highlands hostel

Highlands Hostel

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

Spring Break - Christmas or Summer holidays - your year round vacation destination

Our Backyard - Your 4 season playground to enjoy

Spring in Cape Breton

Spring in cape breton

Summer vacation  Fun



Cycling the Trail

Cape Breton, Canada

Circling Cape Breton Island, off Canada’s Atlantic coast, the Cabot Trail passes through fishing villages where Gaelic is still spoken, Miꞌkmaq reserves and Acadian towns. It winds through old-growth forest to the edge of rust-coloured bluffs, before dropping hundreds of metres to sandy beaches and picturesque ports, where the locals sell fresh lobster and chowder. Whether you do the 300km loop in a day or a week, the Cabot Trail is one of the best bike rides in North America. Go in the spring or fall. It can get very busy in summer, and winter is, well, winter in Canada.

Fresh lobsters right off the fishing boat...yummmy

We will even show you how to cook them. When in season ( we only like to cook fresh lobster) ask us to pick up the lobsters for you, We will let you know the price of lobster closer to the season.

Hiking Trails

If you want to do some hiking there is not enough time to do all the hikes so let us know what your competencies are and we will pin out some jawdropping hikes for you on your cell phone or map

HIking trails


We have so many world class beaches with 15 minutes from the church, if your lucky Bricin may fire up the Crib Bomb and take you to the beach for an evening lobster feast.

Cool off at our local swimming hole

Hidden Gems

Now if you are really lucky we can show you where this real hidden gem of a swimming hole is.

Autumn and the Celtic Colours

Celtic colours

Winter Snowshoeing

Cape Breton - Cabot Trail - Hostel  Staycations

Book your Staycation now

Now you have no excuse not to visit Highlands national park. Highlands Hostel is open 12 months of the year, so Spring Break, summer and don't forget Autumn with the fantastic Celtic colours or Christmas come enjoy the season with us. Hiking in the summer, cross country skiing and snowshoeing in the winter or just a vacation .

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:

New Page 1
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.