Cabot trail

Highlands Hostel - Cabot Trail - Your best place to stay

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Highlands Hostel

Call: 1-902-383-2371

We are open all year

We are open 12 months of the year,so you can take in the summer hiking and swimming plus The Celtic Colours,the skiing,snowshoeing , plus many other winter activities.

What you can expect in our all seasons back yard

We are often asked,"what can we do in Cape North", as guests often book an overnight stay on their journey around the Cabot Trail, but once settled in and hear of all the activities we have to offer they often scramble to secure 2 or 3 nights to take in the wonders of the North Highlands.

So be warned, book sufficient time to take in everything we have to offer in the Highlands, plus add a day to relax, maybe use our happy hammocks to relax and plan your next days adventures.

Hidden gems

Don't forget to ask us about the hidden gems that aren't on any visitors information, see the swimming hole and water slide video below.


  • Take in some late cross country skiing and snowshoeing
  • Enjoy the hikes before anyone else
  • Travel the trail without the traffic


  • Dining: Lobster/Snow crab
  • Learn how to cook and eat our crustaceans
  • Cook outs on our local beaches
  • Swim at our local beaches and our hidden water holes
  • Hiking: Over 30 world class hikes within an hour.
  • Local Biking and canoe rentals
  • Arts North takes you to our local beaches and teaches painting
  • Zip line: 2 minutes away zip line through the canopy
  • Whale watching
  • North Highlands Museum Thursday night concerts
  • Saturday Cape North farmers market
  • St Pauls light house museum

Our swimming hole 3 minutes away (Hidden gem)

Beach lobster feast 5 minutes away

One of our many beaches,minutes away (Hidden gem)

Just one of our hidden gems

After a days activities rest your weary body in one of our many Happy Hammocks.

Learn to cook lobster at the fire pit

Autumn (September-October)

  • Celtic colours
  • Celtic festivals
  • Hiking: Still time to take in some hikes before the snow


  • Cross country skiing
  • Snow shoeing
  • Ice fishing
  • Snowmobiling
  • Snuggle up in front of our large wood burning fire.

Summer hiking

Winter Snow shoeing

Highlands Hostel snowshoeing

Cycling the Trail

Then make us one of your stops

Aiden and Chandler spent the night with us on a 6 day tour of the Cabot Trail. Well rested,fed and entertained and now ready for the hills to Cheticamp.

Cycling friendly

Celtic Colours

Mother natures kaleidoscope of colours, late September-October, don't forget to take in the view from the top of our bell tower.

Stress relief - By nature.

We truly mean this, everybody is welcome at our family friendly house, backpackers, hikers, bikers, trail bike riders, it is for everybody looking for that place to stay they will call paradise at our Cabot Trail Hostel - The best pace to stay.

If like many you are trying to find a place to unwind and shed the year of stressful city and corporate life, then this is the place.

If you don't go back rejuvenated after a stay with us then we and the beautiful island we live on clearly have not done their job because there is nothing that comes close to the scenery in the Cape Breton Highlands National Park, the mountains are beautiful but what makes it even more majestic is on every turn you see the wide-open Atlantic Ocean. The mountains meet the ocean and along with the sound of the surf, it is breathtaking. There are great walking trails, beautiful sandy beaches (Black Brook is one), kayaking, and an unlimited number of outside activities. The towns and fishing villages along its way are unique and picturesque such as Cheticamp, Neil's Harbour and Ingonish. The Cabot Trail winds in and out of the park and it is a breathtaking drive in the fall when the leaves are changing colours.

So come for a stay and leave with memories that will last a lifetime or until your next visit.

Fresh Lobsters or snow crab cookout on our local beach

Fresh Lobster or snow crab (In season) beach boil here in the Cape Breton Highlands!!! These four lobsters were just a snack before we cooked six more for dinner!!!

Can you picture yourself here? On the beach or at our fire pit at the church.

Don't worry we will show you how to cook them and eat them.

When booking your bed ask if Lobster or snow crab are available fresh off the boat, you wont regret it.


Our Winter wonderland, on our back door step

Highlands Hostel snowshoeing
NHN snow shoeing

What do you think of us so far, did you remember to breathe, these pictures really do no justice to the magnitude of the scenery you will see on every corner you take, they will literally take your breath away.

cabot trail hostels

You may be lucky to be entertained by Shawn or Hugh and Hector

The rich history and breathtaking scenery of the Cabot Trail

The Cabot Trail, named one of the best road trips (185 miles - 298 KM) in the world by Lonely Planet, is a trail that winds through stunning landscapes, along the Margaree River, a Canadian Heritage Salmon River, and through spectacular rugged highlands of the Cape Breton Highlands National Park of Canada.

The history of the Cabot Trail is a long and interesting one. The trail was named after Italian explorer John Cabot (Giovanni Caboto) who reached our shores in 1497, sailing on a mission for King Henry VII of England. The name also celebrates the meeting of Cabot and the Mi'kmaq people, the original inhabitants of Cape Breton Island, at Aspy Bay over 500 years ago.

The Cabot Trail, completed in 1932, joined previously isolated fishing villages along an approximate 300 kilometre loop. Today the Cabot Trail connects eight major communities with intriguing histories, ranging from the Acadian Region to Irish and Scottish settlements. These vibrant communities are gateways to outdoor adventures and cultural festivals. Allow several days to explore and experience this magnificent area.

The Cabot Trail comes to life in the summer. Playing a round of golf or splashing in the surf, there is something for everyone. Wander the villages, hike the trails, enjoy the festivals and explore the living tradition that is unique to the communities along the Cabot Trail.

Still not convinced then check out Explore the Cabot Trail

A visit to the Cabot Trail is a multi-day (3-5 days) experience.

Enjoy our culture, our music, and countless outdoor activities. Participate in our festivals, our special musical events, the ceilidhs, and kitchen parties that happen all around the Cabot Trail. To replenish yourself, enjoy fabulous local seafood at our great restaurants.

Cape Breton Cabot trail hostel