ceilidh Trail (inside the box), The Cabot Trail which I would drive the majority of next, and Cape Breton Highlands Park near the top of the island.  I will be driving all the way out to Meat Cove at the northern tip on Tuesday.

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This was the view of an island a short ways offshore, looking west near Port Hood.

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And further up the road I started seeing mountains.  The island becomes more mountainous as you drive north.

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Ceilidh Coastal Trail – Post 2 of 2

July 22, 2019

Continuing on up the west coast of Cape Breton Island this was near the town of Mabou:

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Further up the road were these two small abandoned houses.  A man was mowing the yard with a large John Deere tractor but conveniently drove behind the house on the left as I was preparing to take the photo.

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Next up, a little town of Inverness.  This is their harbor, located on MacIsaac’s Pond on the south side of town.

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As you can see, this is their Visitor Center.

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Further up the road I saw a dirt road leading left off the highway up to a graveyard on a hill overlooking the water to the west and the town of Whale Cove looking east towards the road:

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Looking south:

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Looking north:

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This was taken with the digital camera, zoomed in towards the area seen on the left side of the photo above.  The mountains in the distance will include Cape Breton Highlands National Park.

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This the view driving in to Margaree Forks on Route 19, the Ceilidh Coastal Trail.  That highway ends here and I will turn left onto another road.

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And this is the view after the bridge carrying the other highway on up the coast towards the Park.  That highway doesn’t have a number but is called The Cabot Trail and makes a huge loop.  If you look closely you’ll see two kayakers to the right of the bridge.

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I will continue posting tomorrow starting with The Cabot Trail and continuing on into Cape Breton Highlands National Park.  I took over 320 photos today and need a little time to sort through them all.  I drove the Cabot Trail clockwise today and plan to drive it the other direction on Tuesday.  Unfortunately it looks like the next two days may be rainy so I’m glad I got some fairly good pictures today.

Antigonish, Nova Scotia

July 21, 2019

My short scenic drive Sunday ended in this little inland town (pronounced anta-goNISH) not far from the bridge which will take me over to Cape Breton Island tomorrow.

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I finally found some plaid!!

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I was hoping to drive a little further today but there were thunderboomies approaching from the west so I hopped on TCH-104 and scooted back over to New Glasgow, arriving there shortly before the rain let loose.  The storms were with a cold front which would lower the temperature and humidity.  The heat wave which has affected much of the eastern US made it up here too, though not quite as bad.  My two days in New Glasgow reached the mid to upper 80’s in the afternoon, somewhat unusual for this area.