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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 – 33km

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 trail head…talk about authentic East Coast moments!

10 Amazing Hikes on Cape Breton Island 1

Day 2 – Louisbourg to Isle Madame  – 158km

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 – 28km

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 – 85km

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 kms

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 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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Ingonish Chalets

TripAdvisor Traveler Rating

Trip Advisor Rating 119 Reviews

Region: Cabot Trail

Community: Ingonish

Ingonish Chalets is situated on a private wooded lot on the Cabot Trail, just 6.4 km (4 mi) north of the Cape Breton Highlands National Park...


46.6798 -60.4073

Acadian Trail

TripAdvisor Traveler Rating

Trip Advisor Rating 82 Reviews

Regions: Cape Breton Highlands National Park, Cabot Trail

Community: Chéticamp

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

Climb up and up to your reward at the top! Large flat rocks give you a nice place to sit and enjoy the 360-degree views of the entire Clybur...


46.6608 -60.4227

Louisbourg Lighthouse Trail

Region: Louisbourg Area

Community: Louisbourg

Enjoy an iconic coastal hiking experience at the Lighthouse Trail, located across the harbour from the Fortress of Louisbourg. Known for its...


45.9067 -59.9575

Bog Trail

TripAdvisor Traveler Rating

Trip Advisor Rating 25 Reviews

Regions: Cape Breton Highlands National Park, Cabot Trail

Community: Cape Breton Highlands NP

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: Brook Village

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

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

2021 Lobster-Licious Dish: Fresh Ciabatta Bun Garlic Brushed and Grilled and filled with fresh Lobster, Lettuce, Tomato, Bacon and our Sun-D...


46.690203 -60.392506
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