Whether it’s a casual hike along the rugged coastline or an epic journey to Nova Scotia’s tallest waterfall, Cape Breton has a hike for everyone.
North River Falls
Start your hiking adventure off with a bang! This 18km hike will test your endurance but don’t worry, the view is worth it. The trail travels along the pristine North River and through centuries-old homesteads. If you keep your eyes open you may see the remnants of old stone walls of homesteads that populated the area. If you’re an angler and have your fishing license you will certainly enjoy the pools along the hike!
The Acadian Trail is one of our favourite trails in the Cape Breton Highlands National Park. The climb will take you to the plateau of the highlands and give you amazing views of the Acadian community of Chéticamp and of Grand Falaise. If you’re particularly adventurous this hike will give you an incredible vantage point for a sunset! Keep an eye out for any dropped moose antlers, but remember to leave them where you’ve found them.
This is a must-see view! This is one of Cape Breton’s favourite hikes. And for good reason, this hike is beautiful in every season, but it really shines in the autumn. This moderate to difficult hike will take you to an elevation of 425 and give you a panoramic view of the Clyburn Valley, Middle Head and the Atlantic Ocean.
Beulach Ban Falls/Aspy Trail
This trail starts at the falls and then meanders along the Aspy fault, through an Acadian and mixed forest. As nature reclaims land once used for farming and logging, a regenerated forest begins to blend in with the old growth. The magnificent red oak and the hoots of the barred owl or great horned owl will appeal to the true nature enthusiast.
Louisbourg Lighthouse Trail
If you’re not in the mood to climb any mountains or if you find yourself in Louisbourg you need to check out the beautiful Lighthouse Trail. This trail hugs the rugged coastline and is home to the location of Canada’s first lighthouse. This hike is extra interesting during storms and can be a dramatic place to storm watch! Just be sure to do so safely!
Cape Mabou Highlands
Mabou is known for its deep connections to Celtic music and beautiful scenery. This scenery can be experienced first-hand while hiking the Cape Mabou Highlands Trail! After you finish the hike be sure to stop by the West Mabou beach to cool off and play in the water!
Freshwater Lake Look-off Trail
This hike may be short but it’s well worth it! Travel across the highway from Parks Canada’s administration buildings and take in a short, but steep climb to a perch that overlooks the Freshwater Lake and the Cape Breton Highlands! If you’re looking for a quick but worthwhile activity, this is a great choice!
This hidden gem of a trail is found overlooking the Aspy Bay. This trail travels along the North Mountain range and doesn’t involve any climbing! What’s great about this hike is that you don’t have to hike far to arrive at the headland that looks over the bay. Be on the lookout for moose while hiking to the headland!
This is a hike made for the adventurous! This trail starts off pretty easily but about halfway in you start to climb up the mountainside. Stick with it though, it’s a hard climb but there are few better places for views in all of eastern Canada. This hike is great in every season.
Uisge Bàn Falls Provincial Park
Who doesn’t love a simple walk in the woods? This trail is one of Cape Breton’s easiest and most family-friendly. A short walk through an old-growth Acadian forest will guide you to a two-tier waterfall that inspire you to find the rest of Cape Breton’s dozens of waterfalls! It’s the perfect spot for bringing a picnic lunch from one of Baddeck’s cafés.