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Cape Breton offers breathtaking views and scenic drives throughout the island on its 5 trails. The Ceilidh and Cabot Trails run along the western coastline. The Bras d'Or Lakes Scenic Drive, Fleur-de-lis and Marconi Trails lead motorists and bikers along the eastern coast and around the Bras d'Or Lake in the center of the island.

The Cabot Trail makes a 185 mile winding loop around the Cape Breton Highlands National Park on the northern tip of the island.(13)

Cabot Trail The park has 26 hiking trails and many campgrounds. The park is an impressive 366 square mile area of protected wilderness.(14) Reaching a height of 1,800 feet, the Cape Breton Highlands National Park can claim the highest point in Nova Scotia.(15)

The Ceilidh Trail runs from the Canso Causeway, the deepest causeway in the world, along the western coast of the island for 67 miles until it meets the Cabot Trail.(15) The trail winds past Nova Scotia's largest freshwater lake, Lake Ainslie, and through the Mabou Highlands.

Wildlife imperiled

Two large oil companies have gotten licenses to begin drilling for oil on both coasts of Cape Breton Island. The unusual part is that the exploratory drilling will take place very near the shoreline potentially affecting the marine and bird life that makes its home there. The area is home to some of the richest lobster, crab and oyster fisheries.(16)

"The highest larval lobster density for any waters in North America, the best recovery of American plaice anywhere in eastern Canada, is in the middle of the oil company's lease."-Mary Gorman, a fisherman's wife and one of the most articulate opponents of the drilling.(16)

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© Amy Clendenin 2002
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Site last updated: November 2002