Cape Breton Highlands National Park
Cape Breton Highlands National Park's hiking trails range from easy strolls to challenging climbs with panoramic views of canyons, highlands and seacoasts. The trails provide a chance to intimately explore the complex habitat of northern Cape Breton Island. Nature doesn't end at the park's boundaries. Many surrounding areas boast equally breathtaking trails.
Climb 365 metres above the Chéticamp River for panoramic views of the Acadian coastline.
Ideal for a fitness walk or a stroll, this level trail follows the bottom of the Chéticamp River canyon.
Retrace the steps of the Acadian pioneers who travelled this cart path from Le Buttereau, a small settlement of seven families, to Chéticamp.
The self-guiding trail explores mixed Acadian forest, old fields and foundation ruins on a "buttereau" (small hill) overlooking the Chéticamp River and...
Follow the route of the old Cabot Trail from Trout Brook as it gently climbs to a ridge midway up Jerome Mountain.
Follow a meandering brook through a hardwood forest to a small waterfall that marks the end of the trail.
You can enjoy an eagle's view of the Cabot Trail as it winds its way down the mountain – vehicles look like toys.
The trail, as well as the privy at the trailhead, is wheelchair accessible.
On the plateau at the top of the mountain, this trail crosses wet barrens and evergreen forests typical of the highlands, ending at a small lake.
Hike from the top of the mountain about six kilometres down to a small ocean cove and grassy clearing – the only designated wilderness camp site in the...
A nice, easy, fairly level stroll along a babbling brook and through a mature hardwood forest with a scenic waterfall at the end.
One of the most protected areas of the park, access is restricted to this short trail.
This trail meanders along the Aspy fault, through an Acadian and mixed forest.
This breathtaking trail winds through Acadian mixed forest and stunted taiga as it climbs to the wind-swept highlands plateau.
This scenic trail overlooks the Atlantic coastline and winds through a post-fire jack pine stand.
This scenic trail runs along the ocean shoreline.
Birders and other nature lovers simply enjoy the varied wildlife on this short relaxing trail.
From this rocky granite headland jutting out into the sea, you can watch the ocean crash against the rocks.
This switchback trail leads through a dense forest of softwood to the top of Broad Cove Mountain.
The trail hugs the shoreline of the park's largest lake and is alive with wildlife.
The trail explores Acadian, Boreal and Taiga land regions.
You climb up and up and your reward is at the top!
Hikers will marvel at the spectacular stands of hardwood trees, boulders bigger than cars, old abandoned beaver ponds, meadows, apple trees and even the...
The trail follows a long, narrow peninsula separating two ocean bays, ending on headland cliffs overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, Cape Smokey and Ingonish...
If you don't have time for a longer hike to get a view, then this trail is for you.
Starting next to the ocean, this short, level trail follows the shoreline of a small lake that was once an ocean bay.
The following is a list of Cape Breton Highlands National Park's hiking trails. Distances are round-trip with average walking times. Click on the trail name for more detailed information.
Our trails have been rated for difficulty with the internationally recognized symbols:
|Easy||Family-friendly trails that are suitable for all visitors.|
|Moderate||Medium-length trails with moderate elevation gain and some short, steep sections. Suitable for most visitors.|
|Difficult||Longer trails with long, steep sections that are suitable for visitors who have trail experience and are prepared (proper equipment and water).|
|Acadian (loop)||8.4 km||3 - 4 hours||20 - 365 m|
|Salmon Pools||9.5 km||3 - 4 hours||15 - 110 m|
|Le Chemin du Buttereau||4.6 km||1.5 hours||25 - 65 m|
|Le Buttereau (loop)||1.6 km||30 - 45 minutes||0 - 55 m|
|Le vieux chemin du Cap-Rouge||9 km||2.5 - 3.5 hours||40 - 110 m|
|Corney Brook||6.5 km||2 hours||30 - 170 m|
|Skyline||7 km or
8.7 km (loop)
|2 - 3 hours||290 - 405 m|
|Bog (loop)||0.5 km||15 minutes||410 m|
|Benjie's Lake||3 km||1 - 1.5 hours||400 m|
|Fishing Cove||12 km||5 - 6 hours||0 - 355 m|
|MacIntosh Brook||1.7 km||30 - 45 minutes||30 - 65 m|
|Lone Shieling (loop)||0.6 km||15 minutes||70 m|
|Aspy||/||9.6 km||3 - 4 hours||60 - 450 m|
|Mica Hill||7.9 km||3 - 3.5 hours||260 - 410 m|
|Jack Pine (loop)||2.3 km||1 hour||0 - 50 m|
|Coastal||2.4 km||1 hour||0 - 45 m|
|Jigging Cove (loop)||2.4 km||40 - 50 minutes||50 - 65 m|
|Green Cove||0.2 km||10 minutes||10 m|
|Broad Cove Mountain||2.3 km||1 hour||35 - 180 m|
|Warren Lake (loop)||4.7 km||1.5 hours||15 m|
|Branch Pond Look-off||8.4 km||2 - 3 hours||100 - 305 m|
|Franey (loop)||7.4 km||2 - 3 hours||95 - 430 m|
|Clyburn Valley||8.5 km||2 - 3 hours||5 - 50 m|
|Middle Head||3.8 km||1.5 hours||0 - 45 m|
|Freshwater Lake Look-off||0.3 km||10 minutes||10 - 45 m|
|Freshwater Lake||1.7 km||30 - 40 minutes||0 - 15 m|
Remember that you are hiking in a protected wilderness environment.
- Do not approach, disturb or feed wild animals.
- Hike with friends and a solid walking stick.
- If you choose to walk alone, tell somebody where you are going.
- Pack in, pack out. Littering attracts wildlife and puts you and the animals at risk.
- Stay on boardwalks to protect fragile vegetation.
- Mountain bikes are permitted only where indicated, for public safety and protection of the environment.
- Dress appropriately. Weather may change rapidly on the plateau and along the coast.
- Bring water, especially for longer trails, climbs and open barrens.
- Bring insect repellant. Black flies and mosquitoes are common all summer.
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