Cape Breton Highlands National Park's hiking trails range from easy strolls to challenging climbs with panoramic views of canyons, highlands and seacoasts. The trails provide a chance to intimately explore the complex habitat of northern Cape Breton Island. Nature doesn't end at the park's boundaries. Many surrounding areas boast equally breathtaking trails.

Hiking Trails - map

The following is a list of Cape Breton Highlands National Park's hiking trails. Distances are round-trip with average walking times. Click on the trail name for more detailed information.

Our trails have been rated for difficulty with the internationally recognized symbols:

Easy Easy Family-friendly trails that are suitable for all visitors.
Moderate Moderate Medium-length trails with moderate elevation gain and some short, steep sections. Suitable for most visitors.
Difficult Difficult Longer trails with long, steep sections that are suitable for visitors who have trail experience and are prepared (proper equipment and water).

Trail Difficulty  Distance Time Elevation
Acadian (loop)  Moderate 8.4 km 3 - 4 hours 20 - 365 m
Salmon Pools  Moderate 7.8 km 3 - 4 hours 15 - 110 m
Le Chemin du Buttereau  Easy 4.6 km 1.5 hours 25 - 65 m
Le Buttereau (loop)  Easy 1.6 km 30 - 45 minutes 0 - 55 m
Le vieux chemin du Cap-Rouge  Easy 9 km 2.5 - 3.5 hours 40 - 110 m
Corney Brook  Easy 6.5 km 2 hours 30 - 170 m
Skyline  Easy 7 km or
8.7 km (loop)
2 - 3 hours 290 - 405 m
Bog (loop)  Easy 0.5 km 15 minutes 410 m
Benjie's Lake  Easy 3 km 1 - 1.5 hours 400 m
Fishing Cove  Difficult 12 km 5 - 6 hours 0 - 355 m
MacIntosh Brook  Easy 1.7 km 30 - 45 minutes 30 - 65 m
Lone Shieling (loop)  Easy 0.6 km 15 minutes 70 m
Aspy  Moderate / Difficult 9.6 km 3 - 4 hours 60 - 450 m
Mica Hill  Moderate 7.9 km 3 - 3.5 hours 260 - 410 m
Jack Pine (loop)  Easy 2.3 km 1 hour 0 - 50 m
Coastal  Moderate 11.3 km 3 - 4 hours 0 - 45 m
Jigging Cove (loop)  Easy 2.4 km 40 - 50 minutes 50 - 65 m
Green Cove  Easy 0.2 km 10 minutes 10 m
Broad Cove Mountain  Moderate 2.3 km 1 hour 35 - 180 m
Warren Lake (loop)  Moderate 4.7 km 1.5 hours 15 m
Branch Pond Look-off  Moderate 8.4 km 2 - 3 hours 100 - 305 m
Franey (loop)  Difficult 7.4 km 2 - 3 hours 95 - 430 m
Clyburn Valley  Easy 8.5 km 2 - 3 hours 5 - 50 m
Middle Head  Moderate 3.8 km 1.5 hours 0 - 45 m
Freshwater Lake Look-off  Moderate 0.3 km 10 minutes 10 - 45 m
Freshwater Lake  Easy 1.7 km 30 - 40 minutes 0 - 15 m

Remember that you are hiking in a protected wilderness environment.

  • Do not approach, disturb or feed wild animals.
  • Hike with friends and a solid walking stick.
  • If you choose to walk alone, tell somebody where you are going.
  • Pack in, pack out. Littering attracts wildlife and puts you and the animals at risk.
  • Stay on boardwalks to protect fragile vegetation.
  • Mountain bikes are permitted only where indicated, for public safety and protection of the environment.
  • 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 repellant. Black flies and mosquitoes are common all summer.