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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