Archive for the ‘Cape St. Lawrence Hike’ Category

Roberts Mountain, Pleasant Bay

The recent Explore March/April magazine talked about the old and new Canadian classics including Cycling the Cabot Trail, hiking West Coast Trail and much more.  So it was fitting to chat about the Hike the Highlands Festival Classics, Cape Breton Island.

To make my classics list – a hiking trail must be of significant physical  challenge with outstanding scenery. Here are my classics in no particular order :

1) Franey – I have hiked this trail more than 15o times, and each time it amazes me with the view at the top. A  7.4 kms return hike that provides superb views of the Clyburn Valley and of North Bay, Middlehead & South Bay of Ingonish.
2) Sugar Loaf  – only 4 kms return but you climb big time, but the scenery is outstanding at the top. Take your camera, incredible views. One of my favorite hikes.
3) Meat Cove Mountain – the first time I hiked this trail, it was on a beautiful sunny day and I took over 500 pictures overall. An eagle was flying on top of the mountain. This is a special place…4km return but a good workout. 
4) Roberts Mountain – a new hike in 2009. This is a tough climb but provides an amazing view of Pleasant Bay & Harbour. You will be glad you did this climb.
5) North River Big Falls – 18 km return hike that features Nova Scotia highest waterfalls at 105 feet  at the end of the hike.
6) Acadien – 8.4 km hike that provides great panormaic views of Cheticamp Harbour &  Island, and river canyon. A geocache is located on this trail.  
7) Money Point ( Gulch) – one tough hill to climb first but when you get to the Gulch you know why you did it. Amazing views…
8) Guided Wilderness Hike – This hikes makes you feel young again with jumping rocks, climbing and exploring waterfalls, old growth forest and a hiking cabin. An amazing adventure with great views not to be missed. Take your camera.
9) Fishing Cove – 12 km hike thru a hardwood forest & many forest canyons  to a small cove on the Atlantic Ocean. This hike is definitely a physical challenge but very rewarding with lots of great photo opportunities.
10) Cape St. Lawrence/Lowland Cove – 16 km hike return that provides outstanding coastal scenery and usually wild animals – horses and cows. You start and end in Meat Cove.

I would love to hear your comments on this list and your classics at Hike the Highlands Festival.


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Day 3 of Hike the Highlands Festival started with a new weather forecast- showers and rain. But luck prevailed and over 50 hikers enjoyed the  day hiking Meat Cove Mountain and Cape St. Lawrence/Lowland Cove without any rain. Both hikes today required good hiking boots and poles due to the terrain but you were rewarded with incredible views. 

The Cape St. Lawrence/Lowland Cove hike featured incredible coastal scenery, warm temperatures and only a little wind this year. Hikers were treated to lots of  whale sightings and yes even a few bulls…. In the past hikers, were greeted by horses at Cape St. Lawrence.

The day ended with a nice meal at Meat Cove Welcome Centre and Tea Room. Special thanks to Derrick MacLellan and his staff for their great hospitality and allowing us to do our registration here. 

Day 4 hikes are NHN trails (4 kms) in the morning and Sugar Loaf Mountain in the afternoon. Our third workshop takes place on day four – Nordic Walking – Hiking with Poles followed by a barbecue.  

Below are a few pictures of the Cape St. Lawrence/Lowland Cove hike.

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Seventy plus hikers enjoyed summer like conditions on day 2 of the hiking festival. With 25 plus degrees, and new terrain,  the new hikes were well received – White Point to Burnt Head and Coastal.  A great day for being  outdoors, enjoying great company & scenery, and  for taking pictures.

The day ended with a Introduction to GPS workshop with Derek Quann and Wally Hayes presentation  “Journey into the World of Digital Photography”.

Day 3 hikes are Meat Cove Mountain and Cape St. Lawrence/Lowland Cove. Our weather changes dramatically for day 3 with chance of showers in the morning and rain in the afternoon.

Please find below a few pictures of the White Point to Burnt Head and return hike.

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Deuter Futura 28 Backpack

Deuter Futura 28 Backpack

With just 3-4 weeks away before the 6th Annual Hike the Highlands festival – Sept. 11-20, it is time to get out the checklist and start getting ready for the hiking festival.  

1) review the hiking schedule and trail info and decide what hikes you will be going on as well workshops.
2) review the list of accommodation and book for the festival. 
3) Register for the festival – Determine which option you will be doing –
     a) register online for hikes & workshops, and then pay online,
     b) print off the registration form from digital e-brochure and mail the
      registration form and payment in. Please allow a week for mail. or
     c) register and pay in person.
4) Get your equipment ready – daypack,  sunscreen, insect repellent,  water
     bottles, hiking clothes, hiking socks, hiking boots, camera, batteries,
     battery charger, memory cards, sun glasses,  soft shell jacket, wind
     breaker/rain jacket, hiking poles or walking stick, hat, etc.  
5) You should start hiking more – a) you should be going on longer hikes now
      as it gets closer to the festival as well doing two a day. b) Then hike two
      consecutive days.
6) Tell your friends about this Hiking Festival and encourage them to attend
     as well. Help them prepare.

Hope this checklist gets you ready and is a useful resource list.

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On top of Sugarloaf looking at North, Middle & South Harbours

On top of Sugarloaf looking at North, Dingwall, Middle & South Harbours

The hiking schedule for the 2009 Hike the Highlands Festival has been announced and it includes nine new hikes.  They include White Point to Burnt Head, Coastal, Lone Sheiling, MacIntosh Brook, Robert’s Mountain, Red River to Black Brook, Red River to Otter Brook, Le Chemin du Buttereau, and Smokey Towers.  

Backed by popular demand are Meat Cove Mountain, Cape St. Lawrence/Lowland Cove, Salmon Pool, and Red Island hikes. There will be 24 guided hikes in this year’s festival and hikers will have the opportunity to participate in our  long distance hiker awards program of 100 km, 50 km and 25 km.

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The results are in and judges have spoken.  Here are the winners in each category with honorable mention. Thank-you for all the entries.   Winners – 1) Best Picture – Janet Hutchingson, Lawrence, Kansas, USA,  2) Best Scenery -White Point – Patricia McCormack, Port Hawkesbury,  Honorable mention – Sugarloaf – Neil Yan, Markham, Ontario,  3) Best Plant – Tina Shea on Franey,  Honorable Mention – Bob Harrison, Mushroom,  North River Little Falls,  4) Best Humour –  Sharon Proctor, Cape St. Lawrence – Pony,  Honorable Mention –  Dupie-Milne Ashton,  North River Little Falls,  5) Best People – Janet Hutchingson, Lawrence, Kansas,  Honorable Mention – Bob Harrison, Skyline,  6) Best Animal – Bull Moose, Skyline,  Bob Harrison,  Honorable Mention – Pony, Cape St. Lawrence, – Bob Harrison.

The photos below will be uploaded to the web site in a next few days.

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Despite a few sore muscles from the day before, I ventured out to do Cape St. Lawrence-Lowland Cove. This is a new hike this year in the festival and it certainly lived up to its reputation. 36 hikers enjoyed this 11 km hike that started from Meat Cove down to Cape St. Lawrence, to Lowland Cove and back to Meat Cove – 6.5 hours. Because of the distance of this hike, we were able to chat with many fellow hikers and make new friends.

One of the nice surprises was the horses at Cape St. Lawrence. They certainly enjoyed our company and liked all the attention & food. Cape St. Lawrence was cold & windy and a jacket was necessary while we enjoyed lunch here.  After lunch we were off to Lowland Cove, where we saw great ocean scenery and mountains. Our group pic was taken there. Then back to Meat Cove where many will agree the hardest part of the hike.   

Many thanks to our guides David Rasmussen, and Bill Danielson, sweeps – Derek Quann, Esther Danielson, and Sandra LeBlanc for a fine job. Thanks to  Derrick MacLellan and his partners for opening the Meat Cove Welcome Centre for the day and being such fine hosts. They served great food by the way as many of us had supper there after the hike.

The other hike featured today during the Hike the Highlands Festival was White Point where Guide Becky Jackson, sweepers Jen Moses and Leona Stockley,  led 24 hikers out to Two Twittle. This hike also feature cold & high winds but great scenery.  The day ended with a great presentation by Billy Budge on St. Paul’s Island . Billy’s is great storyteller & photographer and provided history, pictures and stories about life on St. Paul’s Island.  On many of the northern hikes in the festival you can see St. Paul’s Island on a clear day – like today on Cape St. Lawrence Hike.

Tomorrow’s weather forecast by Environment Canada – Sunny and High of 16. Fog patches dissipating in the morning. Monday’s hike is Sugarloaf  Mountain. The provincial department tourism photographer, Wally Hayes, will be joining us on the Sugarloaf Guided Hike.

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