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Archive for the ‘Victoria County Hiking Trails’ Category

One of my favorite things to do in the fall when leaves are turning is to hike Franey and later visit Mary Ann Falls.  Did both this weekend with my nephew and got lots of pictures. Unfortunately, the leaves were not at their full peak but the streams and the falls were flowing good with lots of water.

There was some snow on top of Franey and it was cold and windy. The view was incredible as usual and it made for some great outdoor photography. The rain later hit for a bit but we were well prepared with our rain gear plus our mid layer. We learned alot about hiking in the rain and layers while hiking in Scotland recently where it rained most days. Hiked with our trekking poles.

Below please find some pictures of Franey and Mary Ann Falls.

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Lady Slipper on Franey Hiking Trail, CB Highlands National Park

Lady Slipper on Franey Hiking Trail, Cape Breton Highlands National Park

 

It has been foggy this past weekend with drizzle so I decided to do a fitness hike and get some exercise in on one of my favorite trails – Franey in the Cape Breton Highlands National Park.  I took out my nordic walking poles,  put my smart wool socks on – a different type this time – trekking heavy (cushion) crew socks.  It was a warm and muggy day…so I took lots of water….and off I went.

The poles were a great help going up  Franey and down and the new trekking heavy socks worked very well.. I took a few pics on the hike but what caught my eye were the Lady Slippers…however they seemed to be on their way out… I learned a valuable lesson on this hike – don’t wear cotton t-shirt on a hot and muggy day….I was soaked… a good base layer for example – merino wool, or polyster, keeps the dampness from against the skin… Not sure if it would of have kept the mosquitos away …They attacked me on the way down… but on the bright side, I did hike Franey in 2 hours….one of my best times yet and one of the benefits of a fitness hike.

Franey is one of the hikes featured in the 2009 Hike the Highlands Festival, September 11-20, 2009. It well known for its elevation  and incredible views of the Clyburn Valley, South & North Bay & Middlehead. It is a classic hike with some of the  best views of the Cape Breton Highlands National Park  at the top.

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The Coastal Hiking trail will be one of the new hikes featured  in the 2009 Hike the Highlands Festival.  This trail is located in the Cape Breton Highlands National Park and is approximately 5.6kms one way. It features Atlantic Coastline, coastal forest, sea birds and some difficult sections over cobblestones.  The trail will start at Halfway Brook and end at Black Brook.  Black Brook beach was rated as one of top beaches in Canada by Canadian Geographic Magazine… It has incredible waves and is popular with locals and visitors in the summer. There is a picnic park here and Still Brook Falls.

The first section is the trail is quite nice and ends at Neil’s Harbour beach…you may hear the fog horn depending on the day…..then we head back into the woods for a bit, – some wet areas… until we come out to the ocean. Here you will see the Neil’s Harbour lighthouse, the harbour and homes. Then next section you follow along the coast where you venture out to cobblestones five times before  the last section of the trail.  Depending on what time you hike the trail, you usually have a good chance to see a lobster boat or two. If you take your time you should not have any problems with the cobblestones. You may want to take your walking stick or poles for balance. The last section of the trail provides some great photo stops including squeaker hole…then you finish at Black Brook.. Take your camera …lots of great shots on this trail and wear hiking boots for support…Below are a few pics.

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Explore - Canada's Outdoor Magazine

Explore - Canada's Outdoor Magazine

The June edition of  Explore Magazine has a great article of Canada’s Best of our Parks – National and Provincial. Two parks from Atlantic Canada made the list – Cape Breton Highlands National Park and Gros Morne National Park. Two of my favorite places to hike.

 A few surprises in the article written by Ryan Stewart. One in Gros Morne – Ryan indicated the Lookout Trail that takes you to top of Partridgeberry Hills offers best viewpoint. I would have thought on top of James Callaghan Trail. You see that view featured on many of Newfoundland and Labrador TV commercials.  I will definitely check that out the Lookout Trail the next time I visited Gros Morne.  Franey Trail was rated best summit of  Cape Breton Highlands National Park.  No surprise there as Hike the Highlands Festival considers it one of the classics. But the writer does indicated that on the way down visit Mary Ann Falls for a swim. There is an error there – Mary Ann Falls is not on the Franey Trail.  Otherwise,  I really like the article and it provides some great ideas and tips to visit other parks across Canada.  

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Every once in awhile you get lucky with some pictures – being in the right place at right time. That is how I can describe my hike recently on the Clyburn Valley Trail in the Cape Breton Highlands National Park.  It was full of surprises with flora and fauna and of course great scenery. I got lucky and was able to get close to two pileated woodpeckers, and a grouse during my hike.

This trail continues to be one of my all time favorites. I always enjoy walking along the river, see Franey mountain in the foreground,  the Clyburn Valley, the hardwood stands,  the boulders, and the gold mine building ruins.  It is a popular trail to see a moose and last year at Hike the Highlands Festival our group did see one.   

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Follow Hike the Highlands on Twitter

Follow Hike the Highlands on Twitter

Join our community on twitter – http://twitter.com/hikethehighland  and be in the loop…and up-to-date with hiking news.  Twitter allows you 140 characters – roughly two sentences and uses tinyurl for web url’s.  If you text message alot – twitter is made for you.

Two programs you might be interested in if you use twitter a bit is tweetdeck – connecting your contacts across twitter, facebook and more and twhirl – social software client. Twitpic allows to you to share photos on twitter.

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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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