The "Top of the Island"
At this point, you will likely find yourself close to what the locals call the “top of the Island.” Have you ever ordered an ice cream in a lighthouse? Check out the Lighthouse Ice Cream Parlour in Neil's Harbour.
Head up to this remote and pristine area, not officially part of the Cabot Trail but worth the trip — especially if it’s not “marking rain.” Raw, unblemished and definitely memorable, this area features everything from the Cabot’s Landing Heritage Site to Meat Cove (where the pavement ends, and the scenery is breathtaking).
Early afternoon you’ll re-enter the National Park. Keep an eye open for the Lone Shieling, a replica of a Scottish crofter's hut. Here, you can hike one of the oldest growth forests in Nova Scotia.
At this point you should be getting close to Pleasant Bay — watch out for moose! In the summer, you can tour the Western Buddhist monastery called Gampo Abbey.