Issues to do on Cape Breton Island

My mother and I changed into the French Mountain parking zone in Cape Breton’s Highlands Nationwide Park. After pulling right into a parking house I walked over to the Skyline Path signal. I had been instructed climbing the Skyline path was among the finest issues to do on Cape Breton. This was speculated to be one of the best hike within the park for views. I had heard about it, seen footage, and examine it. I had drunk the Skyline Path Kool-Assist, and I wished to do it.

Trying on the map we decided it didn’t look too onerous, however it will take a few hours to finish. We checked out one another and realized we didn’t have time to do it; we needed to preserve going. 

If we stopped to hike the entire unbelievable trails within the park we’d by no means make it round the Cabot Path in a day and to our lodge! I reluctantly bought again within the automotive and we stored going with a sinking feeling.

cape breton island hikes

Cape Breton Island in Canada is thought for out of doors actions and adventures, and I didn’t actually have time to do any of them. The one solace I may muster up was making a pact with myself I’d come again once more so I may do the entire finest issues to do on Cape Breton.

Quick-forward 4 years and I’m again on Cape Breton Island to meet that plan. I spent every week on the island with mates Pete and Dalene of Hecktic Travels. We targeted on getting outdoors every day on a special hike, journey, or expertise. This fashion we had been in a position to see and expertise the number of actions the island supplied.

The Greatest Issues to do on Cape Breton

Skyline Path Hike

Problem: Straightforward – effectively marked and there isn’t a lot elevation change. The path itself is well-groomed and straightforward to stroll. The loop part is a little more rugged, however nonetheless within the simple class. 

Distance: 4 miles return or 5.1-mile loop 

Location: Positioned in Cape Breton Highlands Nationwide Park alongside the Cabot Path on the high of French Mountain. There are indicators for the parking zone.

The terrain is pretty common for the primary two-thirds of the stroll as you wind via the forest and get teased by views of Cabot Path via the bushes. Nevertheless it’s the final third that can have you ever oohing and aahing.

You all of the sudden depart the forest space behind and are excessive on high of a headland cliff overlooking the Gulf of St. Lawrence. A boardwalk with stairs leads you right down to a viewpoint with benches. Maintain your eyes peeled for whales and benefit from the view. That is additionally a terrific place for a picnic lunch or sundown hike.

Mabou Western Coastal Hike

Problem: Straightforward to Reasonable – effectively marked, however in spots, you’ll want to look at your footing as there are tree roots in some components. Nonetheless, the quick distance of this path additionally makes it fairly simple.

Distance: 1.8 miles in the event you go all the way in which to the tip and again

Location: Trailhead and map are close to the parking zone earlier than you head right down to the seashore.

This can be a quick little hike however I used to be slowed down by the seashore views. This generally is a easy out-and-back hike, or you possibly can go alongside the bluffs on the way in which out and comply with the path right down to the seashore and stroll again alongside the seashore.

You’ll begin out in a dense space of Spruce bushes and rolling inexperienced hills after which come out on high of the sand dunes the place it’s extra of an open discipline. We walked again alongside the seashore and loved the crashing waves and assembly locals alongside the seashore.

Stroll on the Inverness Boardwalk

Problem: This can be a easy stroll anybody can do. 

Distance: Practically 1 mile to the tip of the boardwalk 

Location: 158 Seaside No. 1 Street, Inverness – head in the direction of the ocean till the highway ends, and also you’ll be originally of the boardwalk. There’s parking by the seashore.

cape breton island hiking inverness boardwalk
On the boardwalk!

This actually isn’t a hike, it’s only a good little stroll the place you possibly can absorb the ocean air and a stunning place for sundown. The boardwalk begins on the public seashore, runs above the seashore, and ends overlooking the Cabot Hyperlinks Golf Course.

In case you are uninterested in watching the ocean, you possibly can watch golfers tee off on among the finest programs on the earth. There have been quite a lot of locals out strolling their canines alongside the seashore and swimming within the shallow waters.

Center Head Hike

Problem: Straightforward to reasonable. There’s some rolling up and down – however nothing steep. The path is well-marked and groomed. There are some locations the place it is advisable to watch your footing. 

Distance: 2.4-mile loop 

Location: Parking is situated on the trailhead behind the Keltic Lodge in Ingonish.

Hike out the slim peninsula separating two ocean bays and finish on cliffs overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. You’ll wind via the forest after which out a slight uphill to the tip of the peninsula. Right here you possibly can sit and watch the ocean birds soar overhead and absorb the fantastic thing about Cape Breton Island. There’s a loop path that can take you again a extra forested manner, or return the way in which you got here.

Discover the Greatest Views in Cape Breton Highlands Nationwide Park

This is without doubt one of the crown jewels of Cape Breton Island. This Nationwide Park has a lot of great climbing trails, eating places, small cities, and so many unbelievable coastal views!

One in every of my favourite and most intelligent makes use of of the Adirondack chair in Nova Scotia Canada was by the Cape Breton Highlands Nationwide Park of their “Purple Chair Problem”. The mission was to seek out and sit in ten crimson chairs scattered round Cabot Path. At every chair, there’s a singular view of the panorama and seascape.

Baddeck full moon kayak
A full moon is all the sunshine we would have liked for kayaking

Take a Sea Kayak Journey

In case you are trying to give your legs a break and provides your higher physique a exercise, then attempt a kayak journey on Cape Breton. This isn’t only a paddling journey, additionally, you will be handled to connoisseur native meals and wine.

We truly went on a full moon tour and kayaked at evening. Because the solar went down we left the shore in Baddeck and did a golden hour paddle round Kidsten Island. Maintain your eyes peeled for seabirds across the island. Proper earlier than the solar disappears you’ll find yourself on the Kidsten Island lighthouse the place you possibly can seashore your kayaks and get photographs of this idyllic setting.

We paddled as much as the shore the place there have been platters of meals being ready at our personal personal gazebo. The meals was ready by chef Brian Pickard of the favored native restaurant, the Chew Home, and paired with Nova Scotia Canada wine and beer. Our information surprisingly bought out a guitar and we had dwell leisure. I beloved the vibe of this complete night; it was like a connoisseur tenting evening.

They solely run this nighttime tour throughout the full moon so you should definitely verify the North River Kayak web site for the dates, and as of 2023, the tour might not be accessible. However no worry – you possibly can nonetheless have an unbelievable kayak journey throughout daytime hours. North River Kayak gives a lot of completely different excursions and paddling courses.

Play on a Prime Ranked Golf Course

The Cabot Cliffs Golf Course is ranked nineteenth on the earth’s high 100 golf programs, so why not cease and get in 9 holes? And in the event you can, do a complete 18 because the final 3 holes of the course are a few of essentially the most spectacular views on Cape Breton Island! And you should definitely deliver loads of further balls to interchange the entire ones you’ll lose off the cliffs!

For the primary time in 20 years, I stepped onto a golf course to look at Pete play this well-known course. For sure – I felt slightly self-conscious. We weren’t even fully certain they’d let me stroll alongside on such a famend course, however they didn’t appear to have any challenge with it.

Bear in mind, a caddie is required on this course. There aren’t any carts on the course, solely caddies.

I used to be having a lot enjoyable that after gap 3, I made a decision to remain just a few extra, after which just a few extra, and all of the sudden I used to be in for the entire thing! We bought beers, placed on sunscreen, and made a day of it. This wasn’t the stuffy recreation of golf I used to be anticipating.

Cabot Cliffs Golf Course Caddie

Be sure to savor the final 3 holes, that are the ‘well-known’ holes proper alongside the cliffs, and one way or the other Pete truly bought par gap 16!

Hole 16 Cabot Cliffs

And in case your pocketbook can afford it – get a room at The Lodge at Cabot Cape Breton resort too – it’s pure luxurious.

Whale watching on Cape Breton

Probably the greatest instances to go whale watching in Cape Breton is throughout the summer season months when these magnificent creatures migrate to the realm seeking meals. The most typical whale species noticed right here embody humpback whales, fin whales, minke whales, and infrequently even orcas. With their spectacular dimension and sleek actions, witnessing these majestic mammals up shut is an awe-inspiring sight.

A number of tour operators provide guided whale-watching excursions in Cape Breton, offering guests with educated guides who can share attention-grabbing info concerning the completely different whale species encountered throughout the journey. These excursions sometimes happen aboard specifically designed boats that prioritize passenger security whereas minimizing disturbance to the marine setting. So in the event you’re in search of an unforgettable wildlife encounter in a surprising pure setting, don’t miss out on experiencing whale watching in Cape Breton!

Go to the port city of Sydney

Sydney, situated on the gorgeous island of Cape Breton in Nova Scotia, Canada, is an enthralling port city that gives a singular mix of pure magnificence and wealthy cultural heritage. The downtown space is a bustling hub full of distinctive retailers, pleasant eating places, and historic landmarks. Discover Charlotte Road – lined with charming boutiques promoting native crafts and souvenirs – the place you’ll find the whole lot from hand-knit sweaters to conventional Celtic music CDs.

The world’s largest fiddle is situated in Sydney. Standing at a staggering peak of 60 toes (18 meters), this colossal fiddle is tough to overlook. Erected in 2005, it holds the Guinness World File for being the most important playable violin on Earth. It has change into a notable landmark within the space, attracting each locals and vacationers alike.

Drive the Cabot Path on Cape Breton Island

Nova Scotia is thought for its spectacular driving routes, however the queen of all of them is the Cabot Path. This scenic drive is usually suffering from superlatives equivalent to finest, and biggest. It actually deserves reward because it supplies an entire completely different really feel of Nova Scotia than the opposite routes. The highway hugs the cliffs and winds round forests on the Northwest facet, and the Japanese facet supplies a rocky coast dotted with fishing villages and sandy seashores.

There are many scenic lookouts alongside the world-famous Cabot Path supplying you with many photograph alternatives or only a place to sit down and take within the magnificent views and eat lunch.

Cape Breton sunset

I recommend you drive the path in a counter clockwise route. This lets you see the sundown since you’ll end the drive on the west facet of the island. This additionally means for the components of the drive that go proper alongside the coast, you’ll be on the surface lane of the highway with one of the best views!

If you happen to solely have at some point to finish the drive, then use this drive the Cabot Path one-day itinerary I did just a few years later.

Strive Fishcakes for Breakfast at Charlene’s

Charlene’s Bayside restaurant in Whycocomagh is thought for serving up one of the best chowder on Cape Breton they usually serve it up for breakfast together with a fish cake and a home made biscuit. A fish cake and chowder for breakfast….what??? Belief me on this – it’s unbelievable! Plus, the ambiance at Charlene’s is like having breakfast in your grandmother’s home, and who doesn’t love that?

Go to the Alexander Graham Bell Historic Website

The positioning consists of two predominant points of interest – the Alexander Graham Bell Museum and the close by Beinn situated close to the city of Baddeck. These locations showcase numerous displays devoted to Bell’s innovations and experiments.

Guests can discover a variety of artifacts associated to Bell’s life and work on the museum. From early telephones and experimental plane fashions to medical units invented by Bell himself, there’s loads to see and study his groundbreaking improvements.

Cape Breton Alexander Graham Bell Statue
My mom sitting with the Bells in Baddeck!

Along with exploring the displays indoors, guests can wander via the superbly landscaped grounds surrounding the Alexander Graham Bell Museum. The gardens provide breathtaking views of the Bras d’Or Lake and supply a tranquil setting for leisurely strolls.

Go to the Fishing Village of White Level Harbor

On the north finish of Cape Breton Island simply barely off the Cabot Path, you’ll discover White Level Harbor. This outdated fishing village is iconic and value a cease.

This isn’t a vacationer city…this can be a fishing village of days passed by. You can find just a few native fishermen there and piles of lobster traps, however this sleepy little city has just about no tourism and that’s what makes it so nice. It’s only a good cease with stunning views of a bygone period; an actual have a look at native life on this distant a part of Cape Breton.

Park by the docks and take slightly stroll across the city. You’ll discover just a few stone foundations and some locals strolling canines. The small dock is full of small fishing boats, just a few native fishermen, and piles of lobster traps. That is all that’s left of a booming fishing village in 1922. There was a lobster manufacturing facility, church, and college there at one level however they’re lengthy gone now.

Find out about Celtic Tradition at The Gaelic School

This non-profit instructional establishment gives programming within the tradition, customs, language, crafts, and traditions of the Highlands of Scotland. Tucked away within the coronary heart of St. Ann’s, The Gaelic School is sort of a time machine that transports you straight into the colourful world of Gaelic tradition and dwell music.

Image this: you possibly can bounce into full of life ceilidh dances that’ll have your toes tapping and your coronary heart racing. And in the event you’ve all the time wished to strum a fiddle or give bagpipes a go, they’ve bought workshops that’ll flip you right into a musical maestro (or a minimum of a good participant)!

celtic center plaids

However wait, there’s extra! How about diving into the Gaelic language itself? They’ve bought language programs that’ll have you ever throwing round “slàinte” (that’s cheers!) and “tapadh leat” (thanks!) like a neighborhood very quickly. And for the artful ones, you possibly can watch and be taught as expert artisans exhibit conventional Gaelic crafts which have been handed down via generations. Test the schedule right here.

Plus, the situation is jaw-droppingly beautiful, nestled on the Cabot Path, so that you’ll be surrounded by spectacular surroundings whilst you’re dancing, enjoying, and immersing your self in all issues Gaelic. So whether or not you’re a historical past buff, a Celtic music lover, or simply inquisitive about completely different cultures, the Gaelic School is a must-visit spot that’ll depart you with unforgettable reminiscences and possibly a jig or two up your sleeve!

Cape Breton Miners Museum

If you happen to’re able to dig into Cape Breton Island’s mining historical past, the Cape Breton Miners Museum is the place the motion is! This place is sort of a time capsule that takes you again to the coal mining days when this area was buzzing with miners and their tales. You possibly can roll up your sleeves and get hands-on with the instruments of the commerce, exploring the lifetime of a miner from sunup to sunset. And belief me, it’s lots harder than it sounds!

However that’s not all – they’ve bought some real-deal underground excursions that’ll make your coronary heart race and offer you a style of what it was prefer to work deep inside the Earth. You’ll get to really feel the coolness, hear the echoes, and expertise the entire “Are you able to consider folks did this for a dwelling?” vibe.

Plus, the guides are like dwelling encyclopedias, stuffed with tales that’ll have you ever laughing, gasping, and possibly even shedding a tear. So in the event you’re up for a journey into the gritty, hardworking previous of Cape Breton Island, seize your hat and headlamp – the Cape Breton Miners Museum is ready to indicate you a facet of historical past you received’t discover in any textbook!

Eat Lobster at Rusty Anchor Restaurant

Nice Bay is a cute little picturesque city on the tip of Cape Breton, and it’s an ideal place to cease to eat some scrumptious Nova Scotia Lobster.

The family-owned Rusty Anchor Restaurant in Nice Bay is tough to overlook. Simply search for the large fisherman statue outdoors. Sit on the out of doors patio and do some whale watching as you wait to your lobster feast.

Sitting outdoors gazing out on the ocean consuming Nova Scotia lobster and consuming beer – it actually doesn’t get any higher than this. The wait workers is tremendous pleasant and the entire place has a relaxed ambiance.

The place to Keep in Cape Breton

Normaway Inn and The Barn Music Heart

You’ll depart the Nationwide Park after sundown and proceed alongside the Cabot Path via just a few little cities. As you get to Margaree Forks proceed following the Cabot Path inland to the Normaway Inn; it’s a excellent spot to remain for the evening. The solar will likely be down as you pull in and prepare to relaxation your weary head after an extended day!

Cape Breton music

Cabot Path Tiny Properties

Keep in a tiny home with a giant view! Cabot Path Tiny Properties have a few of the finest views on the Cabot Path. On one facet you could have the breathtaking view of Margaree Harbour and the gorgeous Cape Breton Highlands on the opposite.

Every tiny home is provided with a deck from which to see the beautiful sunsets over the water. There’s additionally a shared out of doors campfire and a beachfront for swimming or launching kayaks or canoes.

Keltic Lodge and Purple Thistle Eating Room

My mother and I truly stayed in a cute little cabin on the Keltic Lodge and loved this elegant historic lodge with its dwell music and unbelievable restaurant. After a dinner match for royalty on the Purple Thistle, we loved Celtic music on the lodge. Learn critiques of Keltic Lodge Resort and Spa

Searching for someplace to remain on Cape Breton? Test costs and availability for inns on Cape Breton Island

Extra lodging on Cape Breton Island Nova Scotia

The luxurious Lodge at Cabot Cape Breton resort

Inverary Resort – Learn critiques of Inverary Resort

Mid Path Inn – Learn critiques of MidTrail Inn

Keltic Quay Bayfront Lodge & Cottages – ‘picture-perfectly’ situated on the Whycocomagh Bay searching on Indian Island. Learn critiques of Keltic Quay Lodge

Not like my journey 4 years in the past, this week on Cape Breton was a whole have a look at the island. We didn’t must rush, we may get outdoors and benefit from the views, nature, and tradition of each a part of the island. Along with these adventures, we additionally spent a day at Cabot Cliffs golf course, and a day on the CabotPath.

On the finish of my second Cape Breton Island journey, I puzzled what was left for me to discover once I got here again a 3rd time! The one factor I’m sure of is that this island won’t ever be carried out, there’s all the time extra to see and do.

Searching for someplace to remain in Cape Breton Highlands? Test costs and availability for inns in Cape Breton Highlands Nationwide Park

How do you get to Cape Breton? It’s simple!

It’s simple to get to Cape Breton with each day direct service from the NYC space to Halifax! There are a number of flights a day by way of Air Canada/United direct to Newark and by way of Delta direct to LGA. It’s only a 2-hour flight and you’ve got US Customs pre-clearance on the Halifax Stanfield Worldwide Airport for the return journey! PLUS…you possibly can keep it up and carry residence contemporary lobster from the Halifax airport!

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Things to do on Cape Breton Island


I used to be a visitor of Nova Scotia Tourism nonetheless my need to return to Cape Breton for a second time was all mine in order that I may have extra time on this pretty place.  All opinions expressed listed here are mine.

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