Sydney - Bras D'Or Lakes, Highland Village and Baddeck
Sydney: Founded in 1758 by Col. J. F. W. Des Barres, Sydney was first settled by Loyalists from New York State. Immigrants from the Scottish Highlands followed 20 years later and added much of the Scottish flavour we see today. Sydney boomed at the turn of the century with the building of the Dominion Steel and Coal Company plant at Whitney Pier. This plant was the largest self-contained steel plant in North America and is still the city's major industry.
St. Andrew's Channel: This scenic drive hugs the shoreline of the channel until it crosses the Barra Strait. This is where the Bras d'Or Lakes split the island and the land divides the lakes. It is also the geographic centre of Cape Breton Island.
Iona: The Nova Scotia Highland Village: This collection of eleven historic buildings recreates local Scottish Heritage in a living history museum. The buildings and costumed staff present a tour of 180 years of settlement on the Island. From a 19th century log house to a school built during the roaring twenties, the guides relate the story of the Scottish pioneers through artefacts, stories, songs and music.
Bras d'Or Lakes: Before leaving the village of Iona be sure to enjoy the spectacular view of the Bras d'Or Lakes. This great inland sea covers 1,165 square kilometres (450 sq. miles) in the centre of Cape Breton Island. The waters are fog-free, salty and one of the finest sailing and boating venues in the world. The scenic lake shore brings us to the 24-hour, cable-drawn car ferry that takes only a few minutes to carry us across Little Narrows.
Baddeck: The picturesque town of Baddeck, population 1064, is situated at the start of the Cabot Trail. It is one of the largest communities on the Bras d'Or Lakes and enjoys an international reputation as a fine resort community. The summer home Alexander Graham Bell built here still stands and today we have a museum featuring his accomplishments.
Baddeck: Alexander Graham Bell Museum: This spectacular museum holds the world's most comprehensive collection of Alexander Graham Bell's scientific and humanitarian achievements. The site displays hundreds of original artefacts and personal mementoes as well as photographs that tell the fascinating story of the man himself.
Kelly's Mountain: The first of two lookoff sites offer a view of St. Ann's Bay and the Highlands hills rolling far into the distance. The second site overlooks Big Bras d'Or Bay and the bridge that spans it. While taking in the scenery be sure to keep an eye open for freighters and pleasure boats slipping under the bridge. (2 picture stops)