Hike the Highlands Festival Classics

Roberts Mountain, Pleasant Bay

The recent Explore March/April magazine talked about the old and new Canadian classics including Cycling the Cabot Trail, hiking West Coast Trail and much more.  So it was fitting to chat about the Hike the Highlands Festival Classics, Cape Breton Island.

To make my classics list – a hiking trail must be of significant physical  challenge with outstanding scenery. Here are my classics in no particular order :

1) Franey – I have hiked this trail more than 15o times, and each time it amazes me with the view at the top. A  7.4 kms return hike that provides superb views of the Clyburn Valley and of North Bay, Middlehead & South Bay of Ingonish.
2) Sugar Loaf  – only 4 kms return but you climb big time, but the scenery is outstanding at the top. Take your camera, incredible views. One of my favorite hikes.
3) Meat Cove Mountain – the first time I hiked this trail, it was on a beautiful sunny day and I took over 500 pictures overall. An eagle was flying on top of the mountain. This is a special place…4km return but a good workout. 
4) Roberts Mountain – a new hike in 2009. This is a tough climb but provides an amazing view of Pleasant Bay & Harbour. You will be glad you did this climb.
5) North River Big Falls – 18 km return hike that features Nova Scotia highest waterfalls at 105 feet  at the end of the hike.
6) Acadien – 8.4 km hike that provides great panormaic views of Cheticamp Harbour &  Island, and river canyon. A geocache is located on this trail.  
7) Money Point ( Gulch) – one tough hill to climb first but when you get to the Gulch you know why you did it. Amazing views…
8) Guided Wilderness Hike – This hikes makes you feel young again with jumping rocks, climbing and exploring waterfalls, old growth forest and a hiking cabin. An amazing adventure with great views not to be missed. Take your camera.
9) Fishing Cove – 12 km hike thru a hardwood forest & many forest canyons  to a small cove on the Atlantic Ocean. This hike is definitely a physical challenge but very rewarding with lots of great photo opportunities.
10) Cape St. Lawrence/Lowland Cove – 16 km hike return that provides outstanding coastal scenery and usually wild animals – horses and cows. You start and end in Meat Cove.

I would love to hear your comments on this list and your classics at Hike the Highlands Festival.


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