Hiking & Walking
Discover the unique natural beauty of the western side of the island with a local guide who can show you popular hiking trails. Go for a dip at a secluded lake, or stop for a picnic overlooking Northumberland Strait fishing boats from 1,000 feet above sea level. With plenty of options for all skill levels, Cape Breton is fantastic for hiking and walking.
If you’re an experienced hiker, private back-country hiking tours are also available. Explore some of the few untouched corners of the island, as you roam through old-growth forests, thundering waterfalls, and stunning landscapes. For more information or assistance booking a guide, please talk to our Reservations Team.
Easy – Family-friendly trails suitable for all visitors
Moderate – Medium-length trails with moderate elevation gain and some short, steep sections; suitable for most visitors
Difficult – Longer trails with long, steep sections suitable for visitors who have trail experience and are prepared
Beginning just off Inverness’s Central Avenue and continuing along the Inverness Beach and the Cabot Links golf course, the Inverness Boardwalk offers miles of panoramic views in every direction. Amidst the coastal scenery and refreshing ocean breeze, it’s the ideal spot for a relaxing stroll or jog.
Travel: 1 minutes
Duration: 30 minutes
Egypt Falls—or Piper’s Glen as you may find in some guide books—features a short 15-minute trail to the falls, descending downhill through a stand of mixed hardwoods. The last five-minutes force you to ascend the steep walls of the gorge, revealing a beautiful waterfall. Ropes are in place for added support. A great spot to have a swim, and relax in nature with a picnic and some good company.
Travel: 25 minutes
Duration: 1 – 2 hours; 2-km (1.2-mi) loop
Gypsum Mine Trail
This short hike on an established trail follows an old railway bed, built in the early 1900s. As such, the Gypsum Mine Trail is wide and flat, welcoming hikers, bikers, and the occasional ATV. Eventually you’ll arrive at white gypsum cliffs and a lovely swimming spot at a pristine emerald lake, near the Acadian village of Cheticamp.
Travel: 50 minutes
Duration: 1-hour loop
Likely Cape Breton’s most talked-about trail experience, the Skyline Trail is a looping, hiking trail on the western side of The Cabot Trail. A dramatic headland cliff overlooks the coast from the end of this level trail, offering stunning views of The Cabot Trail as it winds its way down the mountain towards the sea. Along the route, whales can be spotted in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, while moose, eagles, and boreal birds also frequent the area.
Travel: 1 hour
Duration: 2 – 3 hours; 8.2-km (5.1-mi) loop
Cape Breton Highlands National Park
The trails in Cape Breton Highlands National Park range from easy strolls to challenging climbs, with panoramic views of canyons, highlands, and seacoasts. Awaken your senses as you explore remote waterfalls, tranquil lakes, sweeping panoramic views, and cliff-bound river canyons through a guided back-country hike with one of the park’s knowledgeable staff.
Difficulty: Easy to Difficult
Uisge Ban Falls
Gaelic for “white water”, Uisge Ban (ish-ka-ban) offers picnic facilities, interpretive signs, and gorgeous hiking trails. The Falls Trail—which is approximately three kilometres (1.8 miles) in length, and requires about one hour to complete—passes through unspoiled forests, fields, and streams. It leads to the 16-metre (52-foot) Uisge Ban Waterfall, where 150-metre (500-foot) gorge walls tower on either side.
Travel: 1 Hour
Duration: 1 – 2 hours; 4 km (2.4 mi)
“Once your booking is finalized, you will then have until 72 hours prior to the scheduled activity to cancel or modify without penalty. Any cancellations within 72 hours of the booking will have a fee charged to your guest account at 50% of the full rate. Any bookings canceled within the 24-hour period will be charged to your guest account at full rate.”