Nova Scotias world-famous Cabot Trail is a rutted mess, Cape Breton residents say

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NORTH RIVER, N.S. - The Cabot Trial is touted as Nova Scotia's masterpiece, one of the world's best places to visit for its natural beauty.
But those who live closest to the scenic, 300-kilometre loop that winds through mountainous northern Cape Breton say it ought to be called "Nova Scotia's masterpiece of potholes and patchwork."
The dips, cracks and heaves in the pavement have to go, say two petitions signed by about 2,500 residents of Victoria and Inverness counties.
Residents not only want the provincially owned road resurfaced but also widened to allow for safer biking and for motorhomes to pull off. They also want wider paved shoulders and more look-offs along the steep cliffs.
But so far, the Friends of the Cabot Trail, a non-partisan group that circulated the petition, and the Cabot Trail Working Association have heard zilch from the province.
"If it's recognized worldwide, why can't we get the Cabot Trail recognized as a priority in Halifax?" said Jim Allen, who lives in the Tarbot area.
Last month, the federal government announced it would spend $14 million to fix some of the roads in Cape Breton Highlands National Park, which is along the Cabot Trail.
Donna Montgomery-Frizzell of nearby North River points out that the province's five-year plan announced last year to pave a 33-kilometre section doesn't go far enough.
In fact, it shuts out a 30-kilometre stretch known as St. Anns loop, one of two entrances to the Cabot Trail from Highway 105.
"This is the Cabot Trail, too," said Montgomery-Frizzell.
She said tourists have been known to avoid the loop because it is so rough.
About 15 businesses, including shops featuring the work of some of the province's foremost artisans, are located on the St. Anns loop.

Organizations: Cabot Trail Working Association

Geographic location: Nova Scotia, Cape Breton, NORTH RIVER Victoria Inverness Halifax Tarbot Cape Breton Highlands National Park

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  • John Stevenson
    February 25, 2014 - 07:27

    Does the 105 have paved shoulders, like the 104 and what is the speed limit