enter image description here

https://www.novascotia.com/explore backgrounds this picture.

  1. Even if I'm right to guess Cabot Trail, where exactly is this?

  2. Can I drive up to this lookout? Any hiking required?

3 Answers 3


Someone has apparently walked up the trail wearing a 360° camera, and submitted the resulting footage to Google Street View. Here is the end of the trail - the outlook is the same as the one you've posted. You can use the Street View pegman map to see where the trail goes.

screenshot of Google Maps


Per this page also from Tourism Nova Scotia, the image appears to be taken on Franey Trail, Cape Breton Highlands National Park.

The Parks Canada site describes the trail as a "difficult" 7.4 km loop accessible only on foot:

You climb up and up and your reward is at the top! Large flat rocks give you a nice place to sit and enjoy the 360º views of the entire Clyburn Brook canyon and the Atlantic coastline from Cape Smokey to Ingonish. Gaze back at the mountains, the sheer rocky face of Franey Mountain, or the river winding through the valley, 425 m below. Keep an eye out for wildlife – moose like this habitat too.

I'd also venture a guess that the image was taken with a drone, so your view from the ground is probably not going to be quite as nice.

  • 7
    To me, the camera doesn't look like it's a whole lot higher than the person in the photo. I think it could easily have been taken by somebody standing on a boulder. Commented May 23, 2019 at 16:40
  • 6
    @DavidRicherby: agreed, probably a person holding the camera standing on the granite outcrop that's visible in the bottom left of the photo. I'd guess it continues to slope up to right under their feet. This probably isn't the peak of a hill, more of a lookoff on the way up/down. I haven't been there specifically, but I'm from Nova Scotia; we have a lot of exposed granite scraped bare by glaciers (especially in Cape Breton), so it's not rare to find 2 levels of rock like that, or erratic boulders. Commented May 23, 2019 at 19:04
  • 1
    @PeterCordes As a fellow Bluenoser, in my anecdotal experience I can agree that rocks like that are very common. What you're describing is exactly how I picture this in my head.
    – JMac
    Commented May 23, 2019 at 19:32
  • The 360° view afforded by the Google Maps Street View walkthrough linked to in AakashM’s answer makes it clear that this is indeed not taken by a drone. It also makes it clear, if you walk through it from start to finish, that labelling this trail ‘difficult’ is, in a word, preposterous. As far as I could tell, there was one place where you needed to scramble a bit for perhaps 20 meters – everything else is a non-steep path through some woods, the first half of the trail being actually semi-paved. ‘Difficult’ my left foot. I thought Canadians were tougher than this! Commented May 25, 2019 at 7:56
  • "Scramble" sounds difficult. Doesn't that basically mean you don't quite need hammers, pitons and lines? Commented May 25, 2019 at 17:08

Here is a screenshot from Google Earth from what appears to be the same location. The white line leading up from the bottom represents a road (Franey Road), which probably isn't a public road you can drive on, at least not all the way to the top.

enter image description here

  • 1
    One of the links in jpatokal's answer describes the road as a "fire access road", and it looks like there's a sign at the trailhead prohibiting traffic from going past that point. Commented May 23, 2019 at 11:35
  • Thanks. How did you locate so quickly and precisely?
    – user95173
    Commented May 26, 2019 at 19:53
  • 1
    @AntinatalistIE: You mentioned Cabot Trail, so I started looking on Cape Breton Island. I looked around the coastline for a feature that was a large headland (middle of your photo) with a smaller spit to the left, about the same distance out to sea. I found the Ingonish area (goo.gl/maps/L6LfUsQr4wzzx2Rx6), and looked for a nearby valley with a winding river in Google Earth. I picked a hill at about the right spot and found there was a trail to the top. Commented May 26, 2019 at 20:50
  • Thanks! Hope it wasn't too much work? I ask these questions hoping that someone will recognize the picture, not to weary them.
    – user95173
    Commented May 27, 2019 at 23:13
  • @AntinatalistIE: Not at all. I consider most of these kind of location identification questions a fun challenge. Commented May 27, 2019 at 23:18

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