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Cape Breton Highlands National Park parkscanada.gc.ca

Cape Breton Highlands National Park

2014 Activity Guide Choose Your Own Big Adventure


Welcome to Cape Breton Highlands National Park where the mountains meet the sea!

Top 10 Things to Do on a Whim: Your adventure awaits in Cape Breton Highlands National Park! Accessible to all via the famous Cabot Trail, the park’s 950km2 protect majestic plateaus, deeply-cut river canyons and spectacular ocean scenery and exemplify Canada’s wondrous beauty. A park pass is required from May to October for park use. For more information on fees and services, visit park facilities, call 902-224-2306, or visit parkscanada.gc.ca/capebreton.

Hiking

1

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.

“Skyline Sunset Hike”, p. 3-4 Unwind at the beach, p. 6 10 Hikes in 1 Day Challenge, p. 2 “Seeing in the Dark”, p. 3-4 Go whale watching Pamper yourself at the Keltic Lodge Resort and Spa Have a picnic at Middle Head Discover waterfalls, p. 6 On the Links - see Golf, p. 7 Peek-a-Moose

Experience the Hiking Capital of Eastern Canada in all its glory. The park’s 26 hiking trails range from easy strolls to challenging climbs with panoramic views of canyons, highlands and seacoasts.


Love a challenge? CONQUER THE HIGHLANDS CHALLENGE Earn the park’s topographic map and major bragging rights for a year by hiking Cape Breton Highlands National Park’s 26 trails in 2014! This is your chance to get up close and personal with the complex habitat of northern Cape Breton. Bring a signed list with trail names or photo documentation (a photo of you on each trail) and dates hiked to either park visitor centre.

10 HIKES-IN-ONE-DAY-CHALLENGE Sample 10 short trails in one day, exploring a variety of habitats - Acadian, Boreal and Taiga - to earn a souvenir magnet. Easily done at a leisurely pace if you walk regularly. Bring in a signed list or photo documentation (a photo of you on each trail) to either park visitor centre.

SUGGESTED TRAILS: • • • • • • • • • •

Le Buttereau Bog Benjie’s Lake MacIntosh Brook Lone Shieling Jigging Cove Jack Pine Green Cove Freshwater Lake Freshwater Lake Look-off

Good Practice View from Middle Head peninsula.

Staff Picks: Top 10 Trails Acadian’s breathtaking views and challenging slopes make it the favourite of Simone, visitor services coordinator. Franey’s spectacular bird’s eye view of the Clyburn Valley puts it at the top of park warden Tim’s list.

• • • • • • • • •

Hike with friends and a solid walking stick. If you walk alone, tell someone where you are going. Do not approach, disturb or feed wild animals. Pack in, pack out. Littering attracts wildlife and puts you and the animals at risk. Dress appropriately – weather may change rapidly on the plateau and along the coast. Bring water, especially for longer trails, climbs and open barrens. Bring insect repellent. Black flies and mosquitoes are common all summer. Stay on the trails to protect fragile vegetation. Caution: cell phone coverage within the park is unreliable.

The Bog’s unexpected beauty surprises park ecologist, James, every time.

Wildlife Safety

Jack Pine’s ugly duckling trees and stunning geology keep Mariève, of the visitor experience team, on the trail.

Do you know what to do if you encounter wildlife? This is the home of the black bear, moose and eastern coyote. Moose, bear and coyote have been known to cause serious injury and even death to humans throughout their range in North America. Always give them plenty of space and a means of escape. For your safety and your dog’s, keep it on a leash at all times.

Skyline is considered Nova Scotia’s premier hiking trail. JeanMarc, park attendant, tends to agree. Glasgow Lakes Look-off’s 360º view of the highland plateau keeps calling Jocelyne, park attendant, back on its path. Le vieux chemin du Cap-Rouge’s rich Acadian history and spectacular ocean views have forged a strong connection to visitor services team member Ginette’s heart.

DO NOT FEED animals directly or indirectly (through littering). Animals that have access to our food or garbage lose their fear of people. • Keep your campsite clean. • When hiking or driving, do not throw food or scraps along the trails and roads.

Salmon Pools’ viewpoints, including waterfalls and the high cliffs of the Chéticamp River canyon, make it the favourite of Erich, of resource conservation.

Be informed before you venture into the park. Visit either of our visitor information centres and pick up the “Keep it Wild, Keep it Safe” brochure.

Broad Cove Mountain leads Elaine, of the visitor experience team, through the changing forest as she climbs in elevation. Middle Head follows a narrow peninsula separating two ocean bays. Kersti, park interpreter, likes to follow it too. 2


Weekly Activities: June 27 - August 31 East (Ingonish Area)

Thursday

Wednesday

Tuesday

Monday

Sunday

West (Chéticamp Area) Coyotes Among Us

Middle Head Hike

8 pm, Chéticamp Visitor Centre

10 am, Middle Head trailhead

The Beach is Alive 7 pm, Broad Cove Campground beach; meet your guide at the benches near parking area by the beach

Skyline Sunset Hike

Middle Head Hike

2 hours before sunset, Skyline trailhead. 12 yrs + Register at either visitor centre or campground kiosk. $17.75

10 am, Middle Head trailhead

Skyline Sunset Hike

Middle Head Hike

2 hours before sunset, Skyline trailhead. 12 yrs + Register at either visitor centre or campground kiosk. $17.75

10 am, Middle Head trailhead

Skyline Sunset Hike

Middle Head Hike

2 hours before sunset, Skyline trailhead. 12 yrs + Register at either visitor centre or campground kiosk. $17.75

10 am, Middle Head trailhead

Skyline Sunset Hike

Middle Head Hike

2 hours before sunset, Skyline trailhead. 12 yrs + Register at either visitor centre or campground kiosk. $17.75

10 am, Middle Head trailhead

Nature Film Night July: 9 pm / Aug: 8:30 pm, Broad Cove Campground outdoor theatre

Coyotes Among Us July: 9 pm / Aug: 8:30 pm, Broad Cove Campground outdoor theatre

Seeing in the Dark July: 8:30 pm / Aug: 8 pm, Warren Lake trailhead. 12 yrs + Register at either visitor centre or campground kiosk. $17.75

Haunted Hike

Gaelic Milling Frolic

July: 9 pm / Aug: 8:30 pm, Ingonish Beach Day Use Area. 8 yrs + Register at either visitor centre or campground kiosk. $17.75

Skyline Sunset Hike

Middle Head Hike

2 hours before sunset, Skyline trailhead. 12 yrs + Register at either visitor centre or campground kiosk. $17.75

10 am, Middle Head trailhead

Discovery Zone

Middle Head Hike

7 pm, Cooking Shelter near Chéticamp Visitor Centre

10 am, Middle Head trailhead

Nature Film Night

Discovery Zone

Saturday

Friday

8 pm, Chéticamp Visitor Centre, $5

An Evening on the Beach 8 pm, Broad Cove Campground beach; meet your guide at the benches near parking area by the beach

7 pm, Broad Cove Campground Activity Building

8 pm, Chéticamp Visitor Centre

National Park Wonders July: 9 pm / Aug: 8:30 pm, Broad Cove Campground outdoor theatre

Broad Cove Campground Outdoor Theatre programs will move to Broad Cove Campground Activity Building. “Nature Film Night” will replace An Evening at the Beach or The Beach is Alive program at the Broad Cove Campground Activity Building. Guided Hikes will proceed if numbers permit.

Programs and activities may be cancelled due to unforeseeable circumstances including adverse weather conditions.

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R. Buchhofer

*Note - In case of rain:

Top 5 Things to Do with Kids 1. Become a Parks Canada Xplorer – p. 4 2. Find Parka’s Campground Kid Caches – see Geocaching, p. 7 3. Let loose at the Chéticamp Campground playground 4. Discover the stone shepherd’s hut on the Lone Shieling trail 5. Visit one of the park’s visitor centres and try out the fun Club Parka activities designed for children ages 3 to 6 and their families


WEEKLY ACTIVITIES DAY Park Interpreters Out and About Look for park interpreters on popular trails and at viewpoints around the Cabot Trail to discover more about whales, moose, coastal life and many other aspects of the park. Quench your curiosity and seek answers to your questions at these interpretation stations: • Veterans Monument viewpoint • Skyline trail • Bog trail • Green Cove viewpoint • Lakie’s Head viewpoint

Middle Head Hike Be inspired by the beauty of the coastline on a 4 km interpretive hike along the stunning, rugged Middle Head Peninsula, home of the Keltic Lodge and Highlands Links golf course. 1 to 1.5 hours

“Middle Head Hike”.

EVENING

Gaelic Milling Frolic Join Gaelic singers Geoffrey and Rebecca-Lynne for an entertaining evening exploring the Gaelic culture through songs. The whole family will be swept away by the rhythm of this hands-on “milling frolic”. 1 hour. $5.

National Park Wonders Meet some of the residents of our national park and discover the environment they live in through captivating presentations. 1 hr Discovery Zone Children of all ages will enjoy interactive and hands-on activities that will allow them to discover nature in a fun way. 1 hour

The Beach is Alive See how natural forces bring Broad Cove beach to life as it shifts and evolves. Crouch down in the sand, meet its residents and discover the key roles they play. Program geared to family audience. 1 hour

Coyotes Among Us This presentation sheds some light on these elusive creatures and helps us to find our place in nature to enjoy the park safely and responsibly. 1 hour Nature Film Night Nature’s secrets will be revealed during our Nature Film Night, featuring stunning footage Hanging out at MacIntosh Brook. from all over the world. 1.5 to 2 hours

D. Wilson

An Evening at the Beach Awaken your senses in a stellar ocean setting. During a peaceful walk down the beach you will discover how this natural treasure came to be. Bring a chair or blanket and relax under the stars as you allow the tales from the past to spark your imagination. 2 hours

NIGHT HIKES Skyline Sunset Hike – a recognized Canadian Signature Experience Immerse yourself in nature’s masterpiece where the mountains truly meet the sea. You will be led through the boreal forest to witness a breathtaking sunset over the Atlantic Ocean 400 metres below. Don’t forget your camera: bald eagles, moose and whales often make an appearance. Not recommended for visitors under 12 yrs of age. Visitors must pre-register at campground kiosk or visitor centre. Space is limited. 2.5 to 3 hrs. $17.75. Bilingual program.

Seeing in the Dark Enjoy a transformative experience as you explore the night in a place where it truly gets dark. While being guided through the woods, visitors are challenged by the absence of artificial light to step outside their usual comfort zone and learn how to use their other senses during a journey into the nocturnal world. Not recommended for visitors under 12 yrs of age. Visitors must pre-register at either visitor centre or campground kiosk. Space is limited. 2 to 2.5 hours. $17.75.

Haunted Hike As the darkness creeps in, listen for the haunting call of the loon, or will it be one of Ingonish’s ghosts? As the moonbeams glisten on the lake you will become spellbound by the tales of this place. Recommended for visitors 8 yrs of age +. Visitors must pre-register at either visitor centre or campground kiosk. Space is limited. 2 hours. $17.75.

"Skyline Sunset Hike".

PARKS CANADA XPLORERS

Natalie Cuthbertson

Would you like to be a Parks Canada Xplorer? Pick up a booklet at one of our park facilities and complete a variety of fun, hands-on activities specifically designed for children ages 6 - 11 and their families. Once you have accomplished your mission, come into either visitor centre to claim your official Cape Breton Highlands National Park Xplorer certificate and prize. "Haunted Hike" at Ingonish Beach.

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SPECIAL EVENTS Here is a taste of the many special events that will be held in the park. For a complete list of what is happening in the park, stop in at either visitor centre or visit parkscanada.gc.ca/capebreton. Enjoy FREE entry to all Parks Canada places Canada Day Celebrations - Chéticamp 2 pm to 4 pm, Chéticamp Visitor Centre area. Celebrate Canada Day with live music, family activities and cake. Hosted collaboratively by La Société Saint-Pierre and Cape Breton Highlands National Park. Canada Day Celebrations - Ingonish Beach, 8 am until dark, Ingonish Beach Day Use Area (soccer field), Keltic Lodge and community locations. Cake, music and games for the whole family!

12-13 Learn-to Camp - Chéticamp Campground New to camping? Join us for a fun-filled night of sleeping under the stars, presented by Cape Breton Highlands National Park. We’ll show you how to set up a tent, make a campfire and cook outdoors. Other activities will include games, learning the basics of camping, hiking and a S’mores competition. Unwind by the campfire enjoying songs and stories – bring your instrument and join in. Wake up to the fresh mountain air and enjoy coffee, tea and baked goods. Fee: $45.00 per group or $55.00 with 6-person tent. Check our website for complete details: www.parkscanada.gc.ca/capebreton Registration required: 902-224-2306 or by email: cbhnp.info@pc.gc.ca 15

19

22

Coastal Life Discovery Program - Neil’s Brook 1 pm – Meet guide at Coastal Trail trailhead parking lot Ever wonder what types of creatures live in our coastal waters? Come find out! Help Parks Canada staff do important research and uncover the things that live in an estuary – a special environment where rivers mix with salt water from the ocean. Help haul in a net and find creatures such as green crabs, nine-spined stickleback, silversides, Northern pipefish, or who knows what else. Dress for the weather and don’t forget your rubber boots or water shoes. Visitors of all ages welcome.

OCTOBER 14 Celtic Colours Guided Hike - Acadian Trail 10:30 am, Chéticamp – Meet guide at Chéticamp Visitor Centre Hike through a vibrant panorama of autumn leaves as fiddle music resonates within you. Join Cape Breton Highlands National Park staff for a guided hike associated with the Celtic Colours International Festival concert in Chéticamp. This trail is a steady climb to panoramic views of the plateau, river canyon, and Gulf of St. Lawrence. 3-4 hours, 8.4 km loop trail, 20-365 m elevation. For hike details, contact cbhnp.info@pc.gc.ca. 16

Celtic Colours Guided Hike - Franey Trail 10:30 am, Ingonish – Meet guide at trailhead. Hike through a vibrant panorama of autumn leaves as fiddle music resonates within you. Join Cape Breton Highlands National Park staff for a guided hike associated with the Celtic Colours International Festival concert in Ingonish. This trail is a steep climb to panoramic views of the Clyburn River canyon and Atlantic Ocean. 2-3 hours, 7.4 km loop, 95-430 m elevation. For hike details, contact cbhnp.info@pc.gc.ca.

THE RED CHAIR CHALLENGE Ten red chairs. Ten breathtaking locations. You. Once you’ve found them, don’t just do something … sit there!

Parks Day - Cape Breton Highlands 3 Peaks Challenge, 7 am to 6:30 pm. Hike three peaks in less than 12 hours! This year’s climbs are Robert Mountain, Sugar Loaf and Franey. Deadline for registration is July 2: hikethehighlandsfestival.com.

This challenge is an invitation to savour the views of our absolute favourite places in Cape Breton Highlands National Park.

Acadian Milling Frolic, 7:30 pm, Trout Brook You can’t beat our milling frolic! Wait – yes, you can. Beat the wool to the rhythm of traditional Acadian songs and watch the sun set over the ocean. Join in around the table or simply sing along, and we’ll take you back in time for an hour or two. Hosted collaboratively by La Société Saint-Pierre and Cape Breton Highlands National Park.

Share your experience by posting photos of the red chairs you find and tagging our Facebook page – but please don’t reveal the location! facebook.com/CBHNP.

AUGUST 14 Coastal Life Discovery Program - Chéticamp 1 pm – Meet guide at Chéticamp Visitor Centre Ever wonder what types of creatures live in our coastal waters? Come find out! Help Parks Canada staff do important research and uncover the things that live in an estuary – a special environment where rivers mix with salt water from the ocean. Help haul in a net and find creatures such as green crabs, nine-spined stickleback, silversides, Northern pipefish, or who knows what else. Dress for the weather and don’t forget your rubber boots or water shoes. Visitors of all ages welcome. SEPTEMBER 12-21 Hike the Highlands Festival Join us for the 11th anniversary of Hike the Highlands Festival, featuring 29 hikes within and adjacent to the park. Fee applicable. Registration: hikethehighlands.com.

Admiring the view at Trout Brook.

D. Aucoin

JULY 1

L. Bourgeois

“Acadian Milling Frolic” at Trout Brook.

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Camping

-

-

20

BIG INTERVALE

-

-

10

-

MACINTOSH BROOK

-

-

10

-

FISHING COVE

-

-

8

-

ROBERT BROOK (Group Camping Only)

-

-

-

2

SWIMMING AND BEACHES The park is home to a variety of superb beaches. Choose between salt or freshwater, or enjoy both at one location.

J. Pleau

-

Camping at Corney Brook.

Sightseeing along the western coastline.

Top 10 Geological Gems 1.

Grande Falaise – a “big cliff” with layers of history.

2.

Presqu’île – a fault running all the way to Newfoundland divides the pillar rock of volcanic Devonian basalt from shiny schist across the ponds.

3.

Cap Rouge viewpoint – exhibit displays samples of all major rock types found in the Highlands.

4.

Boar’s Back – a narrow ridge crossing two glacially carved valleys joining French and MacKenzie Mountains with drops of 365 m on one side, 200 m on the other.

5.

Oldest rocks in Nova Scotia – more than a billion-year-old Grenville gneiss and anorthosite, once part of the Canadian Shield, can be spotted as you descend the Cabot Trail from North Mountain to Pleasant Bay.

Ingonish Beach and Freshwater Lake - Jump from salt water at this sand and cobblestone beach to Freshwater Lake with just a few steps across the barrachois in between. Dogs are not permitted in the supervised area of the beach.

North Bay Beach - For those seeking a quieter, more secluded beach experience, this long expanse of sand beach is very inviting.

Broad Cove Beach - Dip into the Atlantic and rinse off in the neighbouring brook by this sandy beach at the foot of Broad Cove Campground.

Warren Lake - Our largest lake with resident loons and incredible mountain scenery warms up quickly in the summer to provide an enjoyable beach adventure for the whole family.

Black Brook Beach - Take in the ocean views at one of our most popular beaches bordered by a gentle waterfall on one end and intersected by a freshwater brook.

6.

La Bloc Beach - The wharf reaching into the warm gulf waters reminds us of the Acadians who once lived near this pebbly beach on the west side of the park. Enjoy a walk along the coast, a refreshing dip and spectacular sunsets.

Aspy Fault – the park’s most spectacular fault extends 30 km from the centre of the highlands to the ocean and may be related to the Great Glen Fault in Scotland. Check out the view and exhibit on the North Mountain viewpoint.

7.

Gypsum Cliffs – these white rocks, a relic from Cape Breton’s time in the tropics, can be viewed from the Cabot Trail near the road leading to Dingwall.

CAUTION - Undertow and rip currents can be very dangerous. Please exercise caution while swimming at any ocean beach, especially in turbulent waters or after a storm. Undertows at Black Brook, Broad Cove and Ingonish Beach can be particularly strong.

8.

Black Brook Beach – spectacular granites, over 375 million years old, can be viewed as you lie on this award winning beach.

No pets are allowed in certain beach areas. Please comply with signage.

9.

Middle Head Peninsula – 560-million-year-old diorite intruded by 495-million-year-old granite. Millennia have sculpted this narrow peninsula.

WATERFALLS •

Corney Brook Falls rests at the end of a 3 km walk along the Corney Brook Trail.

MacIntosh Brook Falls is nestled in the heart of the old growth forest of the Grand Anse Valley.

Beulach Ban Falls in the Aspy Valley is the highest waterfall in the park and just a few steps from the parking area.

Black Brook Beach’s waterfall tumbles into the Atlantic Ocean and can be viewed from the beach or Coastal Trail.

Mary Ann Falls, a splendid sight, with the greatest volume of all our waterfalls, rewards you after a 7 km drive up a dirt road and a short 200 m walk.

10. Ingonish Visitor Centre – built of dozens of fragments of different rock types that show a cross-section of Cape Breton’s geology.

Newlyweds at Ingonish Beach.

Morrison Powell

CORNEY BROOK

Back country

60

Group camping

78

Trails

12

Ocean swimming

24

Showers

CHÉTICAMP

Flush toilets

58

Playgrounds

111

Drinking water

Tent sites

43

Kitchen shelters

Tent sites

83

w/fireplaces

Full hook-ups

BROAD COVE

w/fireplaces

Camping Services

Full hook-ups

With access to breathtaking hiking trails and spectacular beaches, our campsites range from sites with tent pads in the back country to fully serviced sites. NEW in 2014 – Equipped campsites available in Chéticamp campground. These sites include a 6-person tent, tent pads, everything you’ll need to cook outdoors, and more! Receive a 15% discount by camping 7 consecutive nights or more! Sites at Broad Cove and Chéticamp campgrounds can be reserved at reservation.parkscanada.gc.ca or 1-877-737-3783.

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Distance Chart (distances in km)

115

90

70

175 225 190 125

75

50

30

210 195 160 125

45

20

195 180 145 110

30

35

Neil’s Harbour Ingonish Beach

Marconi Alexander Graham Bell

Sydney

Baddeck

rg ou sb ui Lo

170

h ac Be

140

75

k ec dd Ba

110

Cape North

Chéticamp

ey dn Sy

85

80

Pleasant Bay

sh ni go In

170 150 115

40

rth No r pe ou rb Ca Ha il’s Ne

90

p m ica y ét Ba Ch nt sa ea Pl

135 200 170

Louisbourg

lH

Canso Causeway St. Peters Canal

na Na tio

ay ew us Ca

ist or

ic

Si

te

o ns Ca

Fortress of Louisbourg

Canso Islands

For a complete list of local festivals, music, shows and events, visit park visitor centers, cbisland.com, cabottrail.travel, northerncapebreton.com or novascotia.com.

GOLF

Cycle part or all of the Cabot Trail, one of the world’s top ten cycling destinations (Lonely Planet). These Nova-Scotia based companies offer supported rides and rentals. See saltybear.ca, velocapebreton.ca, velomax.ca, northnova.ca, pedalandseaadventures.com, freewheeling.ca, atlanticcanadacycling.com, cabot-trail-outdoors.com, and frameworkfitness.com for more information. Park trails suitable for cycling are: Freshwater Lake, Clyburn Valley, Branch Pond Look-off and Salmon Pools.

Conceived and constructed under the watchful eye of world-renowned designer Stanley Thompson, the Highlands Links Golf Course ranks among the top 100 worldwide and often #1 in Canada. Its unique combination of seaside and mountain holes makes it a truly outstanding golfing experience. For more information, call 1-800-441-1118, or visit highlandslinksgolf.com.

V. Mantycki

CYCLING

Cyclists taking in the view of Le Buttereau.

Highlands Links Golf Course.

GEOCACHING

Available caches: 1. Eco-Cache Challenge – 5 caches along 17 km of trails, situated at the four corners of the park. Earn a trackable geocoin while supplies last. 2. Middle Head Multi-Cache – 5 caches hidden along the Middle Head Peninsula, an iconic park feature with a rich cultural history. 3. Fishing Cove – a traditional cache in a rolling landscape steeped with adventure and mystery. 4. It’s Your Fault – discover one of the earth’s breathtaking natural processes featured in this EarthCache. Accessible from the Cabot Trail. (www.earthcache.org) 5. Parka’s Campground Kid Cache – learn about our native tree species at Chéticamp and Broad Cove campgrounds. A great introduction to geocaching. Stop by the Chéticamp Visitor Centre or Broad Cove Campground Kiosk to get your starter page.

7

J. Pleau

Take on the challenge of searching for the park’s many geocaches and discovering our treasures. Begin your quest at park visitor centres, or visit geocaching.com.

A moose resting on French Mountain.

Cape Breton Highlands National Park - 2014 Activity Guide  

Cape Breton Highlands National Park 2014 Activity Guide

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