Monday, October 07, 2013

Arm of Gold Campground

When choosing a campground in Nova Scotia from which to make our journey to Newfoundland, we discovered Arm of Gold Campground. It is literally minutes from the North Sydney ferry terminal.

The campground had wifi so my husband could work until our ferry ride across the Cabot Straight. If you use too much bandwidth their network will throttle your bandwidth, so downloading an application like Slowy will help you stay under their threshold. Once you get throttled, the internet becomes super slow. Some areas of the campground have a stronger wifi signal than others. As a backup, my husband tethered his Nexus 4 android phone with a Virgin Mobile prepaid data plan. Virgin runs on Bell's towers, so the coverage was very good in general, and excellent at the campground. (It was surprisingly good in Newfoundland as well.)

We made sure to get a spot next to the playground. It was small, but the kids really seemed enjoyed it. The cute little playhouse added to the experience. There is also a basketball court adjacent to the playground with several balls laying about.

Our campsite with playground in background

Playground and basketball court
The laundry facilities were well kept and maintained. But when the campground is busy, four washers and three dryers just isn't enough.

Information/Work Space
There is a separate building with tourist information, a payphone, tables, and books and DVD's to borrow. 

In Canada, they don't call them restrooms. We didn't use the showers as they were pay showers. But the facilities were clean. 

Walking Trail
The campground is on the shore of the Bras d'Or Lakes which is French for Arms of Gold. There is a nature trail down to the water and all around the campground.

Bras d'Or Lakes
The metal roof of the nearby church reflecting the sun
While at first I was turned off by the proximity of the campground to the Trans-Canada highway, it was a very good campground experience and it's convenience in accessing the ferry is undeniable. The area is windy and there aren't any trees so shade is hard to come by. Fortunately, the temperatures were very mild during our stay (mid-August to early September).

Arm of Gold Campground makes a great base for visiting points in and around eastern Cape Breton Island such as the Highlands Village Museum,  Fortress of Louisbourg, and Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site. It is not, however, the best place from which to visit Cape Breton Highlands National Park. This park is so extensive, one really should be somewhere on the Cabot Trail to ensure easy access to the best features of the park (i.e The Skyline Trail).
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