highlands hostel

Highlands Hostel

Call: Toll Free Canada/USA:1-833-381-6553 or 1-902-383-2371

Highlands National Park - Hiking Trails

Our Backyard - Our Playground

Yours to explore

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.

All these trails are right on our hostels back and front door step.

Hiking Trails

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.

The trails have been rated for difficulty with the internationally recognized symbols:

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Easy Easy Family-friendly trails that are suitable for all visitors.
Moderate Moderate Medium-length trails with moderate elevation gain and some short, steep sections. Suitable for most visitors.
Difficult Difficult
  Longer trails with long, steep sections that are suitable for visitors who have trail experience and are prepared (proper equipment and water).

 

Trail Difficulty  Distance Time Elevation
1 Acadian (loop) Moderate 8.4 km 3 - 4 hours 20 - 365 m
2 Salmon Pools Moderate 7.8 km 3 - 4 hours 15 - 110 m
3 Le Chemin du Buttereau Easy 4.6 km 1.5 hours 25 - 65 m
4 Le Buttereau (loop) Easy 1.6 km 30 - 45 minutes 0 - 55 m
5 Le vieux chemin du Cap-Rouge Easy 9 km 2.5 - 3.5 hours 40 - 110 m
6 Corney Brook Easy 6.5 km 2 hours 30 - 170 m
7 Skyline Easy 7 km or
8.7 km (loop)
2 - 3 hours 290 - 405 m
8 Bog (loop) Easy 0.5 km 15 minutes 410 m
9 Benjie's Lake Easy 3 km 1 - 1.5 hours 400 m
10 Fishing Cove Difficult 12 km 5 - 6 hours 0 - 355 m
11 MacIntosh Brook Easy 1.7 km 30 - 45 minutes 30 - 65 m
12 Lone Shieling (loop) Easy 0.6 km 15 minutes 70 m
13 Aspy Moderate / Difficult 9.6 km 3 - 4 hours 60 - 450 m
14 Mica Hill Moderate 7.9 km 3 - 3.5 hours 260 - 410 m
15 Jack Pine (loop) Easy 2.3 km 1 hour 0 - 50 m
16 Coastal Moderate 11.3 km 3 - 4 hours 0 - 45 m
17 Jigging Cove (loop) Easy 2.4 km 40 - 50 minutes 50 - 65 m
18 Green Cove Easy 0.2 km 10 minutes 10 m
19 Broad Cove Mountain Moderate 2.3 km 1 hour 35 - 180 m
20 Warren Lake (loop) Moderate 4.7 km 1.5 hours 15 m
21 Branch Pond Look-off Moderate 8.4 km 2 - 3 hours 100 - 305 m
22 Franey (loop) Difficult 7.4 km 2 - 3 hours 95 - 430 m
23 Clyburn Valley Easy 8.5 km 2 - 3 hours 5 - 50 m
24 Middle Head Moderate 3.8 km 1.5 hours 0 - 45 m
25 Freshwater Lake Look-off Moderate 0.3 km 10 minutes 10 - 45 m
26 Freshwater Lake Easy 1.7 km 30 - 40 minutes 0 - 15 m

Trails Less Traveled

For those hikers that enjoy less populated trails off the beaten path; these are some of their favorites.  These trails are not part of the national park circuit but are well worth it if you enjoy moderate to challenging remote hiking with some good grade ascents and descents and spectacular views.  These trails are not recommended for beginner hikers or young children. Note: many of these trails do not have cell service.  These areas are the home to bears, coyotes, and moose so hike prepared

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Trail Distance Time Elevation
1 Sugar Loaf 3.2 km 1.5 hours 350 m
2 Blueberry Hill (Close to Cheticamp) 6.6 km 2-3 hours 440 m
3 Mountain Trail (Meat Cove) 5.22 km 2 hours 10 min 277 m
4 Roberts Mountain (Pleasant Bay) 3.73 km 2 hrs 10 minutes 328 m
5 Pollets Cove (Pleasant Bay) 13.2 km 10 hours 830 m
6 Kauzmann Trail 3.7 km 2 hours 106 m
7 Money Point Trail 13.74 km 5hrs 30 min 750 m
8 Tenerife  MountainTrail 3.7 km 1 hour 298 m

Remember that you are hiking in a protected wilderness environment.

  • Do not approach, disturb or feed wild animals.
  • When driving the trail in the fall (Late September to Mid October) look out for animals on the road, there will be more young juveniles not used to traffic, plus animals foraging for winter food and it's rutting season and moose are really protective of their territories and nothing will get in their way to their loved one.
  • 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 repellent. Black flies and mosquitoes are common all summer.