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Posts Tagged ‘Pleasant Bay’

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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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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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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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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Roberts Mountain, Pleasant Bay

Roberts Mountain, Pleasant Bay

Day 5 of Hike the Highlands was all about avoiding rain and we did it. All three hikes  we got in. The last hike of day – Roberts Mountain lived up to expectations & more. It provided hikers with spectacular coastal scenery. Local guide Tina Roach, Pleasant Bay, indicated the Mountain was named after Robert MacLeod, one of the three families that had came over in 1800’s from the Isle of Skye, Scotland. Hiking up Roberts Mountain was a great day for hiking with poles,  up and down a mountain. I remember the proper techniques  instructor Linda Murray had demonstrated the day before at Nordic Walking workshop.

First hike of the day was Lone Shieling, a short hike led by guide and park interpreter John Francis Lane who provided hikers with an interpretative talk on the crofter’s house, the acadien forest and some studies being done in monitoring.  The second hike of the day was MacIntosh Brook, a short hiking trail to falls and one of the five geocaching sites in the Cape Breton Highlands National Park. Guide Lisa Dixon took us to the geocaching site and to falls which were flowing quite good due to the rain lately. MacIntosh Brook is also a picnic site and campground and has an excellent picnic shelter and washrooms.

Day 6 hikes are Otter Brook, the first half of Pollett’s Cove and Salmon Pool. The day ends with a social evening for hikers at the main theatre at Cheticamp Visitor centre. Hosted by Les Amis du Plein, a co-operative organization that runs the Nature Bookstore and a new partner in the Hike the Highlands festival. The evening will feature Acadien and English Folklore music, refreshments and food. The Nature bookstore will be open from 7-9 pm.

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Nordic Walking Workshop - Hiking with Poles

Nordic Walking Workshop - Hiking with Poles

Day four of  Hike the Highlands Festival was an important day for hikers – it showed us the importance of hiking with poles and the proper techniques.  It also emphasize dressing in layers and use of rain gear as the day involved showers.

Our instructor, Linda Murray started off the nordic walking workshop at North Highland Nordic Ski Trails, Cape North, by saying hiking with  poles is not just for older hikers but for younger people as well. Both her 29 year old daughter and husband hikes with poles all the time.

The benefits of nordic walking are incredible for your body  –  easier on your knees and hips, better balance, increased aerobic workout (20-40% more with poles), and a full body workout.  Our instructor, Linda Murray demonstrated the proper way of going up the hills as well down and stayed with us for the next hike at Sugar Loaf Mountain – an up and down hike.   

The day ended with a great evening presentation by John Francis Lane, park interpreter on Species at Risk, Cape Breton Highlands National Park.  We were amazed at how big the female American Eel was and the silver colour.

Day 5 hikes include Lone Shieling, MacIntosh Brook and Roberts Mountain.  All three hikes today are on new trails.

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