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7 Day Hiking Itinerary around Cape Breton Island

Cape Breton Island was created to prove that the phrase “Take a hike!” should be music to your ears. From the Cape Breton Highlands National Park to the southeast coast of Isle Madame, the best way to truly grasp this Island’s beauty is to take a lovely, invigorating walk through it. This itinerary will give you access to the most beautiful and hidden views that Cape Breton Island has to offer — awesome waterfalls, challenging hikes and majestic views.

Day 1

Sydney to Louisbourg – 33 km

Start your exploration with a hike overlooking the Fortress of Louisbourg. Walk in the footprints of soldiers and civilians who lived and fought for this historic Island. Located directly across the harbour from the Fortress of Louisbourg, this trail offers something for all levels of hikers, including a trip to the Louisbourg Lighthouse at the trailhead…talk about authentic East Coast moments!

10 Amazing Hikes on Cape Breton Island 1

Day 2

Louisbourg to Isle Madame  – 158 km

This next trail will bring to the stunning, and lesser-known southeast coast of the Island.  You will travel along Highway 4 to Isle Madame, a centuries-old Acadian community. There you will begin another maritime adventure to the Auget Lighthouse.

two men stand arms outstretched to the wind in front of a lighthouse

Day 3

Isle Madame to Whycocomagh – 81 km

Your third day of hiking will see you go from the outer coast, into the heart of the Bras d’Or Lake Biosphere Reserve, near the First Nations community of Whycocomah, and the Salt Mountain Trail.  It provides you with 4 main trails, each with indescribable views.

7 Hiking Itinerary

Day 4

Drive from Whycocomah to Mabou – 28 km

With only a short drive to get you to the next hike, you will have lots of time to enjoy Cape Breton’s Musical coast and a hike in Mabou Highlands. From this vantage point, you will be able to see from the Mabou Coals mines to the village where the world-famous Rankin Family were born.

A hiker stands on a grassy hill overlooking the ocean

Day 5

Mabou to Chéticamp – 85 km

The fifth day of your itinerary rewards a longer drive with an amazing hike and world-famous view. Cape Breton Highlands National Park’s Acadian Trail overlooks some of the most beautiful sunsets that Mother Nature can paint.  Located on the western coast of the Island, this trail is the ultimate place to bring someone you love and share a view you’ll never forget.

A rolling landscape of dense forest overlooking the ocean

Day 6

Chéticamp to Cape North – 72 km

When you arrive in Cape North, take a moment and prepare to see some jaw-dropping, mystifying views. Wilkie-Sugarloaf Mountain is a 3km (return) trail that leads to the top of one of the few stand-alone mountains in Nova Scotia.  It’s hard to get any closer to the clouds in the entire province!

7 Hiking Itinerary 1

Day 7

Drive from Cape North to Ingonish – 53 km

The drive from Cape North to Ingonish will give you front-row seats to some of the most famously photographed parts of Cape Breton Island. You will climb Franey Mountain and proceed to the panoramic view of Clyburn Brook canyon. This challenging trail is a 7km return hike that will leave you breathless from the climb and the view!

7 Hiking Itinerary 2

To help you find that PERFECT place to stay on your journey around Cape Breton Island, click here to find all the accommodations available to you. There are also many delicious options for Places To Eat and Things To Do around the Island. We can’t wait to see you!

Businesses and Activities from Itinerary

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Acadian Trail

TripAdvisor Traveler Rating

Trip Advisor Rating 82 Reviews

Regions: Cape Breton Highlands National Park, Cabot Trail

Community: Chéticamp & Area

Climb 365 metres above the Chéticamp River for panoramic views of the Acadian coastline, the Chéticamp river valley and the park’s h...

46.6469 -60.9502

Franey Trail

TripAdvisor Traveler Rating

Trip Advisor Rating 59 Reviews

Region: Cabot Trail

Community: Ingonish & Area

Note: Infrastructure improvements in the park may cause delays or reduce services while we complete this important work. We appreciate ...

46.6608 -60.4227

Bog Trail

TripAdvisor Traveler Rating

Trip Advisor Rating 25 Reviews

Regions: Cape Breton Highlands National Park, Cabot Trail

In keeping with Parks Canada’s mandate to protect the natural environment, a boardwalk keeps your feet dry as you walk while preventin...

46.742 -60.8275

Brook Village Grocery

Region: Canada’s Musical Coast

Community: Mabou

A rural general store with a long history and old-fashioned charm, BVG carries a little bit of everything, with a focus on locally made prod...

46.05159 -61.29987

Charlene’s Bayside Restaurant and Cafe

Region: Bras d’Or Lake

Community: Whycocomagh & Area

Home to Charlene’s Multi-Award Winning Famous Seafood Chowder. A great family dining experience enjoyed by locals and visitors alike. ...

45.970933 -61.111437

Coastal Restaurant & Pub

Region: Cabot Trail

Community: Ingonish & Area

Coastal Restaurant & Pub is located on the beautiful and world-renowned Cabot Trail, in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. We have been chosen to...

46.690203 -60.392506

Hwy 22

Region: Louisbourg Area

Community: Louisbourg

We are a group of your neighbors and friends, serving up mouth-watering food truck fare and homestyle family meals. Located at the south end...

45.9209 -59.97107