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Archive for the ‘Cape Breton Highlands 3 Peaks Challenge’ Category

Sun reflecting off the ice

As new year begins, many hikers take time to reflect on the past year,2011 and what it was for them. Hikers remember the trails they hiked, the people they have meet, those incredible photos taken and those special memories.

It is now time to plan and prepare for the 2012 season… 1) One of the first things I like to do is review my equipment & its condition, do a complete  inventory and see what is needed to purchase for this year. Looks like it will be a new pair of boots and daypack,  2)  Develop a fitness plan for the winter and spring as well set kilometre goals for 2012.  I know that to stay in shape I need to do so many kilometres each year but I am careful not to become a fitness hiker where I miss those special moments with nature & photos. I have set a lofty goal of 1000 kms in 2012, 3) Improve my photography & creative skills  with the camera and take more 5 stars pictures.

Ice in the brook

And finally, 4) Develop a wish list of a new trails and challenges to explore. These include a) the hike a 100 km  for the Hikers Distance Award at the Hike the Highlands festival,  b) Complete the Cape Breton Highlands 3 Peaks Challenge ( hike 3 mountains in one day on Saturday, July 21, 2012,  c) hike Snowdon Mountain, Wales, the last of the UK 3 Peaks Challenge mountains to hike, d) East Coast Trail in Newfoundland and Labrador, and e) Cape Chignecto.  Other challenges on my list include Ride for Diabetes in June at Little Bras d”Or, , Cycling the Confederation Trail (300 km) in PEI and doing the Not Since Moses 10k/5k Walk & Run event.

Wow it certainly plans to be a busy year….Have you started planning your schedule for hiking in 2012 ?  I wish all hikers happiness, good health and lots of hiking in 2012.

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2011 Cape Breton Highlands 3 Peaks Challenge - July 16th

Eighteen teams believed and took the challenge on – hiking three mountains in one day at the Cape Breton Highlands 3 Peaks Challenge, July 16th.  They all made it in safely and the organizers, Hike the Highlands Festival Society, are extremely proud of their accomplishments. Thanks to all the teams for participating in this event.

Seventy-two hikers hiked Franey in the Cape Breton Highlands National Park, Roberts Mountain in Pleasant Bay, and Acadien in Cape Breton Highlands National Park, in weather that featured showers & drizzle throughout the day and great hiking temperatures – 10-15 degrees. Interesting to note the following day features hot, sunny weather with temperatures over 30 degrees.

One of my highlights of my day was on Acadien hiking trail going up Cheticamp River Valley and hearing the sound of a flowing stream along the hiking trail.

The day ended with a closing reception and door prizes. One of the questions asked for door prizes was “How many steps did you take while doing the Cape Breton Highlands 3 Peaks Challenge, answer is 42,968 steps. Thanks to our two partners – Cape Breton Highlands National Park and Les Amis du Plein Air for all their assistance with this event.

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Bull Moose on Le vieux chemin du Cap Rouge

The 75th Anniversary Cape Breton Highlands National Park in 2011 has provided hikers with a new challenge – hike  75 km from May to October. It also provides you with a wonderful opportunity to see the whole park,  its great scenery, wildlife and plants. And of course to get in shape for more events such as CB Highlands 3 Peaks Challenge and 8th Annual Hike the Highlands festival in September.

Hikers are required to keep track of your trails hiked and dates, record them on paper, signed it and pass it into the Parks Canada Cheticamp or Ingonish Visitor Information Centre where you will receive some 75th Anniversary prizes. Note: Hikers can only hike each trail once.  Be sure to take your camera with you and take lots of pictures.  Below are just a few of the pictures I took while completing the 75 km hiking challenge.

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It was our first sunny weekend in weeks or maybe months, and all I could think of was hiking, taking off km in the 75 km hiking Challenge – Cape Breton Highlands National Park and geocaching. I was getting the car packed when I heard a loon call out loud a yodle in front of my property on St. Ann’s Harbour.

I was off to Cheticamp and Cape Breton Highlands National Park to hike Acadien trail with the Les Amis du Plein Air hiking group at 8:30 am. I was a few minutes late but caught up with group later.  An incredible view at the top of this mountain and Cheticamp. I met alot of nice people with this group. Acadien is one of the 3 Peaks in the Cape Breton Highlands 3 Peaks Challenge on July 16.

I also managed to hike that day Le Chemin du Buttereau and le Buttereau, Benjies Lake, MacIntosh Brook, Bog and Jack Pine. It was close to a 20 km hiking day… At Benjies Lake, I came across a big bull moose but he let me passed and on the bog trail I got to hear and see a green frog. I close off the day getting 4 geocaches.. Below are a few pics of my amazing day of hiking.

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A tough year ahead for hiking boots

The year 2011 can be declared the year of hiking challenges in the Cape Breton Highlands.  Here are just a few below :

1) The Cape Breton Highlands National Park celebrating its 75th Anniversary in 2011 has issued a 75 km hiking challenge from May to October.  You cannot hike on the same trail more than once.

2)  The 2nd annual Cape Breton Highlands 3 Peaks Challenge is back in 2011 on July 16th. Teams of 4 our are are required to hike 3 mountains in one day. The 3 peaks in 2011 are Franey, Roberts Mountain and Acadien.  Only 15 teams can register.

3) Hike Nova Scotia has a new hiker distance award program patterned off the Hike the Highlands festival but longer distances spread out over a year – 150, 250 and 500 km.

4) And finally the Hike the Highlands Festival Hiker Distance award program, now in its third year – 25, 50 and 100 km to be completed during the festival – Sept. 9-18, 2011.

We should be in great shape for the winter for snowshoeing, cross country skiing and other winter sports. Maybe Santa will bring us a new pair of hiking boots for Christmas and the 2012 hiking season.

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Roberts Mountain, Pleasant Bay

The big event is coming ….just 7 weeks to prepare and get ready for the Cape Breton Highlands 3 Peaks Challenge on Saturday, July 16, 2011 .. The challenge is to hike 3 mountains in one day – Franey (1400 ft), Roberts Mtn. (1400 ft) and Acadien(1500 ft).  Three of the highest and steepest mountains in Cape Breton. This event is open to 15 teams – 4 members to a team. One member must be the team captain and help organize and prepare the team for this event.

The day begins at 7:00 am at Franey at the Trailhead sign and concludes at the Acadien hiking trail. After finishing the last hike, teams will be asked to check into the Nature Bookstore inside the Parks Canada Information Centre at Cheticamp. A short reception & closing ceremonies will follow at the Main Theatre in the Visitor Centre building.

The registration fee for the Cape Breton Highlands 3 Peaks Challenge is $100 per team and includes a souvenir t-shirt for each member, Cape Breton Highlands National Park 75th Anniversary souvenir plus the closing ceremonies and reception. Teams can register and pay online. The event is hosted by Hike the Highlands Festival Society with assistance from Cape Breton Highlands National Park and Les Amis du Plein Air.

Register soon to be a part of this unique hiking challenge on Cape Breton Island.

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Jack Pine, Cape Breton Highlands National Park

Generally, the Victoria Day weekend is the start of the hiking season in the Cape Breton Highlands area for many hikers. You can expect wet conditions, some windfalls, cold temps, winds and much more. Here are some tips to get ready for the season:

1) develop a checklist for your hiking equipment, then review the condition of each item, make notes of what is needed to be replaced. Then make sure everything is packed before you go out hiking on the trail. The checklist should include the following – whistle, map,  rain gear, layers, trekking poles,  extra pair of smart wool socks,  gaiters, jacket, first aid kit, knife,  hat, sun glasses, bug spray, and a  camera with extra batteries etc.

2) Develop a training plan – a)  start your hiking season with short hikes, b) then move on to medium hikes and then c) longer hikes.  Build your strength up, get used to your equipment and then you are ready for some hiking challenges.

3)  Every hiking season brings many special moments and memories. Always bring your camera with you, bring extra batteries and memory card. You never know what you might run into or find yourself in the right place at right time. Below is a pick of a spruce grouse that I almost ran into on the Clyburn Valley hiking trail in the Cape Breton Highlands National Park on the long weekend in May.

Spruce Grouse, Clyburn Valley, CBHNP

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