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Archive for the ‘North River Big Falls’ 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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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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Pedometer

$10.00 Pedometer for sale at North Highland Nordic Ski Club during the hiking festival.

With Hike the Highlands Festival just 3 weeks away, I have been busy getting ready for the ten days of hiking and 100 kms.  Today I hiked North River Big Falls – 18kms return with my pedometer in a little over 4.5 hours… Pretty proud of myself especially in 30 degrees temp plus high humidity.

So how long is 18 kms with a pedometer?  Well it is 22,000 plus steps with a pedometer… Pedometers will be available for sale at The North Highlands Nordic Ski Club in Cape North on Sept. 14th for $10.00. Linda Murray will be hosting  the Nordic Walking clinic – Hiking with poles on Sept. 14th at 10:00 am. A barbecue will follow at 11:30 am. and then the Sugar Loaf Mountain Hike at 1:00 pm. A great way to try out hiking with poles up and down a mountain and your new pedometer.

Below is a pic of North River Falls -105 feet (32 metres) the  highest water falls in Nova Scotia

North River Falls - Highest Waterfall in Nova Scotia at 32 meteres or 105 feet.

North River Falls - Highest Waterfall in Nova Scotia at 32 meteres or 105 feet.

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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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Fellow Hiker and Guide, Mary MacDonald, recently sent me some great pictures of the guided hike out to North River Big Falls during the Hike the Highlands Festival. It was a beautiful sunny day on Sept. 20 and a high of 26 degrees during their hike. Guide David Williams led the hike with sweep Derek Quann. Interesting enough we had four nurses on this hike.  North River Falls are the highest waterfalls in Nova Scotia, over 100 feet.

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