Things to do

Hike Pollett's Cove

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This trail is rated among the best hiking trails in Nova Scotia for it’s beauty and serenity...

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Hike Robert's Mountain

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This trail is one of Cape Breton's quiet one, as few people know about it, but it offers expansive  breathtaking views of Pleasant Bay...

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Visit Gampo Abbey

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Established in the 1980’s, Gampo Abbey Buddhist Monastery in draws students from international destinations to study...

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Take a Whale Tour

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 Pleasant Bay has been rated as the number one spot in the Atlantic to view whales, boasting a 98% sighting success!..

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Visit Whale Interpretive Centre

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 The Whale Interpretive Centre is located at the Pleasant Bay Harbour and was created as a community initiative to...

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Cabot Trail and National Park

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 Our cottages are located just off the Cabot Trail, minutes from the National Park, with more than 28 hiking trails ...

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Hit the Beach

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 Our favorite way to beat the heat is with trips to the beach.  The area boasts numerous beautiful beaches...

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ICE CREAM!

ICE CREAM!

 When it is too hot, we just stop everything we are doing and go out for an ice cream – why struggle, right? Cardinal...

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Historical Encounters

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 Across from the Cardinal Points gift shop, there is a small path that will take you to the graveyard of the area’s pioneers...

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Kayak

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 For those who enjoy an outdoor physical challenge, this is a must. In South Harbour....

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Eat

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There is lots of great food around these parts of the world – the best being had straight from the wharf at Pleasant Bay...

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Shop Local Artisans

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 Cape Breton is home to numerous artisans who have little shops outside their homes with their artful creations... 

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View Wildlife

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 The landscapes around our cottages are home to many forms of  wildlife including moose, deer, black bear, fox, lynx...

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Watch the Sunset

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 The sunsets are always breathtaking on the west side of the island.  Here are a few examples of what you might see... 

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Do Nothing

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The landscape is so beautiful.   Sometimes the best thing to do is just be.

POLLETT'S COVE

This trail is rated among the best hiking trails in Nova Scotia for it’s beauty and serenity. Until the early 1900’s Pollett’s Cove was a small fishing and farming community with a canning factory, school and many boat building shops. The century old coastal foot path will lead you to this old abandoned settlement nestled in a lush beachfront river valley where a few building foundations, and exquisite beauty remain. After the settlement was abandoned, local farmers continued to pasture their livestock there during the summer season. Today, horses add to the breathtaking beauty of the cove. We recommend taking a lunch, lots of bug spray and a bathing suit. Trail starts at the end of Red River Road.

Length: 19 km or 11.5 miles return

Hiking time 5-8 hours return

Elevation 0-366 meters or 0- 1200 feet

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ROBERT'S MOUNTAIN

This trail is a quiet one on Cape Breton, as few people know about it, but it offers expansive breathtaking views of Pleasant Bay's harbour, coastline, ocean and mountains from the treeless summit.  Though this hike is not a long, it is one of the moderately challenging things to do in Pleasant Bay.  Blueberries grow wild along the trail.   Roughly 2.5 km long, this hike should take you approximately 1 hour to complete.  You may park at the Pleasant Bay school, and then back track a few driveways to the long service path up the mountain.  One of Pleasant Bay's great attractions, not to be missed.

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GAMPO ABBEY BUDDHIST MONASTERY

Established in the 1980’s, the Gampo Abbey Buddhist Monastery in Red River draws students from international destinations to study and practice Buddhism in this very remote, rugged, and peaceful setting. Gampo Abbey sometimes offers guided tours of the monastery during the summer months, and always welcomes everyone to tour the grounds of the Abbey, and visit the Stupa of Enlightenment, which was built to represent the Buddha and to symbolize the Buddhist path. 


While at the Abbey, hike Gampo Latse also known as ‘the Jimmy’s Mountain’. This hike is not long or too challenging and is not to be missed. From the Gampo Abbey parking lot, follow signage that leads you up the mountain. There are breathtaking views along the way of the long coastline overlooking Pollett’s Cove. You can crawl into a little cave formed by massive rocks, visit two shrines along the ascent up the mountain and sit with a large Bodhi Sattva statue for a picnic. This is a great hike with kids as they’ll delight in the forest at the top of the mountain.

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TAKE A WHALE TOUR

Pleasant Bay has been rated as the number one spot in the Atlantic to view whales, boasting a 98% sighting success! There are 79 species of known cetaceans, sixteen of which inhabit the waters in Atlantic Canada. Long-Finned Pilot Whales, Minke Whales, Fin Whales, Harbour Porpoise, and White- Sided Dolphins are sighted frequently in Pleasant Bay. You may also see an Atlantic Right Whale, Humpback Whale, Sperm Whale, Northern Bottlenose Whale, Sei Whale, Beluga Whale and Blue Whale. Tour operators are located at the Pleasant Bay harbour, offering both fishing boat and zodiac tours. Tours depart several times per day from July-September. We highly recommend Captain Mark’s Whale tour, if this is on your list of things to do while you're in Cape Breton, as he has for many years had student researchers on board and his staff are very knowledgeable about the various species of cetaceans.

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VISIT THE WHALE INTERPRETIVE CENTRE

The Whale Interpretive Centre is located at the Pleasant Bay Harbour and was created as a community initiative to introduce Cape Breton's whale attractions to local residents, community organisations and tourists alike. One of the great things to do here, the Whale Centre is very informative and has a nice gift and book shop.  There are public washrooms available here to those visiting the harbour.


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TOUR THE CABOT TRAIL AND NATIONAL PARK

Our cottages are located just a few minutes off the world-famous Cabot Trail, and a few more minutes from the Cape Breton Highlands National Park, which borders Peasant Bay at both entry points, giving you the most central access to the Park.  There are miles and miles of scenery as well as hiking and walking trails to enjoy. The expansive park has 28 public trails, all of which are within a 60-minute drive of our cottages, and the most photographed section of the Cabot Trail is within a leisurely 40 min. drive through the park. Be sure to check out the Park's website regularly as there will be many scheduled events throughout the summer.  Trails will be busy, so we recommend starting early, and finishing up before the crowds arrive (Skyline Trail in particular). Our cottages are stocked with maps and details of these hikes.

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HIT THE BEACH

Our favorite way to beat the heat is with trips to the beach.  The area boasts numerous beautiful beaches, some very public, some only known to locals.  An excellent feature of our area's beaches is that most are quiet and serene, some offering both river and ocean swimming - meaning that you can always come away from the beach feeling clean and refreshed – not salty and in need of a shower. Each year our beaches are completely rearranged by spring storms, offering themselves as exceptionally clean perches for cold beverages, salty snacks and relaxin’ good times. Our beaches in Pleasant Bay all face west, meaning front row seats for sunsets. Nighttime bonfires and wiener roasts/lobster boils are an excellent compliment to star gazing – just don’t forget your flashlights for leaving the beach.  If there were one experience we would recommend you do not miss in Pleasant Bay, it's our beaches.

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ICE CREAM AT CARDINAL POINTS

When it is too hot, we just stop everything we are doing and go out for an ice cream – why struggle, right? Cardinal Points not only has a great selection of ice cream – but the biggest scoop around. Outside of the gift shop is a covered porch (in case your sweet tooth hits during a down pour) where you can lean back on comfy chairs and join a bit of idle chat with other travelers enjoying a similar moment of indulgence. The gift shop is very well stocked with a sense of humour and delight, full of things made locally and from afar. 

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VISIT THE PIONEER GRAVEYARD

Across from the Cardinal Points gift shop, there is a small path that will take you to the graveyard of the area’s original pioneers. The graveyard is situated right on the cliff, threatened by erosion. It is a remarkable look into the life once lived in such remote places, where tombstones mark the reality of the era – young children, and only a handful of surnames. Not at all solemn, this graveyard will leave you with an appreciation for the ease of life we live today. Do step carefully – while it is easy to be distracted by the beauty of the long grass and weathered stone, please be mindful that small birds build their nests on the ground in the tall grass of this seldom visited place.

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GO KAYAKING

For those who enjoy an outdoor physical challenge, this is a must. In South Harbour (beautiful place - terrain full of gypsum, coves and salt water marshes, about 45 minutes drive from our cottages through the National Park), there is a family operated kayaking outfit nestled right on the shores of South Harbour, offering kayak rentals as well as guided tours. If the weather is windy, it is not a problem because the river-cove where the adventure starts is sheltered from Atlantic winds and waves, and this body of water is large enough to explore for a few hours without going into the ocean. If you’ve been doubling up on protein bars, you can take a route out into the Atlantic Ocean for a more diverse paddle. Look for ‘Eagle North Canoe and Kayaking Rentals’. While on this side of the mountain, you can pick up fresh mussels and oysters on your way home for a lovely meal of local fare (look for “Hideaway Campground’ signs).

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EAT

When in doubt, eat. There is lots of great food around these parts of the world – the best being had straight from the wharf at Pleasant Bay Harbour, where catches of lobster and crab come in daily (except Sunday) when in season in May, June and July. A fabulous fish truck visits Cheticamp every Thursday late morning until 4-5 pm right on the main road across from the Royal Bank if you are interested in foodstuffs like salmon, scallops or fresh tuna steaks to cook at home. The Rusty Anchor Restaurant in Pleasant Bay serves a wide selection of fare, with a smile, and great views of the sunset.  The Doreyman, in Cheticamp every Saturday afternoon from 2-5pm always has the best of fiddle music - and fantastic burgers. The Timmons Store in Pleasant Bay sells hot dogs and buns (save on the food, splurge on the wine) if you want to get down and boogie and do a fireside roast on the Pleasant Bay Harbour beach (super easy access) and watch the sunset from there. We raise a few fresh veggies that we sell from our farm and at the farmers market in Cape North (Saturdays from 11-1pm), and if you’re looking for some fresh fare, give us a call, we might have what you need.

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SHOP

Cape Breton is home to numerous artisans who have little shops outside their homes with their artful creations lovingly displayed for sale.  You'll enjoy checking out their creations laced with humour, wit, charm and style, and dosed in talent and clever manipulation of natural materials found in abundance along the shorelines and deep in the forests of the island.  These shops mark true craftsmanship as you'll see evidence of hours spent on each piece for sale, carefully created with time and patience.  We encourage you to support these local artisans and take home a few of the treasures they offer for your self and your friends as token memories of your adventures and time spent here on n the island.

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VIEW WILDLIFE

 The landscapes around our cottages are home to many forms of  wildlife including moose, deer, black bear, fox, lynx, coyotes, martins,  bunnies, squirrels, and chipmunks.

There are over 200 species of birds on Cape Breton Island  including hummingbirds, songbirds, bald eagles, hawks, owls, cranes,  puffins, and diving gannets. 

Pleasant Bay is the whale watching capital of Atlantic Canada.   Humpback, fin, pilot, minke, orca, right, blue and beluga whales,  white-sided and common dolphins, tuna and sun fish, seals, basking  shark, and leatherback turtles frequent the area. 

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WATCH THE SUNSET

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The sunsets are always breathtaking on the west side of the island.  Here are a few examples of what you might see...

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