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Archive for the ‘2009 Hike the Highlands Festival’ Category

Sophia & JF

In 2009, a young lassie, Sophia, from England came to Canada for a year to travel and work.  Her first stop was Hike the Highlands Festival…About midway thru the festival she met a lad from PEI who was studing at University of British Columbia. JF was working at Cape Breton Highlands National Park as a park interpreter and during the hiking festival was one of the guides. They met and got to know each other on several hikes during the festival including Lone Shieling, Skyline, and Broad Cove as well at Thirsty Hiker Pub. 

Their relationship continued and love blossomed over the next two years. JF was always proud to say he met Sophia at Hike the Highlands. Recently they were married at University of British Columbia. On behalf of Hike the Highlands team and fellow hikers, congratulations to both of you on your marriage and we wish you all the best.  Hopefully someday you will come back for a visit and see us again at our hiking festival.

Below are some pics of  Sophia and JF at Hike the Highlands Festival in 2009 when they met.  Photo credits to Wally Hayes & Tom Wilson. Thanks Marieve for the title of the Post.

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Marie on Salmon Pool hiking trail, Cape Breton Highlands National Park

Marie Stradeski, a friend and volunteer of Hike the Highlands Festival has left Cape Breton Highlands National Park and is heading for the Pacific Rim National Park in British Columbia.  Marie was Heritage Presentation Officer III at Cape Breton Highlands National Park for the past 6 years.

She played an important role in helping the festival grow and develop to where it is today. Specifically in guide training and evening presentations.  The Hike the Highlands Festival team would like to acknowledge and thank Marie  for her many important contributions to the festival and wish her well in her new adventure.

Below is a short video that Marie made of her Cape Breton adventures. Hope you enjoy hiking, sea kayaking, cross country skiing and snowshoeing in BC.

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What an amazing 10 days of hiking ….with great people, partners and sponsors. The 6th Annual Hike the Highlands Festival will be a memorable event for so many people.  One hiker indicated how spirtual, uplifting and incredible experience this festival had been for her. She can’t wait for next year. 

Hikers in this year’s festival came from across Canada – British Columbia to Newfoundland & Labrador, US, Great Britain and Beligum. An amazing bunch of individuals that shared stories, laughs and moments together and made this an incredible festival.  Our festival team enjoyed meeting all of you and sharing this hiking experience with you.  

I would also like like to thank our festival team – our organizing committee – Sandra Curtis, Lisa Dixon, Shaune Warren, Bill Danielson, David Rasmussen and Heather Dixon, registration chairperson- Heather Dixon and her volunteers – Elaine Wallace, and Regan Warren, trailhead registration volunteer and sweeper Sharon Proctor, all our guides & sweeps, evening presentors – Wally Hayes, John Francis Lane, Marie Stradeski, and Lori Burke. Our partners – Cape Breton Highlands National Park,  Glenghorm Beach Resort & Thirsty Hiker Pub, Les Amis du Plein Air, ECBC, NS Tourism ,Culture & Heritage, DCBA, and all sponsors to be featured in our next post.   An amazing team that can be very proud of its work.

Below are some photos from Chrissie Hawley, Lisa Dixon and Sharon Proctor of the 6th Annual Hike the Highlands Festival.

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Franey Hiking Trail, Cape Breton Highlands National Park

Franey Hiking Trail, Cape Breton Highlands National Park

Sunny conditions prevailed on Day 8 after early morning rain and over 80 hikers enjoyed hikes at Franey, Freshwater Lake & Look-off and Smokey Towers. Today hikes featured outstanding views and cameras were very busy.  The Outdoor Nature Photography workshop with Wally Hayes attracted a great crowd and continued in the evening. Lori Burke ‘s presentation Hiking In Europe was outstanding and opened alot of eyes with trip preparation tips. 

Day 9 , Sept. 19th features Guided Wilderness Hike, Clyburn Valley and Broad Cove Mountain Hikes. In the evening, the festival will have its closing ceremonies.

The festival concludes on Day 10, Sept. 20th with hikes at North River Big Falls – highest waterfalls in Nova Scotia beginning at 9:00 am. and Red Island, Indian Brook at 10:00 am.

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Moose on Skyline Trail

Moose on Skyline Trail

Day seven of the hiking festival concluded our visit to Cheticamp and Pleasant Bay areas in the Highlands.  Many were sad to leave as hikers saw incredible coastal scenery, moose & whales and enjoyed the Acadien culture, music & hospitality. Thanks to new partner Les Amis du Plein Air for their warm welcome and incredible Nature Bookstore.

On Day seven , over 80 hikers were treated to sunny conditions today and enjoyed hiking on Skyline, Fishing Cove and Le Chemin du Buttereau trails.

Once again, the Skyline trail did not disappoint as hikers were treated to amazing 
coastal scenery, and to several  moose. Some hikers reported seeing 8-or 9 moose on their hike.  Guides John Francis Lane, Sandra Curtis and Nathalie Aresenault kept us on a good pace, stopping and  highlighting the many unique points of this trail. 

On Le Chemin du Buttereau, Guides Marieve Therriault and Tom Wilson helped  hikers to learn more about 30 Acadien families, their heritage and see the house foundations where they once lived.  On Fishing Cove hike, guide Derek Quann  took hikers through an Acadien forest to a small cove where several Acadien families  lived & fished and operated a small lobster cannery.  Some great coastal scenery and 17 forest canyons on Fishing Cove trail. 

The day ended with a great presentation by Marie Stradeski on “Trekking in Central and South America in particular Costa Rica and Peru. Some amazing colours, pictures, scenery and music were enjoyed by a nice crowd. A perfect way to end a great day of hiking …wanting more.  

The festival is now going into its final weekend.  Friday, Sept. 18th hikes include Franey, Freshwater Lake & Look off and Smokey Towers. Light rain or showers are expected today so dress accordingly. The last workshop of the festival – Outdoor Nature Photography with Wally Hayes takes place on Friday, Sept. 18th.  Meet at Cape Smokey Provincial Park parking lot at 1:30 pm.  Day 8 Evening presentation – “Hiking in Europe” with Lori Burke at 7pm. at Conference room, Glenghorm Beach Resort, Ingonish  plans to attract a good crowd.

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Third Pool, Salmon Pool Hiking Trail

Third Pool, Salmon Pool Hiking Trail

There is something special about hiking along the river and hearing the water rush by you. Guide Daniel Aucoin ask us to relax and hear the sounds of the forest.  He also caught our attention when he would draw for prizes along the hike.. Mushrooms, toads, and cabins were just some of things hikers saw along the way including four pools. Salmon fishing is catch & release on Cheticamp River. 

Hikers from Beligum, Georgia, and BC joined us in today’s hike at Salmon Pool. Later in the evening, hikers were treated to a social at the Cheticamp Visitor Centre hosted by Les Amis du Plein Air. Hikers enjoyed Acadien and English Folklore music, refreshements and food.  The Nature bookstore was open and hikers in the festival received a 10% discount off all items.  

 Day 7  of the festival features hikes at  Skyline, Fishing Cove and Le Chemin du Buttereau, all located in the Cape Breton Highlands National Park. In the evening, there will be a presentation on  “Trekking in Central and South America – Costa Rica and Peru. at 7:00 pm. by Marie Stradeski .  This presentation will take place at the festival headquarters, conference room at Glenghorm Beach Resort, Ingonish. It plans to be another special day in the Cape Breton Highlands for hiking  with sunny conditions and a high of 16 degrees.  

Day 8, (Sept. 18th) of the festival features hikes on Franey,  Freshwater lake & -Look-off and Smokey Towers. The last workshop of the festival – Outdoor Nature Photography with Wally Hayes takes place on Friday, Sept. 18th.  Meet at Cape Smokey Provincial Park parking lot at 1:30 pm.  Day 8 Evening presentation – “Hiking in Europe” with Lori Burke at 7pm. at Conference room, Glenghorm Beach Resort, Ingonish  plans to attract a good crowd.

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Roberts Mountain, Pleasant Bay

Roberts Mountain, Pleasant Bay

Day 5 of Hike the Highlands was all about avoiding rain and we did it. All three hikes  we got in. The last hike of day – Roberts Mountain lived up to expectations & more. It provided hikers with spectacular coastal scenery. Local guide Tina Roach, Pleasant Bay, indicated the Mountain was named after Robert MacLeod, one of the three families that had came over in 1800’s from the Isle of Skye, Scotland. Hiking up Roberts Mountain was a great day for hiking with poles,  up and down a mountain. I remember the proper techniques  instructor Linda Murray had demonstrated the day before at Nordic Walking workshop.

First hike of the day was Lone Shieling, a short hike led by guide and park interpreter John Francis Lane who provided hikers with an interpretative talk on the crofter’s house, the acadien forest and some studies being done in monitoring.  The second hike of the day was MacIntosh Brook, a short hiking trail to falls and one of the five geocaching sites in the Cape Breton Highlands National Park. Guide Lisa Dixon took us to the geocaching site and to falls which were flowing quite good due to the rain lately. MacIntosh Brook is also a picnic site and campground and has an excellent picnic shelter and washrooms.

Day 6 hikes are Otter Brook, the first half of Pollett’s Cove and Salmon Pool. The day ends with a social evening for hikers at the main theatre at Cheticamp Visitor centre. Hosted by Les Amis du Plein, a co-operative organization that runs the Nature Bookstore and a new partner in the Hike the Highlands festival. The evening will feature Acadien and English Folklore music, refreshments and food. The Nature bookstore will be open from 7-9 pm.

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