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Archive for the ‘Skyline Hiking Trail’ Category

Hikers Mickey & Sharon enjoying the views on Skyline, photo by Phyllis MacLeod

It was a day when records fell and hikers were out in big numbers at Salmon Pools, Le Buttereau & le Chemin du Buttereau and Skyline hikes. The Skyline hike had the most hikers on any hike since the festival started 8 years ago with 75 plus. The total day of hikers was another record.

2nd pool, Salmon Pools trail

The weather cooperated again on Day 6 with sunny conditions for most of the day with some breezes on Skyline.  Many of the hikers did  two hikes today. Veteran and popular guide Daniel Aucoin started the day by helping hikers enjoyed nature on Salmon Pools trail. he was folled by park interpreter Donna Doucette who provided interesting stories & history of the Acadien families on Le Buttereau & Lechemin du Buttereau trails.

Moose on Skyline - photo by Phyllis MacLeod

The last hike of the day was on the Skyline trail led by guides Marieve Therriault and Lisa Dixon. The hikers did the back loop first (old trail)  and came back on the new trail.  Four moose were spotted. The day ended with a nice social evening at main theatre, Parks Canada Cheticamp Visitor Centre hosted by Les Amis du Plein Air.

Today’s hikes are Pollett’s Cove and Fishing Cove…. two of the longer hikes with outstanding views at the end of each hike.  This will be one hike day due to the length of each trail. Tonight presentation back at the hall is St. Paul’s Lighthouse.

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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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It finally happened it rained during hikes on day 7 of Hike the Highlands festival. Despite inclement weather, all three hikes – Skyline, Fishing Cove and Le vieux chemin du Cap Rouge were completed.  The passionate and dedicated hikers were out in full force today. They carried on despite wind, showers and rain. Guides were on the look-out for shelters, and under trees for protection during breaks.   

le Bloc Wharf

Le Bloc Wharf

Heavy fog prevented any views on Skyline…did notice two professional photographers walking by us on the way out.  One chap had a lens, sport photographers used during professional sports. On the le vieux chemin du Cap Rouge trail we saw some house foundations of  three homes and the old schoolhouse,  Le Bloc wharf, and the view at the end. This was a good day to learn about layering ( base, mid-layer & rain gear) for various weather conditions.

Le vieux chemin du Cap Rouge

Group Picture at Le vieux chemin du Cap Rouge

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A great month of April has brought spring hiking to the Cape Breton Highlands earlier than expected.  Spring hiking has its adventures – flowing streams, bridges out, windfalls, moose, wet trails and snow but  who cares when it is 15 degrees out and sunny.   

One of the most important pieces of equipment for spring hiking is trekking or nordic walking poles.  You need poles to help with your balance crossing streams & bridges, going over windfalls, navigating wet trails as well  going thru snow….There was still quite a bit of snow on Skyline – April 24 about halfway out it was clear.

Below are a few pictures of spring hiking in the highlands at Red Island, Plaster, Skyline and a few travelling to the trails & back… Enjoy the pics.

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Moose on Skyline Trail

Moose on Skyline Trail

Day seven of the hiking festival concluded our visit to Cheticamp and Pleasant Bay areas in the Highlands.  Many were sad to leave as hikers saw incredible coastal scenery, moose & whales and enjoyed the Acadien culture, music & hospitality. Thanks to new partner Les Amis du Plein Air for their warm welcome and incredible Nature Bookstore.

On Day seven , over 80 hikers were treated to sunny conditions today and enjoyed hiking on Skyline, Fishing Cove and Le Chemin du Buttereau trails.

Once again, the Skyline trail did not disappoint as hikers were treated to amazing 
coastal scenery, and to several  moose. Some hikers reported seeing 8-or 9 moose on their hike.  Guides John Francis Lane, Sandra Curtis and Nathalie Aresenault kept us on a good pace, stopping and  highlighting the many unique points of this trail. 

On Le Chemin du Buttereau, Guides Marieve Therriault and Tom Wilson helped  hikers to learn more about 30 Acadien families, their heritage and see the house foundations where they once lived.  On Fishing Cove hike, guide Derek Quann  took hikers through an Acadien forest to a small cove where several Acadien families  lived & fished and operated a small lobster cannery.  Some great coastal scenery and 17 forest canyons on Fishing Cove trail. 

The day ended with a great presentation by Marie Stradeski on “Trekking in Central and South America in particular Costa Rica and Peru. Some amazing colours, pictures, scenery and music were enjoyed by a nice crowd. A perfect way to end a great day of hiking …wanting more.  

The festival is now going into its final weekend.  Friday, Sept. 18th hikes include Franey, Freshwater Lake & Look off and Smokey Towers. Light rain or showers are expected today so dress accordingly. The last workshop of the festival – Outdoor Nature Photography with Wally Hayes takes place on Friday, Sept. 18th.  Meet at Cape Smokey Provincial Park parking lot at 1:30 pm.  Day 8 Evening presentation – “Hiking in Europe” with Lori Burke at 7pm. at Conference room, Glenghorm Beach Resort, Ingonish  plans to attract a good crowd.

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Third Pool, Salmon Pool Hiking Trail

Third Pool, Salmon Pool Hiking Trail

There is something special about hiking along the river and hearing the water rush by you. Guide Daniel Aucoin ask us to relax and hear the sounds of the forest.  He also caught our attention when he would draw for prizes along the hike.. Mushrooms, toads, and cabins were just some of things hikers saw along the way including four pools. Salmon fishing is catch & release on Cheticamp River. 

Hikers from Beligum, Georgia, and BC joined us in today’s hike at Salmon Pool. Later in the evening, hikers were treated to a social at the Cheticamp Visitor Centre hosted by Les Amis du Plein Air. Hikers enjoyed Acadien and English Folklore music, refreshements and food.  The Nature bookstore was open and hikers in the festival received a 10% discount off all items.  

 Day 7  of the festival features hikes at  Skyline, Fishing Cove and Le Chemin du Buttereau, all located in the Cape Breton Highlands National Park. In the evening, there will be a presentation on  “Trekking in Central and South America – Costa Rica and Peru. at 7:00 pm. by Marie Stradeski .  This presentation will take place at the festival headquarters, conference room at Glenghorm Beach Resort, Ingonish. It plans to be another special day in the Cape Breton Highlands for hiking  with sunny conditions and a high of 16 degrees.  

Day 8, (Sept. 18th) of the festival features hikes on Franey,  Freshwater lake & -Look-off and Smokey Towers. The last workshop of the festival – Outdoor Nature Photography with Wally Hayes takes place on Friday, Sept. 18th.  Meet at Cape Smokey Provincial Park parking lot at 1:30 pm.  Day 8 Evening presentation – “Hiking in Europe” with Lori Burke at 7pm. at Conference room, Glenghorm Beach Resort, Ingonish  plans to attract a good crowd.

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