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Posts Tagged ‘Cape Breton Highlands National Park’

Swimming at Fishing Cove, photo by Bob Harrison

Two of Nova Scotia’s best seacoast hiking trails were hiked yesterday by close to eighty hikers in the 2011 Hike the Highlands Festival. Sunny and warm conditions made the return trip hot in the afternoon with lots of water breaks and stops. Both hikes had swimmers enjoyed the ocean water to cool off.

Entering Pollett's Cove

Outstanding coastal scenery awaited the hikers entering Pollett’s Cove. A nice break on the beach made the experience even more meaningful. Cows and horses were grazing in the fields.

Fishing Cove, Cape Breton Highlands National Park

Looking Back at Fishing Cove, photo bt Bob Harrison

Forty-eight hikers enjoyed the hike into Fishing Cove led by veteran guide Derek Quann. Once a fishing village now enjoyed by day hikers and overnight hikers. The cove has freshwater coming down the valley as well saltwater from the ocean.

Today’s hikes include Franey, Cape St. Lawrence and Warren Lake. Cooler temperatures are expected today with some rain or showers ending near noon. It will be a welcome relief for hikers after 3 days of sun and hot temperatures from 26-30 degrees.

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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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Hiker Distance Award Program

Hikers continued their quest for the Hikers distance award (25, 50 or 100 km) during the 2011 Hike the Highlands Festival. Close to 80 hikers enjoyed Beulach Ban Falls/Aspy and Roberts Mountain hikes on another sunny day.

Beulach Ban Falls

Beulach Ban Falls /Aspy trail was a new hike this year and received good reviews from the hikers. Hikers were treated to the Beulach Ban Falls, Aspy River and North Mountain for views on this 9.2 km hike.

Roberts Mountain, Pleasant Bay

Minke whales were spotted before we started Roberts Mountain hike by our guide, Tina Roach and later when we returned. It was hot hiking up Roberts Mountain but the views were incredible at the summit. You could see Pleasant Bay harbour, Whale Interpretative Centre and MacIntosh Brook. CBC TV have a small tower up on top and below.   Many thanks to Tanya Thompson for giving us permission to hike on her land.

Today’s hikes  are Salmon Pools, Le Buttereau and Le chemin du Buttereau and Skyline. Another sunny day for the festival with a high of 26.

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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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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.

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2011 Cape Breton Highlands 3 Peaks Challenge - July 16th

Eighteen teams believed and took the challenge on – hiking three mountains in one day at the Cape Breton Highlands 3 Peaks Challenge, July 16th.  They all made it in safely and the organizers, Hike the Highlands Festival Society, are extremely proud of their accomplishments. Thanks to all the teams for participating in this event.

Seventy-two hikers hiked Franey in the Cape Breton Highlands National Park, Roberts Mountain in Pleasant Bay, and Acadien in Cape Breton Highlands National Park, in weather that featured showers & drizzle throughout the day and great hiking temperatures – 10-15 degrees. Interesting to note the following day features hot, sunny weather with temperatures over 30 degrees.

One of my highlights of my day was on Acadien hiking trail going up Cheticamp River Valley and hearing the sound of a flowing stream along the hiking trail.

The day ended with a closing reception and door prizes. One of the questions asked for door prizes was “How many steps did you take while doing the Cape Breton Highlands 3 Peaks Challenge, answer is 42,968 steps. Thanks to our two partners – Cape Breton Highlands National Park and Les Amis du Plein Air for all their assistance with this event.

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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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