2014  HIKING, CYCLING,

& RV TRAVEL ADVENTURES

 

   
 
Runtrails' Web Journal
 
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   BADDECK CABOT TRAIL CAMPGROUND:
A GOOD BASE TO EXPLORE CAPE BRETON ISLAND

MONDAY, AUGUST 11

 
"WHY US:  * Voted Top 100 Good Sam parks in North America; *Family-run campground  
* Quiet location on the Baddeck River; * Just five minutes to the beautiful town of Baddeck and
right on the Cabot Trail; * Perfect location to explore all of Cape Breton Island . . ."
 
~ from the Baddeck Cabot Trail Campground website
 
 

There are lots more things on the campground's list of why it is the best in the area. I'll include most of them below.

About ten days ago we made reservations for four nights at this campground. Good thing, because it's pretty full, even on weekdays. It's a highly-rated Good Sam park (9.5/10/10) that looks like it may have previously been a KOA.

It is indeed a good central base from which to explore Cape Breton Island. There is so much to do around here that, in retrospect, we wish we were staying longer.


Jim walks toward the campground office.

In addition to the list above, there are other features that we really appreciated at this campground:

  • good value for our $$$;
  • full hookups at 50 of the 150 sites;
  • lots of pull-through sites for rigs of all sizes (some for smaller RVs are shown below);

  • a restaurant with good seafood;
  • nice laundry facilities;
  • a dock on the scenic Baddeck River;
  • a large grassy ball field where Jim can play ball with Casey;
  • and a nature trail along the river and through the woods.

Although we didn't use them, there are other amenities folks can enjoy at this campground:

  •  several log cabins;

  • about a dozen seasonal sites with decks;
  • a beautiful wooded area for tents and tent campers;

  • a heated swimming pool;

  • canoes and kayaks for rent to use on the Baddeck River, which is very calm near the campground;
  • a children's playground;
  • and clean bathrooms and showers.

RV sites have more space between them here than at Camper's City in Moncton, which we left this morning.

This campground is hilly and has lots of trees. We like it so much more than Camper's City. 

We have a nice pull-thru full hookup site with 30/50 amps. The site has a gravel pad surrounded by soft green grass. Partial hookup sites are all grass.

Although our door faces onto the gravel loop "driveway" at our end of the row, the location is quiet. There isn't much traffic and we face some trees, grass, and a couple of the seasonal sites, which are vacant this week.


We have to keep Casey (above the arrow) on a short cord so no one runs over her!

Our site is on top of a hill; we have a nice view to forests and hills across the river:

The campground has free WiFi; the signal is pretty good at our site. We have only 1-2 Verizon bars here but could make calls if we needed to. We get one TV station that has local/national/world news in the morning and evening; that's really all we need when we're camped in a location with so much to do besides sit inside and watch TV!

The cost for our site is $42/day CA minus 10% Good Sam discount plus 13 or 14% tax = $173 CA for four nights (less in U.S. $$$).

EXPLORING THE SPACIOUS PROPERTY

During our stay I've gone on morning and evening walks with the dogs.

Sometimes Jim walks with us around the large campground and down to the ball field so he can throw the ball to Casey:

We all enjoy going down to the dock at the river, too. The dogs love getting into the water, which is as wide and as still as a lake:


The Baddeck River looks more like a lake here.

 

Guests can rent canoes or kayaks to ply the placid water of the river near the dock. We would have enjoyed doing that if we had been here longer:

There is also a half-mile single track dirt trail along the river from the dock and back up to the far end of the campground near our site:

I waited a couple days to walk the dogs on the trail because the day before our arrival, the area got two inches of rain.

The nature trail was still a mess when I hiked it, though -- muddy, rooty, overgrown, with a couple trees down -- but I got some good views of more rain falling on the mountains in the distance:

 

The campground restaurant is open Wednesday to Sunday. We enjoyed eating supper there on Wednesday after our long bike rides on the Celtic shore.

I chose a large bowl of seafood chowder and a tasty yeast roll. That was enough to full me up. Jim had breaded scallops and fries, which he liked. Most of the selections are deep-fried but salads are also available.

[Addendum in spring, 2015:  The website doesn't mention the restaurant any more. Bummer!]


Tall fireweeds and other wildflowers in bloom near the ballfield

The most interesting neighbors we met in this campground were an American couple who lived full time on a boat for eight years. They got tired of seeing mostly coastlines and purchased a Class A motorhome several months ago so they can explore the interior of the continent, too. They still have their boat, which is docked on the Georgia coast right now.

They were full of interesting stories and gave us ideas of even more things to do and see on Cape Breton Island than our already-long list of planned activities.

Maybe we'll just have to come back again someday, eh?

Next entry:  photos from our long drive around the northern half of Cape Breton Island on the Cabot Trail, including pictures from Cape Breton Highlands National Park

Happy trails,

Sue
"Runtrails & Company" - Sue Norwood, Jim O'Neil, Cody the ultra Lab, and Casey-pup

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2014 Sue Norwood and Jim O'Neil

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