Nova Scotia: Cape Breton Island Hike
7 days, 6 nights of hiking, showing you the best of Cape Breton Island on foot.
Cape Breton Island has inspired musicians, artists, and inventors since it was first settled by Europeans centuries ago. You are likely to feel similarly inspired, as you follow these spectacular trails along coastlines, through valleys, and to viewpoints with the ability to make you breathe deeply and appreciate the magnitude of the beauty in such special places. Starting in Baddeck, where Alexander Graham Bell chose to settle for it’s simple beauty, you will start with a walk to a delightful waterfall, and visit the museum to learn about Bell’s astonishing discoveries. You will then follow the coast to Cape Breton Highlands National Park, to enjoy the best trails of this profoundly stirring area, where coastal hills meet the sea on both East and West coasts. We may be able to finish with a day around Mabou, a quiet village that at first glance belies the abundance of musical talent enjoyed there. You can visit the only single malt distillery outside Scotland, before a fantastic hike on your last day, along the path cut into the side of the coastal hills at Sight Point. This is a full week of Cape Breton magic, but we guarantee you will leave wanting more!
Meet in downtown Halifax at 13:00 or the airport at 14:00, for a 4½ hours transfer to Louisbourg. If you prefer to avoid the drive, you can fly into Sydney, only 30 minutes away by taxi. D (Meal inclusions provided for guided trips. Self-guided trips include breakfast only.)
Louisbourg Harbour Inn; or
Cranberry Cove Inn, Louisbourg
Day 2: Visit Louisbourg, and hike the Lighthouse Trail
A short walk will take you to the gates of Louisbourg, where you will spend the morning discovering why this French fortress was built, how it functioned, and why it failed. The original fortress, constructed mainly between 1720 and 1740, was one of the most extensive (and expensive) European fortifications constructed in North America. Today it is an 18th-century adventure nestled on the edge of the sea - a place where muskets and mortars, women in hoop skirts and men in wigs, town criers and the 'iron collar' are a part of re-enacted everyday life. After a period meal, this afternoon’s hike will take you along the coast on the Lighthouse Trail. You may also learn about myriad shipwrecks – victims of the beautifully rugged coast. The hike takes you to one of the most beautifully preserved and spectacular lighthouses on the East Coast of North America. You will see why it exists! BL
Transfer to Baddeck. Hike two hours beside streams and rivers to Uisge Bhan falls, then explore the small village of Baddeck for lunch. Afterwards, learn about Alexander Graham Bell at his museum and estate, and settle in to your inn to prepare for an exquisite dinner and tomorrow’s hikes. BLD (Meal inclusions provided for guided trips).
Chanterelle Inn, North River
Day 4: Two short hikes and one long one. 6 hours hiking
The first hike today is up Ingonish River into the highlands. Also known as Kalapa Valley retreat by Buddhists who have called this the center of the universe. You may see why. After lunch, you will be able to hike along the coast from Black Brook Beach, and out to spectacular White Point. Finish the day at cottages overlooking a four-mile beach. BLD
Markland Inn, Dingwall
Day 5: 6 hours. Fishing Cove, and Skyline Trail
Today’s hikes are some of the finest of the Cape Breton Highlands National Park. One descends to an idyllic cove with beach, waterfall, pond, and meadow, far removed from anything but its own natural beauty. The other takes you along boardwalks and trails to an amazingly expansive vista, from where we often see whales, moose, eagles, and cyclists conquering the climbs of the Cabot Trail far below. BLD
Day 6: 4-6 hours hiking
Two more National park hikes today will round out your appreciation for why this area was called New Scotland, and why Bell chose to live here; not to mention the appreciative and friendly residents who all believe they live in paradise. After hiking, you will transfer to the musical hotbed of Mabou, where the delights include the Rankin Family’s Red Shoe Pub. Traditional musical entertainment is a nightly occurrence here. BLD
Duncreigan Country Inn, Mabou
Day 7: 4-6 hours hiking
Just wait ‘til you see this hike! Cut into the edge of a hill that tumbles all the way to the sea, the path along Sight Point will leave you giddy with excitement, and maybe vertigo. This is the part of Nova Scotia that most reminds us of its namesake: Scotland. You may even see some sheep illustrating the area’s heritage. In any case, you will be amazed at the expansive sea views as you explore this trail – a good morning of hiking before transferring back to Halifax by day’s end. BL
|Start:||Downtown Halifax, 13:00, or Halifax Airport, 14:00, day one.
Transfer 4½ hours to Louisbourg. Alternatively, one way flights are available into Sydney, a 30 minute taxi ride from Louisbourg.
Downtown Halifax, 19:00, day seven. Note that flying via Sydney is logistically more difficult than at the beginning of your tour.
|Guided Cost:||$2295 (per person, includes 7 days, 6 nights, 6 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 5 dinners, luggage handling, ground transportation including transfers from/to Halifax, guide support, relevant maps and notes)|
|Self-Guided Cost:||$1995 (per person, includes 7 days, 6 nights, 6 breakfasts, ground transportation including transfers from/to Halifax, relevant maps and notes)|
|Self-Drive Cost:||$1165 (per person, includes 7 days, 6 nights, 6 breakfasts, relevant maps and notes, car rental recommendations)|
|2013 Guided Dates:||May 25-31; Jun 8-14; Jun 22-28; Jul 6-12; Jul 20-26; Aug 3-9;
Aug 17-23; Aug 31-Sep 6; Sep 14-20; Oct 6-12 (fall foliage). Add your own dates (learn more)
|Extend your stay:||Spend some extra time in Halifax including a visit to theTitanic gravesites. Add a day or two of Seakayaking on Nova Scotia's South Shore. Call us for hiking, cycling, paddling, or multisport extensions.|
details and pricing are subject to change without
15% sales tax applies, but a 50% refund will be applied for non-Canadian residents.