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Saturday, March 2, 2024

Issues to do on Cape Breton Island

My mother and I become the French Mountain car parking zone in Cape Breton’s Highlands Nationwide Park. After pulling right into a parking area I walked over to the Skyline Path signal. I had been instructed mountaineering the Skyline path was among the finest issues to do on Cape Breton. This was alleged to be the very best hike within the park for views. I had heard about it, seen photos, and examine it. I had drunk the Skyline Path Kool-Help, and I wished to do it.

Trying on the map we decided it didn’t look too arduous, however it could 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 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 bought again within the automobile and we saved going with a sinking feeling.

cape breton island hikescape 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 greatest 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 buddies Pete and Dalene of Hecktic Travels. We targeted on getting exterior every day on a unique hike, journey, or expertise. This manner 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: Simple – effectively marked and there isn’t a lot elevation change. The path itself is well-groomed and simple 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 car parking zone.

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

You out of the blue depart 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 ideal 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 look at your footing as there are tree roots in some elements. Nevertheless, the quick distance of this path additionally makes it fairly straightforward.

Distance: 1.8 miles in case you go all the best way to the top and again

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

It is a quick little hike however I used to be slowed down by the seaside views. This generally is a easy out-and-back hike, or you possibly can go alongside the bluffs on the best way 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 top of the boardwalk 

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

cape breton island hiking inverness boardwalkcape breton island hiking inverness boardwalk
On the boardwalk!

This actually isn’t a hike, it’s only a good little stroll the place you possibly can take in 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 uninterested in watching the ocean, you possibly can watch golfers tee off on among the finest programs on the planet. There have been loads of locals out strolling their canines alongside the seaside and swimming within the shallow waters.

Center Head Hike

Problem: Simple 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 it’s worthwhile to watch your footing. 

Distance: 2.4-mile loop 

Location: Parking is positioned 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 means of the forest after which out a slight uphill to the top of the peninsula. Right here you possibly can sit and watch the ocean birds soar overhead and soak up the great thing about Cape Breton Island. There’s a loop path that may take you again a extra forested method, or return the best way you got here.

Discover the Finest 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 mountaineering trails, eating places, small cities, and so many unbelievable coastal views!

Certainly one of 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 pink chairs scattered round Cabot Path. At every chair, there’s a novel view of the panorama and seascape.

Baddeck full moon kayakBaddeck 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 seeking 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 truly 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 possibly can 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 bought out a guitar and we had reside leisure. I cherished the vibe of this complete night; it was like a gourmand tenting evening.

They solely run this nighttime tour throughout the full moon so remember to verify the North River Kayak web site for the dates, and as of 2023, the tour might not be accessible. However no worry – you possibly can nonetheless have an unbelievable kayak journey throughout daytime hours. North River Kayak presents quite a lot of totally different excursions and paddling lessons.

Play on a Prime Ranked Golf Course

The Cabot Cliffs Golf Course is ranked nineteenth on the planet’s prime 100 golf programs, so why not cease and get in 9 holes? And in case you can, do a whole 18 because the final 3 holes of the course are a few of essentially the most spectacular views on Cape Breton Island! And remember to convey loads of additional balls to exchange 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 look at Pete play this well-known course. Evidently – I felt a bit 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 situation 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 out of the blue I used to be in for the entire thing! We bought 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 CaddieCabot Cliffs Golf Course Caddie

Ensure you savor the final 3 holes, that are the ‘well-known’ holes proper alongside the cliffs, and by some means Pete truly bought par gap 16!

Hole 16 Cabot CliffsHole 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 instances to go whale watching in Cape Breton is throughout the summer time months when these magnificent creatures migrate to the world seeking 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 information in regards to the totally different whale species encountered throughout the journey. These excursions usually happen aboard specifically designed boats that prioritize passenger security whereas minimizing disturbance to the marine surroundings. So in case you’re searching for 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 crammed with distinctive retailers, pleasant eating places, and historic landmarks. Discover Charlotte Avenue – lined with charming boutiques promoting native crafts and souvenirs – the place you’ll find the whole lot from hand-knit sweaters to conventional Celtic music CDs.

The world’s largest fiddle is positioned 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 Document for being the biggest playable violin on Earth. It has grow to be 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 affected by superlatives equivalent to greatest, and best. It definitely deserves reward because it supplies an entire totally different really feel of Nova Scotia than the opposite routes. The street hugs the cliffs and winds round forests on the Northwest facet, and the Jap facet 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 photograph alternatives or only a place to take a seat and take within the magnificent views and eat lunch.

Cape Breton sunsetCape Breton sunset

I counsel 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 elements of the drive that go proper alongside the coast, you’ll be on the surface lane of the street with the very best views!

In case you solely have sooner or later 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 very best chowder on Cape Breton they usually serve it up for breakfast together with a fish cake and a do-it-yourself 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 Web site

The location contains two foremost points of interest – the Alexander Graham Bell Museum and the close by Beinn positioned close to the city of Baddeck. These locations showcase varied reveals 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’s lots to see and find out about his groundbreaking improvements.

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

Along with exploring the reveals indoors, guests can wander by means of 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…this can be a fishing village of days passed by. You will see that 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 bit stroll across the city. You’ll discover just a few stone foundations and some locals strolling canines. The small dock is crammed 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.

Study Celtic Tradition at The Gaelic Faculty

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

Image this: you possibly can soar into energetic ceilidh dances that’ll have your ft tapping and your coronary heart racing. And in case you’ve at all times wished to strum a fiddle or give bagpipes a go, they’ve bought workshops that’ll flip you right into a musical maestro (or not less than an honest participant)!

celtic center plaidsceltic center plaids

However wait, there’s extra! How about diving into the Gaelic language itself? They’ve bought 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 possibly can watch and study as expert artisans exhibit conventional Gaelic crafts which have been handed down by means of generations. Verify the schedule right here.

Plus, the placement is jaw-droppingly attractive, nestled on the Cabot Path, so that you’ll be surrounded by spectacular surroundings when 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 inquisitive about totally different cultures, the Gaelic Faculty is a must-visit spot that’ll depart you with unforgettable recollections and perhaps a jig or two up your sleeve!

Cape Breton Miners Museum

In case 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’ll be able to 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 rather a lot harder than it sounds!

However that’s not all – they’ve bought 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 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, stuffed with tales that’ll have you ever laughing, gasping, and perhaps even shedding a tear. So in case 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 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 enormous 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 consuming 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 means of just a few little cities. As you get to Margaree Forks proceed following the Cabot Path inland to the Normaway Inn; it’s a excellent spot to remain for the evening. The solar might be down as you pull in and prepare to relaxation your weary head after a protracted day!

Cape Breton musicCape Breton music

Cabot Path Tiny Properties

Keep in a tiny home with an enormous view! Cabot Path Tiny Properties have among the greatest views on the Cabot Path. On one facet you will 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 attractive sunsets over the water. There may be 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 truly stayed in a cute little cabin on the Keltic Lodge and loved this elegant historic lodge with its reside music and unbelievable restaurant. After a dinner match for royalty on the Purple Thistle, we loved Celtic music on the lodge. Learn critiques of Keltic Lodge Resort and Spa

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

Extra lodging on Cape Breton Island Nova Scotia

The luxurious Lodge at Cabot Cape Breton resort

Inverary Resort – Learn critiques of Inverary Resort

Mid Path Inn – Learn critiques of MidTrail Inn

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

In contrast to 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 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 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 accomplished, there’s at all times extra to see and do.

Searching for someplace to remain in Cape Breton Highlands? Verify costs and availability for inns 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 day by 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 possibly can keep it up and carry dwelling recent lobster from the Halifax airport!

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Things to do on Cape Breton IslandThings 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 may have extra time on this beautiful place.  All opinions expressed listed below are mine.

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