Monday, October 23, 2023
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Issues to do on Cape Breton Island

My mother and I was the French Mountain parking zone in Cape Breton’s Highlands Nationwide Park. After pulling right into a parking house I walked over to the Skyline Path signal. I had been advised climbing the Skyline path was the most effective issues to do on Cape Breton. This was presupposed to be the perfect hike within the park for views. I had heard about it, seen footage, and examine it. I had drunk the Skyline Path Kool-Help, and I needed to do it.

Wanting on the map we decided it didn’t look too laborious, however it will take a few hours to finish. We checked out one another and realized we didn’t have time to do it; we needed to hold going. 

If we stopped to hike all the unbelievable trails within the park we’d by no means make it round the Cabot Path in a day and to our resort! I reluctantly obtained again within the automotive and we stored going with a sinking feeling.

cape breton island hikes

Cape Breton Island in Canada is thought for out of doors actions and adventures, and I didn’t actually have time to do any of them. The one solace I may muster up was making a pact with myself I might come again once more so I may do all the finest issues to do on Cape Breton.

Quick-forward 4 years and I’m again on Cape Breton Island to meet that plan. I spent every week on the island with associates Pete and Dalene of Hecktic Travels. We centered on getting exterior every day on a distinct hike, journey, or expertise. This manner we had been in a position to see and expertise the number of actions the island supplied.

The Greatest Issues to do on Cape Breton

Skyline Path Hike

Problem: Simple – effectively marked and there isn’t a lot elevation change. The path itself is well-groomed and straightforward to stroll. The loop part is a little more rugged, however nonetheless within the straightforward class. 

Distance: 4 miles return or 5.1-mile loop 

Location: Situated in Cape Breton Highlands Nationwide Park alongside the Cabot Path on the high of French Mountain. There are indicators for the parking zone.

The terrain is pretty common for the primary two-thirds of the stroll as you wind by the forest and get teased by views of Cabot Path by the bushes. However it’s the final third that may have you ever oohing and aahing.

You all of a sudden depart the forest space behind and are excessive on high of a headland cliff overlooking the Gulf of St. Lawrence. A boardwalk with stairs leads you all the way down to a viewpoint with benches. Hold your eyes peeled for whales and benefit from the view. That is additionally an excellent place for a picnic lunch or sundown hike.

Mabou Western Coastal Hike

Problem: Simple to Average – effectively marked, however in spots, you’ll want to observe your footing as there are tree roots in some components. Nonetheless, the brief distance of this path additionally makes it fairly straightforward.

Distance: 1.8 miles for those who go all the best way to the top and again

Location: Trailhead and map are close to the parking zone earlier than you head all the way down to the seashore.

It is a brief little hike however I used to be slowed down by the seashore views. This is usually a easy out-and-back hike, or you may go alongside the bluffs on the best way out and comply with the path all the way down to the seashore and stroll again alongside the seashore.

You’ll begin out in a dense space of Spruce bushes and rolling inexperienced hills after which come out on high of the sand dunes the place it’s extra of an open discipline. We walked again alongside the seashore and loved the crashing waves and assembly locals alongside the seashore.

Stroll on the Inverness Boardwalk

Problem: It is a easy stroll anybody can do. 

Distance: Practically 1 mile to the top of the boardwalk 

Location: 158 Seaside No. 1 Highway, Inverness – head in direction of the ocean till the highway ends, and also you’ll be in the beginning of the boardwalk. There’s parking by the seashore.

cape breton island hiking inverness boardwalk
On the boardwalk!

This actually isn’t a hike, it’s only a good little stroll the place you may absorb the ocean air and a beautiful place for sundown. The boardwalk begins on the public seashore, runs above the seashore, and ends overlooking the Cabot Hyperlinks Golf Course.

In case you are uninterested in watching the ocean, you may watch golfers tee off on the most effective programs on the earth. There have been a whole lot of locals out strolling their canines alongside the seashore and swimming within the shallow waters.

Center Head Hike

Problem: Simple to reasonable. There’s some rolling up and down – however nothing steep. The path is well-marked and groomed. There are some locations the place it’s good to watch your footing. 

Distance: 2.4-mile loop 

Location: Parking is situated on the trailhead behind the Keltic Lodge in Ingonish.

Hike out the slim peninsula separating two ocean bays and finish on cliffs overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. You’ll wind by the forest after which out a slight uphill to the top of the peninsula. Right here you may sit and watch the ocean birds soar overhead and soak up the fantastic thing about Cape Breton Island. There’s a loop path that may take you again a extra forested approach, or return the best way you got here.

Discover the Greatest Views in Cape Breton Highlands Nationwide Park

This is likely one of the crown jewels of Cape Breton Island. This Nationwide Park has quite a lot of great climbing trails, eating places, small cities, and so many unbelievable coastal views!

One among my favourite and most intelligent makes use of of the Adirondack chair in Nova Scotia Canada was by the Cape Breton Highlands Nationwide Park of their “Pink Chair Problem”. The mission was to seek out and sit in ten crimson chairs scattered round Cabot Path. At every chair, there’s a singular view of the panorama and seascape.

Baddeck full moon kayak
A full moon is all the sunshine we would have liked for kayaking

Take a Sea Kayak Journey

In case you are trying to give your legs a break and provides your higher physique a exercise, then attempt a kayak journey on Cape Breton. This isn’t only a paddling journey, additionally, you will be handled to gourmand native meals and wine.

We really went on a full moon tour and kayaked at evening. Because the solar went down we left the shore in Baddeck and did a golden hour paddle round Kidsten Island. Hold your eyes peeled for seabirds across the island. Proper earlier than the solar disappears you’ll find yourself on the Kidsten Island lighthouse the place you may seashore your kayaks and get photographs of this idyllic setting.

We paddled as much as the shore the place there have been platters of meals being ready at our personal personal gazebo. The meals was ready by chef Brian Pickard of the favored native restaurant, the Chunk Home, and paired with Nova Scotia Canada wine and beer. Our information surprisingly obtained out a guitar and we had dwell leisure. I liked the vibe of this complete night; it was like a gourmand tenting evening.

They solely run this nighttime tour in the course of the full moon so you should definitely verify the North River Kayak web site for the dates, and as of 2023, the tour might not be accessible. However no concern – you may nonetheless have an unbelievable kayak journey throughout daytime hours. North River Kayak presents quite a lot of completely different excursions and paddling courses.

Play on a Prime Ranked Golf Course

The Cabot Cliffs Golf Course is ranked nineteenth on the earth’s high 100 golf programs, so why not cease and get in 9 holes? And for those who can, do a complete 18 because the final 3 holes of the course are a few of essentially the most spectacular views on Cape Breton Island! And you should definitely convey loads of further balls to interchange all the ones you’re going to lose off the cliffs!

For the primary time in 20 years, I stepped onto a golf course to observe Pete play this well-known course. Evidently – I felt a little bit self-conscious. We weren’t even fully certain they’d let me stroll alongside on such a famend course, however they didn’t appear to have any concern with it.

Bear in mind, a caddie is required on this course. There aren’t any carts on the course, solely caddies.

I used to be having a lot enjoyable that after gap 3, I made a decision to remain just a few extra, after which just a few extra, and all of a sudden I used to be in for the entire thing! We obtained beers, placed on sunscreen, and made a day of it. This wasn’t the stuffy recreation of golf I used to be anticipating.

Cabot Cliffs Golf Course Caddie

Be sure to savor the final 3 holes, that are the ‘well-known’ holes proper alongside the cliffs, and by some means Pete really obtained par gap 16!

Hole 16 Cabot Cliffs

And in case your pocketbook can afford it – get a room at The Lodge at Cabot Cape Breton resort too – it’s pure luxurious.

Whale watching on Cape Breton

Among the finest occasions to go whale watching in Cape Breton is in the course of the summer season months when these magnificent creatures migrate to the realm looking for meals. The most typical whale species noticed right here embrace humpback whales, fin whales, minke whales, and infrequently even orcas. With their spectacular dimension and swish actions, witnessing these majestic mammals up shut is an awe-inspiring sight.

A number of tour operators supply guided whale-watching excursions in Cape Breton, offering guests with educated guides who can share fascinating details in regards to the completely different whale species encountered in the course of the journey. These excursions sometimes happen aboard specifically designed boats that prioritize passenger security whereas minimizing disturbance to the marine surroundings. So for those who’re on the lookout for an unforgettable wildlife encounter in a surprising pure setting, don’t miss out on experiencing whale watching in Cape Breton!

Go to the port city of Sydney

Sydney, situated on the attractive island of Cape Breton in Nova Scotia, Canada, is a captivating port city that provides a singular mix of pure magnificence and wealthy cultural heritage. The downtown space is a bustling hub full of distinctive retailers, pleasant eating places, and historic landmarks. Discover Charlotte Avenue – lined with charming boutiques promoting native crafts and souvenirs – the place you could find every part from hand-knit sweaters to conventional Celtic music CDs.

The world’s largest fiddle is situated in Sydney. Standing at a staggering top of 60 ft (18 meters), this colossal fiddle is tough to overlook. Erected in 2005, it holds the Guinness World File for being the most important playable violin on Earth. It has turn into a notable landmark within the space, attracting each locals and vacationers alike.

Drive the Cabot Path on Cape Breton Island

Nova Scotia is thought for its spectacular driving routes, however the queen of all of them is the Cabot Path. This scenic drive is often plagued by superlatives comparable to finest, and biggest. It actually deserves reward because it offers a complete completely different really feel of Nova Scotia than the opposite routes. The highway hugs the cliffs and winds round forests on the Northwest facet, and the Jap facet offers a rocky coast dotted with fishing villages and sandy seashores.

There are many scenic lookouts alongside the world-famous Cabot Path providing you with many photograph alternatives or only a place to sit down and take within the magnificent views and eat lunch.

Cape Breton sunset

I recommend you drive the path in a counter clockwise path. This lets you see the sundown since you’ll end the drive on the west facet of the island. This additionally means for the components of the drive that go proper alongside the coast, you’ll be on the surface lane of the highway with the perfect views!

When you solely have at some point to finish the drive, then use this drive the Cabot Path one-day itinerary I did just a few years later.

Strive Fishcakes for Breakfast at Charlene’s

Charlene’s Bayside restaurant in Whycocomagh is thought for serving up the perfect chowder on Cape Breton and so they serve it up for breakfast together with a fish cake and a selfmade biscuit. A fish cake and chowder for breakfast….what??? Belief me on this – it’s unbelievable! Plus, the environment at Charlene’s is like having breakfast in your grandmother’s home, and who doesn’t love that?

Go to the Alexander Graham Bell Historic Website

The positioning contains two predominant sights – the Alexander Graham Bell Museum and the close by Beinn situated close to the city of Baddeck. These locations showcase numerous displays devoted to Bell’s innovations and experiments.

Guests can discover a variety of artifacts associated to Bell’s life and work on the museum. From early telephones and experimental plane fashions to medical gadgets invented by Bell himself, there may be a lot to see and study his groundbreaking improvements.

Cape Breton Alexander Graham Bell Statue
My mom sitting with the Bells in Baddeck!

Along with exploring the displays indoors, guests can wander by the fantastically landscaped grounds surrounding the Alexander Graham Bell Museum. The gardens supply breathtaking views of the Bras d’Or Lake and supply a tranquil setting for leisurely strolls.

Go to the Fishing Village of White Level Harbor

On the north finish of Cape Breton Island simply barely off the Cabot Path, you’ll discover White Level Harbor. This outdated fishing village is iconic and value a cease.

This isn’t a vacationer city…this can be a fishing village of days passed by. One can find just a few native fishermen there and piles of lobster traps, however this sleepy little city has nearly no tourism and that’s what makes it so nice. It’s only a good cease with stunning views of a bygone period; an actual take a look at native life on this distant a part of Cape Breton.

Park by the docks and take a little bit stroll across the city. You’ll discover just a few stone foundations and some locals strolling canines. The small dock is full of small fishing boats, just a few native fishermen, and piles of lobster traps. That is all that’s left of a booming fishing village in 1922. There was a lobster manufacturing unit, church, and faculty there at one level however they’re lengthy gone now.

Find out about Celtic Tradition at The Gaelic School

This non-profit instructional establishment presents programming within the tradition, customs, language, crafts, and traditions of the Highlands of Scotland. Tucked away within the coronary heart of St. Ann’s, The Gaelic School is sort of a time machine that transports you straight into the colourful world of Gaelic tradition and dwell music.

Image this: you may soar into energetic ceilidh dances that’ll have your ft tapping and your coronary heart racing. And for those who’ve at all times needed to strum a fiddle or give bagpipes a go, they’ve obtained workshops that’ll flip you right into a musical maestro (or at the least a good participant)!

celtic center plaids

However wait, there’s extra! How about diving into the Gaelic language itself? They’ve obtained language programs that’ll have you ever throwing round “slàinte” (that’s cheers!) and “tapadh leat” (thanks!) like an area very quickly. And for the artful ones, you may watch and be taught as expert artisans exhibit conventional Gaelic crafts which were handed down by generations. Verify the schedule right here.

Plus, the situation is jaw-droppingly attractive, nestled on the Cabot Path, so that you’ll be surrounded by spectacular surroundings whilst you’re dancing, taking part in, and immersing your self in all issues Gaelic. So whether or not you’re a historical past buff, a Celtic music lover, or simply interested in completely different cultures, the Gaelic School is a must-visit spot that’ll depart you with unforgettable reminiscences and possibly a jig or two up your sleeve!

Cape Breton Miners Museum

When you’re able to dig into Cape Breton Island’s mining historical past, the Cape Breton Miners Museum is the place the motion is! This place is sort of a time capsule that takes you again to the coal mining days when this area was buzzing with miners and their tales. You may roll up your sleeves and get hands-on with the instruments of the commerce, exploring the lifetime of a miner from sunup to sunset. And belief me, it’s so much more durable than it sounds!

However that’s not all – they’ve obtained some real-deal underground excursions that’ll make your coronary heart race and provide you with a style of what it was prefer to work deep inside the Earth. You’ll get to really feel the coolness, hear the echoes, and expertise the entire “Are you able to imagine folks did this for a dwelling?” vibe.

Plus, the guides are like dwelling encyclopedias, stuffed with tales that’ll have you ever laughing, gasping, and possibly even shedding a tear. So for those who’re up for a journey into the gritty, hardworking previous of Cape Breton Island, seize your hat and headlamp – the Cape Breton Miners Museum is ready to indicate you a facet of historical past you gained’t discover in any textbook!

Eat Lobster at Rusty Anchor Restaurant

Nice Bay is a cute little picturesque city on the tip of Cape Breton, and it’s an ideal place to cease to eat some scrumptious Nova Scotia Lobster.

The family-owned Rusty Anchor Restaurant in Nice Bay is tough to overlook. Simply search for the large fisherman statue exterior. Sit on the out of doors patio and do some whale watching as you wait to your lobster feast.

Sitting exterior gazing out on the ocean consuming Nova Scotia lobster and ingesting beer – it actually doesn’t get any higher than this. The wait workers is tremendous pleasant and the entire place has a relaxed environment.

The place to Keep in Cape Breton

Normaway Inn and The Barn Music Middle

You’ll depart the Nationwide Park after sundown and proceed alongside the Cabot Path by just a few little cities. As you get to Margaree Forks proceed following the Cabot Path inland to the Normaway Inn; it’s a good spot to remain for the evening. The solar can be down as you pull in and prepare to relaxation your weary head after an extended day!

Cape Breton music

Cabot Path Tiny Houses

Keep in a tiny home with an enormous view! Cabot Path Tiny Houses have a few of the finest views on the Cabot Path. On one facet you could have the breathtaking view of Margaree Harbour and the attractive Cape Breton Highlands on the opposite.

Every tiny home is supplied with a deck from which to see the attractive sunsets over the water. There’s additionally a shared out of doors campfire and a beachfront for swimming or launching kayaks or canoes.

Keltic Lodge and Purple Thistle Eating Room

My mother and I really stayed in a cute little cabin on the Keltic Lodge and loved this elegant historic lodge with its dwell music and unbelievable restaurant. After a dinner match for royalty on the Purple Thistle, we loved Celtic music on the lodge. Learn opinions of Keltic Lodge Resort and Spa

In search of someplace to remain on Cape Breton? Verify costs and availability for lodges on Cape Breton Island

Extra lodging on Cape Breton Island Nova Scotia

The luxurious Lodge at Cabot Cape Breton resort

Inverary Resort – Learn opinions of Inverary Resort

Mid Path Inn – Learn opinions of MidTrail Inn

Keltic Quay Bayfront Lodge & Cottages – ‘picture-perfectly’ situated on the Whycocomagh Bay looking on Indian Island. Learn opinions of Keltic Quay Lodge

Not like my journey 4 years in the past, this week on Cape Breton was a whole take a look at the island. We didn’t need to rush, we may get exterior and benefit from the views, nature, and tradition of each a part of the island. Along with these adventures, we additionally spent a day at Cabot Cliffs golf course, and a day on the CabotPath.

On the finish of my second Cape Breton Island journey, I questioned what was left for me to discover after I got here again a 3rd time! The one factor I’m sure of is that this island won’t ever be accomplished, there’s at all times extra to see and do.

In search of someplace to remain in Cape Breton Highlands? Verify costs and availability for lodges in Cape Breton Highlands Nationwide Park

How do you get to Cape Breton? It’s straightforward!

It’s straightforward to get to Cape Breton with each day direct service from the NYC space to Halifax! There are a number of flights a day by way of Air Canada/United direct to Newark and by way of Delta direct to LGA. It’s only a 2-hour flight and you’ve got US Customs pre-clearance on the Halifax Stanfield Worldwide Airport for the return journey! PLUS…you may stick with it and carry dwelling recent lobster from the Halifax airport!

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Things to do on Cape Breton Island


I used to be a visitor of Nova Scotia Tourism nonetheless my want to return to Cape Breton for a second time was all mine in order that I may have extra time on this pretty place.  All opinions expressed listed below are mine.



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