Things to do in Northern Cape Breton

The Top of the Island

Moose: They're always a part of our hikes...and our lives | Photo by Sea Spray Outdoor Adventures

Moose: They’re always a part of our hikes…and our lives | Photo by Sea Spray Outdoor Adventures

The region from Neils’s Harbour to Meat Cove is an area that offers outdoor enthusiasts a myriad of activities that allow them to experience first hand the rugged beauty for which northern Cape Breton is deservedly famous. Moreover, these activities are not reserved for the elite adventurer, but may be pursued and enjoyed by visitors with a wide variety of fitness levels.

Full day custom-designed coastal hike | Photo by Sea Spray Outdoor Adventures

Full day custom-designed coastal hike | Photo by Sea Spray Outdoor Adventures

Tours – Whale watching, hiking, cycling.

Whale watching tours, hiking, cycling, and beach walking experiences all await visitors, and all may be pursued at varying levels of intensity and duration. Visitors seeking self-directed hiking, cycling or walking experiences will find maps and services available within the National Park visitor information centers. Those seeking guided outings, whale tours or cycle or kayak rental services will find private operators skilled in matching outings to ability levels or providing well-maintained equipment for rent.


Most importantly, however, is the fact that this region is the heart of the truly spectacular “mountains meeting the sea” scenery so visitors seeking outdoor adventures not only find quality activities here, but also receive the added benefit of pursuing those activities in a magnificent setting.

Peruse our various Outdoors categories on our scroll down list to see the opportunities the region offers.


A good thumbnail description of the environment of northern Cape Breton can be found at and at The environment to which the information refers includes the Top of the Island region…in fact, at the Top of the Island much of what is explained on the Park web page is most evident. Not only are the environmental attractions at their best here, but the whale watching, hiking, cycling or kayaking tours provided by various operators allow visitors to truly immerse themselves in this environment. Visitors can also join boat tours and get a different perspective. Seeing this magnificently mountainous shoreline from the water will surely add to the wonder of Cape Breton. It is during such outings that guests experience the flora and fauna that simply doesn’t exist in such plenitude in other regions.


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Angie’s Family Restaurant
29329 Cabot Trail Cape North , Nova Scotia Phone: 1-902-383-2531
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Angie’s Family Restaurant is the only licensed, air conditioned restaurant in Cape North, Nova Scotia. Offering a full menu that includes traditional favorites, pizza, daily specials and shellfish. The lobsters we serve are locally caught in villages around Northern Cape Breton both on and off the Cabot Trail. Please come to enjoy a meal and the views.

Aspy Bay Oysters
401 Shore Road South Harbour , Nova Scotia B0C 1G0 Phone: 1-902-383-2116 Fax: 1-902-383-2701
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Come enjoy world-famous Aspy Bay Oysters at the Hideaway Campground. Come sit a bit and we will shuck your oysters while offering an assortment of condiments. We are a licensed in case you want a cold beer, or if you simply want more seafood we offer locally caught Lobster and Snow Crab when in season. Eat in or take out, we welcome you to stay with us at Hideaway, or just stop in for some food and relax while you are out exploring the Top of the Island.

Bay St. Lawrence Victoria Co-op Fisheries
3374 Bay St. Lawrence Road Bay St. Lawrence , NS Canada Phone: 1-902-383-2547
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Fresh Nova Scotia lobster and Cape Breton Snow crab when in season. Fresh-frozen scallops, lobster and snow crab available on site. Our hours vary, so please call ahead to verify we’re open 902-383-2547.

But if you don’t feel like calling, take a chance and drive the Cabot Trail to Bay St. Lawrence with your camera at the ready, you will be amazed at the vistas and viewscapes you see on the way.

Cabot Trail Food Market
29359 Cabot Trail Cape North , Nova Scotia Phone: 1-902-383-2677
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Largest independent grocery store in Cape North, Nova Scotia. We offer groceries, deli, meat, fresh produce, camping supplies, daily specials and a good cup of coffee. We are open year-round and also serve ice cream, pizza and take-out food: perfect to take back to your lodging or campsite.

Cabot Trail Outdoor Adventures
Fax: 1-888-616-1689
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Year round guided experiences in the spectacular wilderness settings of Northern Nova Scotia. Hiking, paddling, cycling, snowshoeing and ski tours for all ages and abilities. Lets explore the Cabot Trail together.

Cape North Farmers’ Market
60 Bay St. Lawrence Road Cape North , Nova Scotia Phone: 1-902-383-2198
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The Cape North Farmer’s Market offers a Market Cafe, live music by local talent, organic produce, local crafts, home baking, and original art by local artists. Join us every Saturday from 10 am to 1 pm when the doors to the Cape North Firehall open to most down-home Market on the Cabot Trail. Remember, admission to the market, like Cape Breton hospitality, is free.


Capt. Cox’s Whale and Bird Watch
Bay St Lawrence Wharf Cape Breton Island , Phone: 902 383 2981 Phone: 888 346 5556
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Most experienced whale captain in Cape Breton shows you a variety of whales also 250 million year old rock formations, lighthouses, seals, seabirds, bears and eagles.

Central Co-op
2964 Bay St. Lawrence Road St. Margaret's Village , Nova Scotia Phone: 1-902-383-2470
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Non-member welcome! We serve the community as a grocery store and a general store. Get your groceries, supplies for camping, motor oil and everything you need while in Northern Cape Breton. We also stock beer, liquor and a small selection of wine to enjoy while watching a beautiful sunset over the sea-bound highlands at the Top of the Island.

Chowder House
91 Lighthouse Rd. Neil's Harbour , Nova Scotia Phone: 1-902-336-2463
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Eat in a picturesque setting with ocean and cliffs on three sides, while gazing at one of the island’s most beautiful lighthouses. We have a full menu, fresh seafood and are proud to brag about our famous seafood chowder. Stop by, try the chowder and let us know how much you like it.

Country Crafts & Pottery Outlet
3071 Cabot Trail South Harbour , Nova Scotia Phone: 1-902-383-2933
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Country Crafts offer a unique country experience on the northern portion of the Cabot Trail. We have the largest inventory of fishermen knit sweaters, quilts, pottery, jewelry, local art, tartan blankets and much more.

Cranberry Patch Fine Arts & Gifts
27742 Cabot Trail , Nova Scotia Phone: 1-902-383-2933
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Visit our uniquely designed octagon shop just as you leave the Cape Breton Highlands National Park. We feature Pottery, Quilts, Blown Glass, Knitwear, Leather, Jewelry and so much more.

Dixon’s Zodiac SeaFari
36 Lighthouse Road Neil's Harbour , NS Canada Phone: 1-855-259-4122
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Nestled in the northeast corner of Cape Breton Island lies the quaint fishing village of Neil’s Harbour. Just two minutes off of the Cabot Trail, let the lighthouse guide you to Dixon’s Zodiac Seafari. Come ride the hurricane on your Nova Scotia Vacation.

Eagle North Canoe and Kayak: Rentals and Tours
299 Shore Rd Dingwall , Nova Scotia B0C1G0 Phone: 1-902-383-2552 Phone: 1-888-616-1689 Fax: 1-902-383-2550
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Eagle North offers the best canoe and kayaking experience for families, beginners, or adventures! Explore salt marshes, beaches, coves and oyster beds. See eagles, seabirds and moose! Kayaking/hiking tours or kayak rentals in the Northern waterways and Highlands of the Cabot Trail.

Hatcher Anderson Pharmasave
247 New Haven Road Neil's Harbour , NS B0C1NO Phone: 1-902-336-2398
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Hatcher Anderson Pharmsave is a locally owned and operated pharmacy operating in beautiful Neil’s Harbour on an alternate scenic route of the Cabot Trail.

Market Cafe
60 Bay St. Lawrence Road Cape North , Phone: 1-902-383-2198
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Come to the Cape North Farmers’ Market at the apex of the Cabot Trail and have a bite at the Market Cafe. Vendors vary from week to week, but the authenticity stays the same and keeps locals coming back.  As any traveler knows, the places where the locals hang out, are the places where  you want to stop. Hours are 10 am to 1 pm, every Saturday. Admission to the Market is free, and best of all, there is live music by local musicians.

Meat Cove Outfitters
Meat Cove Road , Phone: 902 383 2512 Phone: 902 383 2382
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With 25 years of commitment and experience in guiding, Meat Cove Outfitters is the best choice for your guided, hunting experience in Northern Cape Breton, Nova Scotia at the top of the Cabot Trail. Let us take you on a wonderful hunting experience in the wonderful highlands, our backyard, our home.

Meat Cove Welcome Centre
2149 Meat Cove , Phone: 1-902-383-2844
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Stop in and have a bite to eat and a chat at The Meat Cove Welcome Centre. Proudly run by local residents, this Welcome Centre is a favourite of locals and visitors as its menu caters to both local and vacationer tastes.

If you are interested in Hiking on the many wonderful trails of Meat Cove, then be sure to inquire at the Welcome Centre for hiking information. The staff at the centre pioneered many of the trails in the area and are happy to direct you on your hiking adventure.

Neil’s Harbour Co-op
242 New Haven Rd. Neil's Harbour , Nova Scotia Phone: 1-902-336-2827
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The Neil’s Harbour co-op is proud to offer a quality meat and produce. We also sell camping supplies and lots of general goods. Remember: non-members are welcome, so please stop in for all your needs and don’t forget we carry a variety of liquor for those calm, relaxing Northern Cape Breton evenings.

Neil’s Harbour Victoria Co-op Fisheries
247 New Haven Road Neil's Harbour , NS Phone: 1-902-336-2231 Phone: 1-902-336-2451
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Fresh Nova Scotia Snow Crab and Cape Breton Lobster when in season. Fresh-frozen lobster, snow crab and scallops available on site. Our hours vary, so please call ahead to verify we’re open 902-336-2451 or 902-336-2231

The drive on the Cabot Trail alternate scenic route via Neil’s Harbour, White Point, New Haven and Smelt Brook is an added bonus to the delicious seafood we have available. Don’t forgot to stop at our famous lighthouse!

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