Dan and Hannah Hike Cape George in Nova Scotia, Canada

Cape G 1 H and NS sign

Hannah and I have come to Nova Scotia to revisit the greatest physical challenge we have ever faced.  You might be thinking, Dan, you and Hannah have hiked the Pacific coast of Big Sur, the Tetons in the Rockies, and in each of the fourteen states of the Appalachian Trail.  Greatest challenge, really?  Oh, indeed it is!  Biking the 300 kilometres (190 miles) of the Cabot Trail in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia over the course of 3 ½ days took us out to lunch, made us pay, and then wiped the floor with us.  It’s also so true that I am really good at humble bragging!

Cape G map

Leaving friends Bill and Karen after an overnight in Fredericton, New Brunswick, we take the Trans-Canada Highway through New Brunswick into Nova Scotia.

Cape G map to cape g

Stopping at the Visitor Center, we learn from Caitlin of trails high above the north coast of Nova Scotia near Cape George that will satisfy our desire to both  hike and break up our day’s 400-mile drive to Cape Breton.

With well-marked signs, route 337 (Sunrise Highway) leads us to ample trailhead parking a half mile from the local lighthouse.  Always enamored with lighthouses, before hitting the trail, we check out Cape George Point.

Cape G 1A at lighthouse

Cape G 1B D at CG sign

Returning to the trailhead we find a grass trail through a meadow by the roadside.  It’s stunningly pleasant on our feet as if tended by royal groundskeepers with royal weed whackers.  Crossing the highway, we meander along this grassy path guided by orange circles spray-painted on the trees through the forest.

Cape G 2 grassy trail

Cape G 2A grassy trail and planks

Coming upon a rutted driveway to a newly-built home, we lose our way.  Clueless, as is often the case, we follow the rutted driveway back to the highway to no avail.  Retracing our steps, we climb back up the hill to finally see the saddest excuse for a signpost – a metal pole that displays but the slightest hint of orange.   You be the judge.

Cape G 3 driveway

Sidetracked on this so un-trail-like driveway


Cape G3A orange pull

Really!  You call that a decent trail marker!

Thankful to have found the trail once again, we return to our grassy path that gently caresses our feet as we hike the ridge line above the coast of Nova Scotia, pristine and bucolic.   Other than that one misstep, the trail is made for families and international, getaway lovers (i.e. Hannah and Dan).

Cape G 4A D at top better

Cape G 4B top

Retracing our steps after an hour, we return to the trailhead ready to drive the final two hours to our overnight in Baddeck, Nova Scotia.   Once there, we are lovingly embraced by Laverne Macrae, the B&B innkeeper who took us in five years ago.  At the time, we had no idea what challenges lay ahead for us biking the Cabot Trail.
Cape G map Cape G to Baddeck

Cape G 5 H and Laverne

Hannah and Laverne at her Baddeck Riverside B&B

Tomorrow, we’ll drive the entire Cabot Trail in one day.

Cape G map of CT

The Cabot Trail

20 thoughts on “Dan and Hannah Hike Cape George in Nova Scotia, Canada

  1. Jan and I were just wondering when we would see another epistle from Dan and Hannah! Enjoyed this one as usual. We enjoyed Nova Scotia a few years ago, though we didnt even bring our bikes. Baddock was one of our favorite stops. From there we did the Cabot trail, went to the Alex Graham Bell museum, the fort at Louisbourg, recreations of a Scottish homestead, and went to a Ceilidh (scottish/irish music show). Hope you enjoyed the fish and chips!

    We are now in Baileys Grove Wisconsin on a tour of Wisconsin, Michigan and maybe a bit of Minnesota.

    • Good afternoon Bob and Jan. Are you followers of my blog? When you go to any blog, you can see a link that says “follow.” Press “follow” and voila! No surprise that you have traveled far and wide. Cape Breton is a place we’ll want to return to again and again, even though it is 700 miles from York. I hope Dorian goes out to see and doesn’t pay coastal North Carolina a visit! Happy trails to you both.

  2. As much as I enjoy the Travel section of the Sunday NYTimes, I find your blog posts much more entertaining. Do you post these on Twitter? I’ll share them if you do.

    • Nova Scotia and its northern island, Cape Breton will take you back to 1950s Maine. Great trails in the Provincial Park that I’ll post about the weeks ahead. It’s Carol King beautiful (i,e. So Far Away)!

  3. Wow! You two can’t be over 50!!! Your stamina and your adventuresome spirits astound me. And wherever I go, I see many a folk who should at least walk around the block! I’m glad you’re writing about your “fun”!!! Pam was in Ouray (CO) over the week-end, hiking and biking. This week-end T, Pam and I will drive over to Long Beach to see Corey, Annie will fly after work. Cheers, d


    • Thanks for checking in. Three cheers for Pam letting no grass grow beneath her feet. And a road trip to California! Great to hear Corey is following his dream. Must have great grandparents!

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