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Archive for the ‘Middlehead Hiking Trail’ Category

Middle Head Group Pic by Sam Schwartz

The 8th Annual Hike the Highlands Festival got off to a great start with forty -two hikers enjoying the first hike of the festival – Middle Head in the Cape Breton Highlands National Park.  There were lots of hugs as friends said hi again. Sunny conditions and a great sunset provided some nice backgrounds for pictures.

The hikers return after the hike to our new festival headquarters, St. John’s Hall, for a meet & greet and opening ceremonies.  They were treated to snacks and a slideshow of last year’s hikes.

Today’s hikes are White Point to Burnt Head and Sugar Loaf , both popular hikes with great views of seacoast scenery. It will be windy today but gives us the opportunity for some great pictures of the waves breaking on the coastline.

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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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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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Branch pond Look-off Trail

Hikers on Branch Pond Look-off Trail

Today’s weather forecast was 30-40 mm of rain, heavy at times with winds 20-70 kms… I never thought 40 hikers on Day 8 would show up at 9:00 am. to hike Branch Pond Look-off at Cape Breton Highlands National Park. They showed at Middle Head at 10:00 am and later in the afternoon at 2:00 pm. at Broad Cove Mountain….I was proud to walk with them and be a part of this amazing hiking community….and the Hike the Highlands festival team…

It was a day of learning about dressing in layers – baselayer, mid-layer,  rain gear, and using trekking poles to cross streams and big puddles.  A day of adventure and enduring those tough days….One gentleman said – I paid to do this today….

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Despite overcast skies, and a few rain drops, everything went well on day one of the 2010 Hike the Highlands Festival.  Wally Hayes dazzle us with his amazing knowledge of photography and shared with us some great tips including geotagging your photos, composition, and shooting with macro lens. The Nature & Landscape photography workshop used Middle Head hiking trail as its venue.. The evening hike at Freshwater Lake attracted a number of hikers led by guide Kersti, Park Interpreter, CBHNP.  The day ended with opening ceremonies, and  a Hiker Safety presentation by Erich Muntz, Resource Conservation Supervisor, CBHNP.  

Second day of the festival, Saturday, Sept. 11th, features  1) a Nature & Landscape photography workshop in the morning at 8 am. by Wally Hayes at White Point,  2) hikes at White Point/Burnt Head 10 am.  and Franey at 2 pm. Both hikes are well known for their incredible scenery and led by veteran guides, 3) in the evening, there will be a presentation on hiking the West Highland Way (95 miles), Scotland by Andrew Powter…

Hikers will notice the new blue trailhead signs at all hiking trails in the Cape Breton Highlands National Park this year.  Below are some pictures of the day at Photography workshop

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Wally Hayes, Professional Photographer

Hike the Highlands Festival will offer two Nature & Landscape Photography Workshops by Wally Hayes, professional photographer, on Sept. 10th and Sept. 11th in Ingonish . ……One of Nova Scotia’s top photographer, Wally brings passion and a great love of the outdoors along with his tremendous knowledge and experience as a professional photographer.  He is great friend of this festival for many years and his hiking photos are featured in Doers & Dreamers Guide for Visitors to Nova Scotia as well in ads, presentations and Wally vision shows.  He also enjoys hiking himself in Northern Cape Breton and Cape Breton Highlands National Park. 

The Nature and Landscape workshops will emphasize choosing a subject; composition and lighting; using people effectively in pictures; choosing lenses and apertures to control perspective, subject motion and depth of field. An after workshop debriefing will cover computer enhancement and management of digital images and making panoramas. There are two workshops – first one is Friday, Sept. 10th starting at 2:00 pm. at Middle Head and the second one is Saturday, Sept. 11th beginning  8:00 am. at White Point.  You can register and pay online.

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Today’s hike was about slowing down and taking in the many sights that the Middle Head hiking trail in Cape Breton Highlands National Park always provides.  This seacoast hiking trail on the Middle Head penisula behind Keltic Lodge , provides great views of South Bay & Cape Smokey as well North Bay and Ingonish Island…

Middle Head is a popular spot for lobster fishing and the colourful buoys  were close to the rocks on shore.  You could also see mackeral nets, seagulls, cormorants and crows.. As well take time to watch the waves crash on the rocks at Middle Head.  

Middle Head is one of the hikes featured in the 2010 Hike the Highlands Festival from Sept. 10-19.  This 4 km hiking trail located in the Cape Breton Highlands National Park is a favorite for many visitors to the area and  has over 16,000 people annually hike this trail.

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