Cape Breton and Quebec City

May 24th, 2005, 09:05 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 8
Cape Breton and Quebec City


My girlfriend and I will be travelling to QC and Cape Breton NS on June 9th. We have quite an itenerary: we are flying into QC Thursday night, staying @ the Auberge St-Antoine, Departing Sunday to Montreal airport (driving a rental car), arriving in Halifax that evening. There we pick up our second rental car and begin our tour of NS, focusing specifically on Cape Breton, and camping along the way. We have five full days, and we deaprt from Halifax 7:30am on 6/18 back to NY. Although we arrive in Halifax @ 7pm on 6/12, we will drive north to at least Iverness (4hrs), figuring a 11pm arrival (roughly). From there we go to Cheticamp one night, then Meat Cove, one night, then Ingonish one night, then Louisbourg one night and finally Halifax one night. We are the outdoors type and enjoy camping, hiking and kyaking, although this plan may be a little tight, we would like to get a few hikes in, the most scenic, of course, I was also wondering if we should opt to stay in White Point rather than Ingonish. Yes I understand the driving will be a bit much, but we are trying to do the majority of that in the begininig and end of the trip, giving us time to explore a little in between, we are very active and travel like this often. I hear the campsite at Meat Cove is great, we may modify this itenerary based on weather conditions, but we will most likley forego Baddeck, Halifax, the Bay of Fundy, and the changing of the tides,Peggys Cove, should we try to incorporate any of that in lieu of the itenerary outlined above? As you may have guessed we prefer the natural scenary and outdoors activities over visiting small towns and villages, but we are not opposed to visiting a few villages to absorbe some of the great culture of the area, we generally prefer less "touristy" places. Any reccomendations on campsites or good eats, would be appreciated as well, I have seen other posts and responses on the subject and the information provided has been very informative. Thanks in advance for your feedback.
onlyliveonce is offline  
May 25th, 2005, 02:29 AM
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 2,109
Meat Cove is great; just be prepared for wind and bugs. A strange combo I know!

klam_chowder is offline  
May 25th, 2005, 07:27 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
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Sounds like a great trip! I did not know that the campsites in NS opened that early! You must be very rugged b/c it is still very cold in mid June in Ingonish! Have fun & how about a trip report upon your return?
wow is offline  
May 25th, 2005, 08:13 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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my two cents...i'm going to cape breton for the first time this summer but i personally wouldn't want to move campsites that frequently. considering how beautiful the area is, i would rather double back and drive 45-60 minutes back to my campsite then set it up every night. i'd do two night cheticamp area, one night meat cove then two in either baddeck or around louisburg.
ltt is offline  
May 25th, 2005, 12:07 PM
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Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 8
Thanks for the feedback thus far,(klam) Meat Cove, wind and bugs huh, will make note of that, some of the campsites open late March, Meat Cove opens June 1, I do imagine it will be cool, and will pack accordingly, the best we can hope for is clear sunny days, and I will surely post a trip report upon our return (wow), point well taken (Itt), it did occur to me to set up camp like you have suggested, and I probably would if I knew exactly where the nicest areas are to hike(from a scenic perspective), so right now I thought it would be best to approach the trip this way, but be flexible enough to stay an extra day in an area we like, the good part is the campsites will not be crowded so we have some flexibility.
onlyliveonce is offline  
May 25th, 2005, 12:14 PM
Join Date: Apr 2005
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Hi! First suggestion, bring really really warm clothes. We (Nova Scotia) are having terrible, unseasonable weather this spring (lots of rain and cool temps). Hopefully that will change by the time you get here, but always better safe than sorry!

Just some thoughts. You itinerary looks very reasonable. Given what you say you are interested in, I'd pass on Peggy's Cove, etc. In any case, you don't have enough time. Don't worry about all the driving - it's not plain highway, and lots will be very scenic. You'd be hard pressed to find "touristy" in Cape Breton, so don't worry about going into towns and villages - it will still be off the beaten path compared to many other places. For your first night, Inverness is a reasonable distance if you don't mind night driving. I suggest to everyone that they really try to meet locals and get involved. Try to get to a ceilidh. The centuries old culture is really special. Your second day, from Inverness to Cheticamp, won't take long to drive. You might even consider just stopping in Cheticamp for lunch (and definitely check out Joe's Scarecrow Village - one of a kind!) and continuing on to Meat Cove for the night. Depending on how you like it there, base youself there and explore the entire extreme north of the island. You'll find completely secluded beaches, beautiful vistas, and incredibly isolated villages. From there to Ingonish is not very far, but make sure to take the scenic route (through Neil's Harbour) and not the highway. Louisbourg has a very different feel than the Highlands. Are you going there to see the Fortress? Nearby Main-a-Dieux, a tiny working fishing village, has a beautiful beach that is a great place to have mussle cookout. There is also a very gentle, easy walk through the woods next to the beach that has a really nice feel to it. To be honest I'm not sure of any campgrounds in the Louisbourg area, but I'll check into that for you.

For food: Do you like seafood. If so, you'll have the freshest ever at a little shack called the Chowder House, right on the docks in Neil's Harbour. Other than that.... ask locals when there!!

Just a word of caution - be careful on the roads. Unfortunately they are not in the best condition (potholes from many spring thaws).

Here's a website with links to some hikes and campsites:

Good luck with your planning and enjoy your trip!
ScotiaGirl is offline  
May 25th, 2005, 01:58 PM
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Join Date: May 2005
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Thanks ScotiaGirl, we will make a point to meet the locals and attend a ceilidh. Thanks for the update on the weather. I hope it will improve as well! Based on your recommendaton I will probably stay in Meat Cove two nights and pass through Cheticamp, we do intend to take the scenic route to Neil's and White Point, we even considered renting a small cottage for the night in that area instead of camping at Ingonish. We are going to Louisberg to see the fortress and village, and are camping at the Louisbourg Motorhome and RV park, in town. We love seafood, thanks for the reccomendations! What do you think about staying in the Neils-White Point area instead of Ingonish? Thanks for the road advisory as well.
onlyliveonce is offline  
May 26th, 2005, 11:43 AM
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 25
Neil's Harbour/White Point are both quite close to Ingonish in practical terms, and all are a relatively short drive from Meat Cove. So, why not check out both places in person, decide which suits you more, and stay there? White Point is definitely off the beaten track and very rural, but Ingonish is not exactly a metropolis itself! The good thing about the time of year you are coming is that you don't really have to book ahead - you can definitely wing it when you get here and go wherever you feel!
ScotiaGirl is offline  
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