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Highlands National Park - Celtic Colours - Hiking Trails



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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 and our famous Celtic Colours. 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.

Celtic Colours - Hiking Trails

About Celtic Colours

For nine days in October, the island is alive with music, energy and excitement as people come from far and wide to celebrate our rich culture. Since its introduction in 1997, Celtic Colours has grown to become one of Canada’s premiere musical events. The festival is held during Cape Breton’s most spectacular season when the leaves are turning to vibrant colours, providing breathtaking scenery as you travel from event to event.

While traveling from events why not stay with us at our 100 year old church located at the top of Cape Breton with all the colours surrounding us. The view from our bell tower will take your breathe away..

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

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.