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Issues to do on Cape Breton Island


My mother and I changed into 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 instructed climbing the Skyline path was among the finest issues to do on Cape Breton. This was imagined 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-Assist, and I wished to do it.

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

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

cape breton island hikes

Cape Breton Island in Canada is understood for outside actions and adventures, and I didn’t actually have time to do any of them. The one solace I might muster up was making a pact with myself I’d come again once more so I might do the entire 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 outdoors every day on a distinct hike, journey, or expertise. This fashion we have been in a position to see and expertise the number of actions the island supplied.

The Finest Issues to do on Cape Breton

Skyline Path Hike

Problem: Straightforward – nicely 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 prime 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 timber. Nevertheless it’s the final third that can have you ever oohing and aahing.

You all of a sudden go away the forest space behind and are excessive on prime of a headland cliff overlooking the Gulf of St. Lawrence. A boardwalk with stairs leads you right down to a viewpoint with benches. Maintain 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: Straightforward to Average – nicely 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 should you go all the way in which to the tip and again

Location: Trailhead and map are close to the parking zone earlier than you head right down to the seaside.

It is a brief little hike however I used to be slowed down by the seaside views. This could be a easy out-and-back hike, or you’ll be able to go alongside the bluffs on the way in which out and observe the path right down to the seaside and stroll again alongside the seaside.

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

Stroll on the Inverness Boardwalk

Problem: It is a easy stroll anybody can do. 

Distance: Almost 1 mile to the tip of the boardwalk 

Location: 158 Seashore No. 1 Highway, Inverness – head in the direction of the ocean till the street ends, and also you’ll be at the start of the boardwalk. There may be parking by the seaside.

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’ll be able to absorb the ocean air and a stunning place for sundown. The boardwalk begins on the public seaside, runs above the seaside, and ends overlooking the Cabot Hyperlinks Golf Course.

In case you are bored with watching the ocean, you’ll be able to watch golfers tee off on among the finest programs on the earth. There have been quite a lot of locals out strolling their canine alongside the seaside and swimming within the shallow waters.

Center Head Hike

Problem: Straightforward to reasonable. There may be some rolling up and down – however nothing steep. The path is well-marked and groomed. There are some locations the place you should watch your footing. 

Distance: 2.4-mile loop 

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

Hike out the slender 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 tip of the peninsula. Right here you’ll be able to sit and watch the ocean birds soar overhead and absorb the fantastic thing about Cape Breton Island. There’s a loop path that can take you again a extra forested means, or return the way in which you got here.

Discover the Finest Views in Cape Breton Highlands Nationwide Park

This is without doubt one of the crown jewels of Cape Breton Island. This Nationwide Park has plenty of great climbing trails, eating places, small cities, and so many unimaginable 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 “Purple Chair Problem”. The mission was to search out and sit in ten purple chairs scattered round Cabot Path. At every chair, there’s a novel view of the panorama and seascape.

Baddeck full moon kayak
A full moon is all the sunshine we wanted 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 strive a kayak journey on Cape Breton. This isn’t only a paddling journey, additionally, you will be handled to connoisseur 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. Maintain 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’ll be able to seaside your kayaks and get pictures 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 Chew Home, and paired with Nova Scotia Canada wine and beer. Our information surprisingly received out a guitar and we had dwell leisure. I liked the vibe of this entire night; it was like a connoisseur tenting evening.

They solely run this nighttime tour in the course of the full moon so you’ll want to verify the North River Kayak web site for the dates, and as of 2023, the tour will not be accessible. However no concern – you’ll be able to nonetheless have an unimaginable kayak journey throughout daytime hours. North River Kayak provides plenty of completely different excursions and paddling lessons.

Play on a Prime Ranked Golf Course

The Cabot Cliffs Golf Course is ranked nineteenth on the earth’s prime 100 golf programs, so why not cease and get in 9 holes? And should you can, do a whole 18 because the final 3 holes of the course are a few of probably the most spectacular views on Cape Breton Island! And you’ll want to carry loads of further balls to exchange the entire 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. For sure – I felt slightly self-conscious. We weren’t even utterly positive 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 received beers, placed on sunscreen, and made a day of it. This wasn’t the stuffy sport 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 one way or the other Pete really received 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 best instances to go whale watching in Cape Breton is in the course of the summer time months when these magnificent creatures migrate to the world 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 concerning the completely different whale species encountered in the course of the journey. These excursions usually happen aboard specifically designed boats that prioritize passenger security whereas minimizing disturbance to the marine setting. So should you’re in search of an unforgettable wildlife encounter in a shocking pure setting, don’t miss out on experiencing whale watching in Cape Breton!

Go to the port city of Sydney

Sydney, positioned on the gorgeous island of Cape Breton in Nova Scotia, Canada, is a captivating port city that provides a novel mix of pure magnificence and wealthy cultural heritage. The downtown space is a bustling hub stuffed with distinctive outlets, pleasant eating places, and historic landmarks. Discover Charlotte Road – lined with charming boutiques promoting native crafts and souvenirs – the place you’ll find every thing from hand-knit sweaters to conventional Celtic music CDs.

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

Drive the Cabot Path on Cape Breton Island

Nova Scotia is understood for its spectacular driving routes, however the queen of all of them is the Cabot Path. This scenic drive is usually plagued by superlatives akin to finest, and best. It actually deserves reward because it supplies an entire completely different really feel of Nova Scotia than the opposite routes. The street hugs the cliffs and winds round forests on the Northwest aspect, and the Jap aspect supplies a rocky coast dotted with fishing villages and sandy seashores.

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

Cape Breton sunset

I counsel you drive the path in a counter clockwise route. This lets you see the sundown since you’ll end the drive on the west aspect of the island. This additionally means for the components of the drive that go proper alongside the coast, you’ll be on the skin lane of the street 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.

Attempt Fishcakes for Breakfast at Charlene’s

Charlene’s Bayside restaurant in Whycocomagh is understood for serving up the perfect chowder on Cape Breton they usually serve it up for breakfast together with a fish cake and a home made biscuit. A fish cake and chowder for breakfast….what??? Belief me on this – it’s unimaginable! Plus, the ambiance 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 location contains two important points of interest – the Alexander Graham Bell Museum and the close by Beinn positioned close to the city of Baddeck. These locations showcase varied 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 find out about 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 previous fishing village is iconic and value a cease.

This isn’t a vacationer city…it is 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 just about no tourism and that’s what makes it so nice. It’s only a good cease with lovely 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 slightly stroll across the city. You’ll discover just a few stone foundations and some locals strolling canine. The small dock is stuffed with 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 college there at one level however they’re lengthy gone now.

Find out about Celtic Tradition at The Gaelic Faculty

This non-profit academic establishment provides 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 Faculty is sort of a time machine that transports you straight into the colourful world of Gaelic tradition and dwell music.

Image this: you’ll be able to bounce into full of life ceilidh dances that’ll have your toes tapping and your coronary heart racing. And should you’ve at all times wished to strum a fiddle or give bagpipes a go, they’ve received workshops that’ll flip you right into a musical maestro (or at the very least a good participant)!

celtic center plaids

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

Plus, the placement is jaw-droppingly beautiful, nestled on the Cabot Path, so that you’ll be surrounded by spectacular surroundings when you’re dancing, enjoying, and immersing your self in all issues Gaelic. So whether or not you’re a historical past buff, a Celtic music lover, or simply inquisitive about completely different cultures, the Gaelic Faculty is a must-visit spot that’ll go away you with unforgettable reminiscences and perhaps 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 harder than it sounds!

However that’s not all – they’ve received some real-deal underground excursions that’ll make your coronary heart race and offer you a style of what it was wish to work deep throughout the Earth. You’ll get to really feel the chilliness, 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, filled with tales that’ll have you ever laughing, gasping, and perhaps even shedding a tear. So should you’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 point out you a aspect of historical past you received’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 difficult to overlook. Simply search for the large fisherman statue outdoors. Sit down on the outside patio and do some whale watching as you wait to your lobster feast.

Sitting outdoors 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 ambiance.

The place to Keep in Cape Breton

Normaway Inn and The Barn Music Heart

You’ll go away 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 shall 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 among the finest views on the Cabot Path. On one aspect you might have the breathtaking view of Margaree Harbour and the gorgeous Cape Breton Highlands on the opposite.

Every tiny home is provided with a deck from which to see the beautiful sunsets over the water. There may be additionally a shared outside 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 unimaginable restaurant. After a dinner match for royalty on the Purple Thistle, we loved Celtic music on the lodge. Learn evaluations of Keltic Lodge Resort and Spa

Searching for someplace to remain on Cape Breton? Verify costs and availability for accommodations on Cape Breton Island

Extra lodging on Cape Breton Island Nova Scotia

The luxurious Lodge at Cabot Cape Breton resort

Inverary Resort – Learn evaluations of Inverary Resort

Mid Path Inn – Learn evaluations of MidTrail Inn

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

Not like my journey 4 years in the past, this week on Cape Breton was an entire take a look at the island. We didn’t should rush, we might get outdoors 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 puzzled 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 finished, there’s at all times extra to see and do.

Searching for someplace to remain in Cape Breton Highlands? Verify costs and availability for accommodations 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 every 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’ll be able to keep on and carry residence 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 nevertheless my need to return to Cape Breton for a second time was all mine in order that I might have extra time on this beautiful place.  All opinions expressed listed here are mine.




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