Cape Breton Fall Colors

Tour around the Cabot Trail


Oct. 17-20, 2024 registration here
 4 Photographers* maximum = a personable, quality filled tour

Transportation** – Field Instruction – Presentations

Meals – Accommodations are all included!

Mary Anne Falls near the Cabot Trail on Cape Breton Island
Waterfall close to the Cabot Trail during our tour © www.BrianMerry.ca

Number of Guests:  4 photographers *

When:  Oct. 17-20, 2024

Lead by:  Brian Merry

What’s Included:  All meals, transportation, accommodation, presentations and guiding

Transportation:  Group transportation provided and required **

  Participants are not permitted to follow the lead tour vehicle in their own vehicles due to safety concerns.

Cost for shared rooms:  $1195.00 shared occupancy rooms

Cost for single rooms: $1495 for single occupancy rooms

ILP Discount:  Photographers ILP Photographer Service from the International Landscape Photographers will receive a -$50 refund- on their registration.  Contact me requesting your refund after registering and I’ll refund you $50 after confirming your ILP service.  This refund needs to be claimed before October 1st, 2024 to allow time for processing.  Contact me after registering to collect your refund!

Let me show you my home where I grew up, Nova Scotia


Cape Breton Fall Colors Intro

     Have you ever wanted to experience the famous Fall colors in the mountains along the Cabot Trail on Cape Breton Island on an established photography tour?  Now you can.  We can photograph the red and gold carpet of maple trees draping over the rolling Cape Breton Highlands.  These beautiful ancient mountains are on the Northern edge of the Appalachian Mountain chain.  They rise 1500 feet, 450m, straight out of the sea along Cape Breton Island’s Northwestern shoreline.  They are spectacular!

This is your chance to experience them on an all inclusive landscape photography tour. 

Cheticamp Island as seen from the sea on the 2.5 hour Ocean cruise portion of our tour.
The lighthouse on Cheticamp Island from the sea. © www.brianmerry.ca

     Did I mention I know this part of Cape Breton like the back of my hand?  I do.  I grew up in Nova Scotia experiencing the Cape Breton Fall colors first hand every year.  We’ll be staying on the rugged eastern side of the Cape Breton on the first and second night of the tour.  We’ll be starting in one of the most beautiful little villages on the East side of the trail, Baddeck.  On the second night we’ll be in the quiet and beautiful community of North River Bridge.  Then on the third day we’ll round the top of the Island and spend our third night in the small and busy little fishing village where my extended family is from, Cheticamp, NS.  Cheticamp is just minutes away from the Cape Breton Highlands National Park which provides us with many beautiful photographic opportunities on day 2 and day 3 of the tour.


     Join me as I show you the best of the largest mountains on Cape Breton Island during the usual peak of the Maple tree Fall colors.   Sit back, pull out your camera and tripod, and enjoy the spectacular maple trees of Cape Breton Island  in all their glory.  The timing of the Fall colors is not guaranteed, but between Oct. 17 -22 is the usual peak of color along the Cabot Trail on Cape Breton Island.  And we’ll there there right in the middle of the usual peak on the weekend we’re there!

A beautiful Fall scene close to Cheticamp, Cape Breton Island
Saint Joseph Du Moine, taken during the 2015 Cape Breton Photography Tour.  © www.brianmerry.ca

     You can reach me to talk about the tour here.  I’ll reply with either a phone call or an email if you prefer.  I’m excited about hosting this tour, and I’d be happy to talk with you about it.

Cape Breton Fall Colors Itinerary***

Day 1: Thursday, Oct. 17, 2024

     We’ll meet on Thursday at 7:30pm at the Inverary Resort in Baddeck, NS on Thursday where we’ll sign the pre-tour waiver and attend an information session and presentation showing you what you can expect over the next few days.  They’ll be an outdoor photography presentation providing some landscape photography instruction and inspiration for the weekend.  We’ll also go over basic shooting techniques while I introduce my artistic approach to outdoor photography that has inspired motivated me throughout my almost 3 decade professional career. 

Day 2:  Friday, Oct. 18 , 2024

     We’ll start the day with sunrise close to the resort using the group transportation to shoot the Sunrise followed with breakfast at one of the resort restaurants.  After breakfast we’ll check out and set off on the Cabot Trail touring counterclockwise around the trail heading North into the Highlands!    

     After capturing iconic photos slightly off of the Cabot Trail to start our day we’ll continue counterclockwise around the Cabot Trail driving approximately along the Atlantic Ocean side of the Trail stopping frequently for photographs throughout the day.  We’ll be photographing beautiful waterfalls, mountains, rivers, rugged coastlines and of course, the brilliant Fall colors that the Cabot Trail is Famous for!   Our destination for this evening is the beautiful little Chanterelle Inn in “North River Bridge.”

Day 3:  Saturday, Oct. 19, 2024

     As we round the top of Cape Breton Island we’ll be photographing some of the best scenery that the Cabot Trail has to offer along the NW coastline of Cape Breton in and adjacent to Cape Breton Highlands National Park.  We’ll be photographing many classic landscapes from various vantage points throughout the day.  Some of the best locations in this Northern part of the trip are only known to locals.  One such spot will offer us an often overlooked part of the trail, even by many local Cape Bretoners.  

     One location provides a very unique view looking North West into the Gulf of Saint Lawrence.  If the weather is clear we will be able to see a remote part of the beautiful province of Quebec, Les Ilse de la Madeleine, far out into the Gulf.  There is one spot along the Trail where we can see this distance island on the horizon on a clear day.  Admittedly, the islands will be hazy on the horizon, but it is an interesting and unique experience to be able to see Quebec from Nova Scotia!

     These unique views of Cape Breton may even provide you with future inspiration for your next photography trip!!!  Let’s keep our fingers crossed for clear weather!  I know of many unique points along the trail because I spent much of my teenage years on Northwestern Cape Breton Island.  Locals know about these places, and I’m going to share the best of them with you on this tour.

Day 4:  Sunday, Oct. 20, 2024

     We’ll start the day with with a sunrise photography session where you’ll have the chance to utilize some of the the techniques that you learned from the landscape photography presentations that you’ve seen over the past two days.   After Sunrise we’ll head back to the motel for checkout and breakfast.

     We’ll depart Cheticamp after breakfast and head South towards and eventually into the Margaree Valley continuing our journey around the Cabot Trail. 

     Today we’ll be photographing the rugged Acadian shoreline and the famous Margaree Valley.  If the time, weather and group dynamics permit we will visit another precious, local favor, and somewhat secret location, Egypt Falls.  Visiting the Falls will hinge on the weather and the condition of the access road and trail.  I know how to find them using a maze of backroads, but if the road is closed we may not be able to see Egypt Falls.  A modest level of fitness is required to hike down and then up the ~250m steep trail to view the Falls.  

     Don’t be disappointed though if Egypt Falls is not accessible.  Like any good local knowing the area like that back of his hand, I have a plan B.  We’ll visit another beautiful waterfall close to Hunter’s Mountain as our back up plan.  After descending Hunter’s Mountain and completing the last few kilometers of the Cabot Trail we’ll end up back where we started in Baddeck.  I’ll graciously wish you well as you head down own your own roads after the tour.

   The itinerary is weather dependent and may change due to weather conditions and/or other extraneous conditions that may arise.  The exact locations we photograph during the tour will vary depending on the weather during the tour.  I know this part of Cape Breton very well.  This flexibility is needed to ensure that I deliver the best tour possible to you given my experience in the area and the weather/industry conditions we encounter during your tour.

I love Cape Breton Island and I’m going to enjoy showcasing it to you.


The North Aspy River as seen from one of stops during the 2015 tour. @ www,brianmerry.ca
The North Aspy River as seen from one of stops during the 2015 tour. @ www.brianmerry.ca



     If you’re travelling from away, I recommend that you fly into Halifax International Airport and rent a car there that you reserved ahead of time.  Baddeck is a 3.5 hour direct drive from the airport through the spectacular countryside of Nova Scotia.

     From the Halifax International Airport exit the airport grounds and drive to highway 102.  Turn right onto highway 102 and travel north to Truro, NS.  When highway 102 ends 4 kms past Truro turn right, heading East, onto the Trans Canada, highway 104, and drive to Cape Breton Island.  Once across the causeway and onto Cape Breton Island in Port Hastings the Trans Canada Highway changes it’s number to highway 105.  Continue heading North towards Sydney, NS.  In about 45 minutes you’ll meet the start of the Cabot trail. Baddeck is another 10kms North from here.

     For those of you planning to arrive a day earlier I recommend that you rent a motel room in Baddeck overnight.  The nice little trendy town of Baddeck is a nice place to spend a bit of time. 

A beautiful road in Northwestern Cape Breton Island. © www.brianmerry.ca

* Non-photographer partners/spouses are also permitted. However, the tour is designed for 4 photographers only.

**  Participants are not permitted to follow the lead tour van in their own vehicles due to safety concerns.

***   The Itinerary is weather dependent and may change due to weather conditions and/or any other extraneous conditions that may arise.  This flexibility is needed to ensure that I deliver to you the best tour possible.  I’ll be balancing the weather conditions that we’ll have during the tour, my experience in the area, the seasonal location availability and present industry conditions.  I’m going to use my diverse experience to deliver the my best tour possible over the weekend.  

Tour cancellation policy:

     We understand that life sometimes gets in the way of some of our guests plans and they have to cancel a tour.  We have to balance that understanding with our business needs as well.  To that end, we have come up with a cancellation policy that brings balance to both sides of the equation.  We want to be understanding, but we also need to meet our commitments to the tour and our related business expenses.  By purchasing your ticket on the tour you agree to the cancellation policy outlined below.  

Refunds are not permitted if a tour is not cancelled by the organizer. 
All sales are final.

     If for some reason we have to cancel a tour we will guarantee a 100% refund of the entire tour registration fee or honor a “no fee” transfer of the balance to a future tour.  We limit our liability in the unlikely event of a tour cancellation up to and including the tour registration fee paid.  We do not accept cancellation liability, or any other financial liability, over and above the registration fee of the tour. 

     The Cape Breton Fall Colors Tours will never be canceled due to low registration.  If one person is registered on the tour then we’re going ahead with it, given that all other factors are viable.  You can rest assured that if you purchase a ticket for the Cape Breton Fall Colors Tour the tour will not be cancelled due to low registration.


*  Participants are not permitted to follow the lead tour van in their own vehicles during the tour due to safety concerns.  Using the provided group transportation during the tour is required.

**   The exact Itinerary is weather dependent and may change due to the weather conditions and/or other extraneous conditions that may arise.  This flexibility is needed to ensure that I deliver the best tour possible that I can within my ability given the conditions that we’ll have during the tour.  I’ll be balancing the weather conditions, my decades of experience in the area, seasonal location access/availability, and other conditions to decide exactly which photography locations and stops will be used during the tour.  I’m going to use my diverse local knowledge and photographic experience in the area to deliver the best tour possible within my ability given the conditions that we’ll have during our tour.   Excellent overall conditions for outdoor photography are not guaranteed.