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Tenerife Mountain

Tenerife  and Cabot Landing Beach were the featured hikes on Day 4 of the 2011 Hike the Highlands festival. Over 9o plus hikers enjoyed sunny & cool hiking conditions.

North Harbour from Tenerife Mtn.

Tenerife Mountain is a new hike this year in the festival and after today will be regular fixture on the schedule with amazing views on top plus a little adventure getting there.

Cabot Landing Beach, Sugar Loaf

Cabot Landing Beach hike was a perfect way ending the day with  walking in the sand, getting your feet wet and enjoying some amazing views of mountains and surf. It was a great day for pictures.

Today’s hikes are Beulach Ban Falls and Roberts Mountain. It seems the hikes just keep getting better.

Money Point Gulch looking back

It was a perfect day for hiking on Day 3 of the 2011 Hike the Highlands Festival- sunny and 18 degrees. Eight-one hikers enjoyed the day on the Meat Cove Mountain and Money Point Gulch hikes.

Meat Cove Mountain by Sharon Proctor

At Meat Cove Mtn. hikers enjoyed outstanding views, zumba and picking blueberries. Guide Lori Taylor and her assistants Rosie Smith and Sharon Proctor made sure hikers experienced this special place.

Back down looking at Bay St. Lawrence

Veteran guide David Rasmussen was thanked by the hikers for sharing with us his trail on Money Point Gulch and the spectacular views on top of this mountain.

Today’s hikes on another sunny day are Cabot Landing Beach at 10:00 am. & 2 pm. and Tenerife at 10:00 am. and 2:00 pm.

White Point

Close to 100 hikers enjoyed the hikes on Day 2 of 2011  Hike the Highlands Festival at White Point and Sugar Loaf . It was a day to enjoy great coastal scenery,  a climb up a steep mountain and to prepare you with some wet weather.

White Point hike provided great coastal scenery, the history of the Unknown sailor and  Two Tittles. This trail is featured in many photos especially Wally Hayes, retired professional photographer with NS Tourism. He enjoyed this trail at sunrise, sunset and during the day.

Sugar Loaf Mountain

Sugar Loaf , one of the classic hikes on Cape Breton Island and also part of 3 Peaks Challenge, made for some quick pictures at the top as the skies opened up with rain.  There are some great pics of nearby mountains, North Harbour and 4 mile beach on the summit.

Day 3 hikes include Meat Cove Mountain and Money Point Gulch, both feature outstanding views at the top of each mountain. Don’t forget your camera on this sunny day.

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.

Deuter Futura 28 AC Daypack

Deuter Futura 28 AC Daypack

With the 2011 Hike the Highlands festival starting in less than a week, it is important to have your checklist ready for hiking so you pack your daypack  and enjoy the day hiking,

1) Weather reports – always check the weather reports before you start out hiking for the day. You can then pack & dress according – ie rain gear, suncreen, etc.

2)  Equipment for daypack  – sunscreen, sunglasses,  digital camera with extra batteries and card, whistle, hat,  jacket, water (2 bottles), snacks, lunch, extra pair of hiking socks, ziplock bags for garbage, insect repellent, small first aid kit, maps of trail(s). For day hikes, 4-6 hours long, you should have a daypack that is 20 plus litres.

3) Other equipment – hiking boots, hiking/trekking poles, gaiters,  watch, temperature gauge, baselayer, midlayer -fleece jacket.

Hiking Tip – A friend of mine takes a cold facecloth with her on those hot days to wipe her forehead and cool her down. She keeps the facecloth in a ziplock bag.

Hiking in the Rain

Despite some hot weather recently, the 2011 summer, has been a mixture of rain, showers, drizzle and fog. Here are 5 tips to help you hike in the rain :

1)  Equipment – a) daypack with a rain cover. If your daypack doesn’t
have one, invest in one,  b) rain gear – pants & jacket, c) gaiters – great for
keeping grass and branches from scratching or irritating your legs plus
water from entering your boots after the rain stops, d) goretex or
waterproof hiking boots to keep your feet dry, e) Poles – trekking or hiking poles will help you with your balance in wet conditions and cross in
streams or wet areas. They will also be great in ascending and descenting
hills or mountains.

2)  To be on the safe side put all your items in your daypack in clear       ziplock  bags or different colored small drybags. 

3) Clothes –  a) wear a base layer – merino wool or polyster – it wicks the
moisture away from your skin. Do not wear cotton,  b) Have a mid-    layer with you – polyster or fleece jacket. Put on for any long stops or    breaks especially on high elevation.  ie. lunch or snacks.  c) wear smart    wool socks or liners with other socks on top. They will wick the     moisture away from your skin …helps avoid any blisters or hotspots.   Always carry an extra pair of socks in your daypack and blister kit, d) wear waterproof or water resistant  gloves to keep your hands warm.

4) Ventilation – Rain gear is not always breathable even though it says so
on the label. . Often you get wet from condensation inside the jacket.  Important to open zippers under armpits for ventilation as well open the
zipper on the front. b) Important  to open t and zippers on your base-
layer and mid-layer to allow you to cool-down.

5)  Drink water and eat food ….you will need your energy while hiking in
the rain.,. Body & outside temperatures changes require more energy
while hiking and staying warm.

Taking a break with Hiking Gear on Franey

With just 5 weeks away, it is time to start planning and preparing for the Hike the Highlands Festival, Sept. 9-18, 2011.  Here are some tips:

1) Determine your Hikes  – Review the list of hikes scheduled ie. trail description, photos & map. Determine the ones you would like to do and how many days you would be staying.  Registration is a 2 step process. First register for your hikes online and second –  determine pass, then pay on-line.

2) Book your Accommodations –  Once you have determine the hikes you want  to do and the days you are staying. now it is time to book your accommodations. An accommodation  list  is provided on each of the communities..Check out their websites and tripadvisor reviews to help you with your decision-making.  Please note  September is a busy time around the Cabot Trail.

3) Develop & Prepare your Equipment List –  Daypack, poles, hiking boots, water bottle(s), hat, sun glasses, sunscreen, insect repellent,  extra hiking socks,  jacket,  rain gear, extra layers, extra hiking shorts/pants,  digital camera with extra cards & batteries

4) Start Hiking or Continue – is important to be in shape for this festival…If you haven’t started hiking yet, please do so ..starting with a short hikes -2-4 kms, then work you way up to 5-8km and then a long hike 10-15 km.  You have time to get in shape.  Build up your hiking kms each week . Hikers at the Festival have options to hike 1-2 hikes a day or one longer hike.

Hope these tips have been helpful in planning and preparing for the upcoming Hike the Highlands Festival.