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Macs Pathfinder
Macs Pathfinder

Tips for hiking in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia

Cape Breton Highlands National Park, in Northeast Nova Scotia, is an epic destination, with scenic hikes and drives along the Cabot Trail and access to unique coastal landscapes throughout the park. With so many places to go and things to see, here are a few tips for making the most of a visit to Cape Breton and how to maximize your time here.

Look up and down

This entire area is a unique mix of boreal forests, bogs, and lowland lake regions, which means there is always something new and unique to see. This is a land of verticality, with mountains reaching high into the sky and cliff sides extending down to the sea. When hiking through this area, be sure to look all around and take in all of the sights, as it’s easy to miss things with so many amazing things to see. Cape Breton also has some rare plants that are easily trampled by unwitting hikers, which leads us to the next point…

Familiarize yourself with the unique flora and fauna of the area

Between carnivorous bog plants, soaring Northern Harriers, and plentiful Moose, this area is filled with unique plants and animals to see while traveling around. Learning a little bit about these things ahead of time is a great way to help understand what is going on in these areas and where to look for wildlife. The trail signs of the park are also great for this, often providing insight into what you’re seeing when traveling through a specific area.

Give yourself plenty of time

Nobody wants to rush through a beautiful hike, so give yourself more time than you think you’ll need when hiking in the area. Between chance moose viewings, photographing wildflowers, or whale watching along the coast. It’s easy for a short hike to become longer based on the natural splendor of the area. Try and plan extra time so you’re never rushed through and enjoy the landscape along the way.

Find the red chairs

One of my favorite details from Cape Breton National Park are the red chairs hidden amongst the various hiking locations. The Canadian National Park serve has brought a red chair to ten different scenic viewpoints throughout the park and finding them is a fantastic way to inspire exploration throughout the park. Plus, getting a chance to take in the beautiful sites from a comfy chair always feels great after a big hike!

The red chairs are hidden amongst the various hiking locations