Motorcyclists banned from the Cabot Trail after protests from RVers and locals


Nova Scotia’s Department of Transportation has announced the Cabot Trail will be closed to motorcyclists for the 2019 season, thanks to loud pipes.

Motorcyclists love the curves on the Cabot Trail, cutting through Cape Breton Highlands National Park, but it’s also an extremely popular tourist destination for four-wheeled drivers, thanks to its scenic vistas. And it’s those non-motorcycling tourists who are responsible for the road closure, along with fed-up locals.

An official with Nova Scotia’s DOT, Philip McAvity, said tourists and local residents alike are tired of open-piped cruisers blasting through the Cape Breton hills all summer long.

Angus MacAskill, a resident of Englishtown, organized a winter-long letter-writing campaign that asked local transportation officials and politicians to address the issue of loud motorcycles on the Trail.

“It’s not so bad at the start of the season, when it’s just the guys on those big BMWs,” said MacAskill. “Their bikes are fairly quiet; they go through the Trail as fast as they can, then split off to Sydney. You see them there outside the Starbucks.

“But as soon as it warms up, the noise is terrible. You get these guys on big shiny bikes blatting their pipes the whole way, holding up the RVs trying to make it up the hills.”

RV owners, like the driver of this beauty vehicle, protested against motorcycles slowing them down on the Cabot Trail.

Indeed, local RV rental operations were also vocal in promoting a motorcycle ban on the Cabot Trail.

“We hear it all the time from customers,” said Cleo Femoon, of Bluenose Camper, an RV rental company in Antigonish. “They come from all over the world to see the famous Cabot Trail, and just when they’re ready to haul ass through the hills, they get stuck behind a loud, noisy motorcycle that slows them down.”

Femoon said the resulting long string of negative user reviews on her company’s website led her manager to petition officials to do something about the noise problem.

Those officials did attempt to find some other solutions before laying down the blanket ban, which is in effect as of today.

“We considered only prohibiting the bikes on weekends,” said McAvity, “and we also discussed only allowing them to ride anti-clockwise, to stop them from easily going back and re-riding sections, which can be really annoying for the locals with all those U-turns. In the end, though, local residents decided they’ve had enough and we just flat-out banned them.”

Still, summer will be different on the Cabot Trail without the thunder of motorcycles rolling through the hills. Some Nova Scotia motorcycle clubs have talked about “rolling protests,” riding motorcycles through the Trail at slow speed to show their unhappiness with the policy. However, those plans were abandoned when some members pointed out that wouldn’t be any different from their normal riding style.

Happy April Fools’ Day!

39 thoughts on “Motorcyclists banned from the Cabot Trail after protests from RVers and locals”

  1. It’s flattering so many motorcyclists think so highly of the Cabot Trail but disconcerting that so many were so gullible as to actually believe it.

  2. I was “hooked” until I came to the part about RVers being “stuck behind a loud, noisy motorcycle that slows them down.” Great April Fools Day gag,…I just hope it doesn’t give some authorities a bad idea!!

  3. over here in the Netherlands several roads on dikes have been banned for motorcycles because of the noise and speed. So that triggered me to read the story. Even in Canada I wondered. Reading about RV’s being held up by loud motorcycles made me think this cannot be true. Mentioning the dat made me smile. A great find for aprils fools

  4. Yup, I forgot what day it was. I couldn’t believe anyone would be dumb enough to throw all that biker money away, good one!

  5. Hahaha….. I love it, April fools! Loud pipes save lives and motorcycles will always be the best way to travel. Whether it be on our beautiful Cape Breton coast line or on the open road, ride safe fellow riders and let me hear those awesome pipes!

  6. You got me!! A friend sent it to me this morning as we were hoping we could ride the Cabot trail this summer as we missed it on a Labrador trip in 2015. We both didn’t realize what day it was. You sure burst a 72 year old riders bubble this morning.

  7. I was planning on riding this road this summer, starting from Victoria, Bc.
    Thanks to all you losers with loud pipes to ruin it for people who ride with quiet stock pipes and have nothing to prove and only appreciate the beauty and scenic roads.
    Seriously they should ban all aftermarket loud pipes for racing on tracks only.

    1. They’ve amended the article… they played an April Fool’s Day joke, not *very funny* though in this day and age of Fake News…. people take what they read as *gospel*….even if it’s a simple April Fools joke.

    2. I agree…..not one brand here!!!!……not fair..can’t be lumped into one box!!!……me and my nice quiet goldwing… noise from us!!!……..ride on…..

  8. Thank you for amending your article. All in good fun of course, but enough people were questioning the validity of the article. With all of the fake news out there, the last thing we need is for even a small group who were planning on coming up changing their plans with the resulting impact on tourism to take hold. Yes, I know, all it takes is a little common sense to read fully the article, but in this day and age, it doesn’t take much for folks to take this and run with it *as fact*. Again, thanks for the amendment at the end. Happy April Fools to everyone.

    1. So….do you really want people who can’t use common sense to visit your area? I mean really, it’s bad enough that they can vote 🤪

  9. That’s okay they are welcome in the rest of the province for their money is just as good as everyone else’s it would only be in the millions. To all cyclist please boycott all of Cape Breton we love ya in the rest of the Province.

    1. They’ve amended the article… they played an April Fool’s Day joke, not *very funny* though in this day and age of Fake News…. people take what they read as *gospel*….even if it’s a simple April Fools joke.

  10. Haha. But in all seriousness…. Those loud pipes are rubbish. Nobody wants to hear your fat butt coming up the hills from 3 kms away. And for the record, loud pipes don’t save lives; defensive driving does.

  11. What nonsense about RVs getting held up behind noisy Bikes??? I would think it’s more the other way around I’m pretty sure I would not have a problem staying ahead of some RV monstrosity laboring around the Cape

    1. They’ve amended the article… they played an April Fool’s Day joke, not *very funny* though in this day and age of Fake News…. people take what they read as *gospel*….even if it’s a simple April Fools joke.

  12. Very unfortunate that the noisiest bikers with road scraping foot boards have soured another community on motorcycle tourism. I’m a rider and live for roads like the Cabot Trail. Its a tough problem to please the majority.

    1. Had me going for a min. If you want a really great ride check out ‘the Going to the Sun’ highway in Montana

      1. Seriously? I rode that road last June. Max speed 30 mph behind bumper to bumper traffic. Cars stop in middle of road, people pile out to take pictures, because pull offs are full. Very scenic but boring and dangerous thanks to cagers. The next day one couple told me that it was quieter after dinner because accommodation is only at either end. Just back from trip to southern Vancouver Island, same deal, never going back. Max 60 kph limit on all back roads and most drivers won’t go “that fast”. Boring and dangerous. The road from Sooke to Port Renfrew was not busy but was so rough it could not be enjoyed. The only good part was Port Renfrew to Lake Cowichan, now fully paved. A bit rough but not bad and not busy. The rest sucks, all day slowly moving rush hour, painful. And we came across a serious accident where a minivan had turned left in front of a bike. Not surprised at all, even going slowly there were multiple close calls. Go to the Kootenays. C

    2. They’ve amended the article… they played an April Fool’s Day joke, not *very funny* though in this day and age of Fake News…. people take what they read as *gospel*….even if it’s a simple April Fools joke.

  13. If the DOT rep called “Philip McAvity” didn’t give it away, the idea that “Angus MacAskill, a resident of Englishtown” came back from the dead to comment should have.. LOL

    1. But the best part was RVs being held up by loud piped chromed out bikes. Its even funnier when there is a slight hint of truth. 😉 I can’t believe that anyone would think this is real, even before the “April Fools” disclaimer!

  14. I too was taken in (Gold Wing RIder with a QUIET motorcycle/sidecar and trailer). Then I real the last sentence. It’s that time of year folks….enjoy


    1. Well, no credibility on April 1 anyway.
      When all those tourist bureaus contact you make sure you ask them for free maps. Might as well make the call worthwhile ☺️

    2. Oh lighten up Dan.
      This is the trouble with deciding to be the one who is going to “alert the villagers!”, and distribute the pitchforks.

      Don’t be embarrassed to have been fooled. Anybody that you notified has already forgotten about it and your part in it.

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