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3-day Snowshoe Adventure

By Steven Rolls

Day One

Travel to Sydney.

1Explore the Greenlink Trail starting at 331 Rotary Drive in Sydney. While out for a winter snowshoe outing, you are sure to find spectacular local scenery while traveling the Greenlink Rotary Park Trail System. Located in the heart of Sydney, the natural beauty of the walking trails are found weaving through Sydney. Bordering Wentworth Creek and a historic reservoir and man-made waterfall, the trail is approximately 3km long and benches have been provided for resting. The trails can be accessed in three locations via Maillard Street, Shandwick Street or Churchill Drive with parking at the Churchill Drive and Rotary Drive entrances.

2Grab lunch at one of the many restaurants in Sydney.

Travel approximately 13 minutes (14 kms) to Coxheath.

3Explore Coxheath Hills Trails starting at 1588 Coxheath Road. This trail starts off with a fairly steep climb up a mountain face. Just over halfway up there is a nice waterfall and bench for you to catch your breath if needed. When you get to the top of the climb, take a left and head toward Pitman Lodge where you can rest and warm by the woodstove. From here, you can take the North toward Pinnacle Lookoff and back to the cabin where you can backtrack down the main trail to your vehicle, making a 6 km route.

Travel approximately 55 minutes (80 kms) to Baddeck.

4Have dinner at Thistledown Pub in The Inverary Resort. Fun, casual, and serious about good food. The culinary team at Thistledown Pub give you choices inspired by local cuisine, splendid seafood offerings and home-style favorites. Enjoy great local music after dinner with a cold drink in this lively pub.

Overnight in Baddeck.

Places to stay:

Approximate driving distance travelled for Day 1 is 1 hour and 10 minutes (95 kms).
Day One Map Visual

Day One

Inverary Inn, Baddeck

Day Two

Grab breakfast and some snacks and embark on day 2 of your snowshoeing adventure.

5Make your way approximately 20 minutes (15km) to Uisge Ban Falls Provincial Park, Baddeck Forks. A 1.5 km trail leads to a beautiful 15 metre waterfall in a granite gorge. Many of the bridges on an alternate route were recently washed away, so the slightly longer return loop may not be available. However, the walk in to the waterfall is fantastic in its own right—short, and with a reward that far exceeds the effort!

Travel approximately 1 hour and 10 minutes (80 kms) along the iconic Cabot Trail to Birch Plain.

6Have lunch at The Dancing Moose Café in Birch Plain. The Dancing Moose Café is a full-service restaurant serving breakfast and lunch year-round (special winter hours), and is also a great place to find baked goods for the road—they bake everything on-site, including their sandwich bread! Inside the café, you can explore a collection of gifts, souvenirs, and excellent books.

Make your way along approximately 32 minutes (30 kms) the Cabot Trail to Ingonish.

7Explore the Clyburn Valley Trail at 37204 Cabot Trail in the Cape Breton Highlands National Park. This trail follows the river for most of the way, but you can catch a glimpse of the Highlands Links Golf Course, as it weaves its way up this valley. Feel humbled by the sheer rock face of Franey Mountain 425 m (1,400 ft.) above. Turn back at the point where you start seeing large boulders near the trail and Franey looming overhead. You will snowshoe approximately 6km.

Travel approximately 13 minutes (11 kms) to Castle Rock Country Inn.

8Have dinner at Restaurant Avalon at Castle Rock Country Inn. The dining room is a visual fusion of the vista of the Middle Head Peninsula, the Atlantic Ocean and the mountain range of the Cape Breton Highlands. Their menu is a tasteful fusion of East and West, utilizing fresh local lobster, mussels, oysters and other sea food combined with their local specialty, organic produce, to create Asian recipes alongside their Cape Breton classics.

Overnight in the Ingonish area.

Places to Stay:

Approximate driving distance travelled for Day 2 is 3 hours and 5

Day Two Map Visual

Day Two

Uisge Ban Falls Provincial Park, Baddeck Forks

Day Three

Grab breakfast, pack a picnic lunch and depart for day 3 of your snowshoeing adventure. Be sure to get on the road early to maximize daylight hours and don’t forget your headlamp in case you’re out adventuring after sunset. Before heading out be sure to check the weather reports for North Mountain. Travel approximately 1 hour (54 kms) along the Cabot Trail toward Skyline Trailhead.

9Between Pleasant Bay and Chéticamp, embark on a snowshoeing adventure at the Skyline Trail in the Cape Breton Highlands National Park. A dramatic headland cliff overlooks the rugged coast from the end of this level trail. You can enjoy an eagle's view of the Cabot Trail as it winds its way down the mountain – vehicles look like toys. Enjoy your picnic lunch when you reach the headland where the land truly meets the sea. (Please remove all waste before leaving so as not to cause any damage to the environment or wildlife in the area.) It is an 8.2km loop.

Travel approximately 30 minutes (30 kms) along the Cabot Trail toward Chéticamp.

10Have dinner in Chéticamp. Remember to eat before it gets too late—restaurants often close early in the winter months.

Places to eat:

  • Evangeline Restaurant
  • Harbour Restaurant
  • Doryman Pub & Grill
  • Le Gabriel

Overnight in Chéticamp

Places to Stay:


Approximate driving distance travelled for Day 3 is 1 hour and 30 minutes (80 kms).
Day Three Map Visual

Day Three

Skyline Trail, Cape Breton Highlands National Park

Steven Rolls

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