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Archive for the ‘Guided Wilderness Hiking Adventures’ 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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A Hiker at White Point, a Silhouette by Wally Hayes, NS Tourism, Culture & Heritage

A Hiker at White Point, a Silhouette by Wally Hayes, NS Tourism, Culture & Heritage and cover photo of 2009 Hike the Highlands Festival Brochure.

With nine new hikes and four popular hikes from the past, this is an incredible year for new photo opportunities and a great photo contest for 6th Annual Hike the Highlands Festival, Sept. 11-20, 2009

The digital photo cameras, both point and shoot and DSLR are improving each year and now capturing photos in 10 megaixals or more. The quality of photos are amazing and it is now becoming an important part of the hiking festival…especially group pics which started from the festival’s veteran guide – Lisa Dixon….

Workshops have been added this year to the hiking festival including Outdoor Nature Photography by Wally Hayes, NS Tourism professional photographer. Wally has been a great supporter of this hiking festival over the past six years and continues to promote this festival with his incredible photo shoots.  The cover of this year’s Hike the Highlands Festival brochure is a NS Tourism photo shoot by Wally Hayes.

So bring your digital camera to this festival with extra memory cards, battery charger and batteries….and catch all those special memories…

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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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“Today I was challenged and rewarded,” can best described my hike today – the Guided Wilderness Hiking Adventures Hike at Ingonish Harbour. This was one of the 18 guided hikes during the 4th Annual Hike the Highlands Festival.  It was full of many nice surprises and interesting adventures. A hike that was memorable thanks to our guide, Lawrence Barron, sweepers – Lisa Dixon, Becky Jackson and Maurena Barron and fellow hikers. A wonderful group of people that made for an amazing experience.

It was interesting to note on the Guided Wilderness Hiking Adventures web site, it states “This is a lifetime experience that visitors will truly remember and cherish”. This is so true.  They say a picture says a thousand words – enjoy the slideshow below of just a few pics of this wonderful experience.

The rain stayed away and over 80 hikers enjoyed three hikes during the second day of the Hike the Highlands Festival. Broad Cove Mountain and Jigging Cove Lake were the other feature guided hikes today that attracted a large group of hikers on each hike.  It pays to have a retired meteorologist on your board.

Tomorrow’s weather – Sunday, Sept. 16 ,  A mix of sound and cloud, 30% chance of showers.  (note- Environment Canada forecast at 10:00 pm on Saturday).  Sunday’s hikes feature Cape St. Lawrence-Lowland Cove, starts at 10:00 am. – meet at Meat Cove Welcome Center and  White Point Hike, starts at 10:00 am.  meet at White Point Wharf.  Tomorrow is also the Terry Fox Run and we asked all Canadians to support this important event for cancer.

 The Cape Breton Weather Watching evening presentation by Bill Danielson was well received and attracted almost a full house of hikers. Bill is the author of Cape Breton Weather Watching book, a retired meteorologist, and a board member of the Hike the Highlands Festival. Bill has volunteered to give daily weather forecasts for Hikers at the Festival Headquarters at Heather room, Glenghorm Beach Resort each day.  Thanks Bill for the sunny and ideal hiking conditions forecast so far. I see Monday & Tuesday look good – sunny. Keep up the great work.

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