Length: 10.3 km (6.4 mi) total
Hiking Time: 2+hr
Type of Trail: crushed stone, compacted earth, natural surface
Uses (no snow): walking, biking*
Uses (snow): snowshoeing, cross-country skiing*
Facilities: outhouses, garbage cans, benches, picnic tables, shelter
Dog Use: dogs must be on leash
Gov’t Topo Map: 11K01 (Sydney)
Rating (1-5): 3
Trailhead GPS: N 46 42 35.3 W 60 17 55.0
Access Information: From Exit 5A on Highway 125, drive south on Coxheath Road for 6 km (3.75 mi), to intersection with Blacketts Lake Road. Turn right into parking area between Knox United Church and community hall. Trail begins at forest.
Introduction: One of the best new hiking trail additions on Cape Breton Island is the Coxheath Hills Wilderness Trail, only officially opened in 2010. This multiple loop system is located very close to Sydney, yet enjoys a remarkable feeling of remoteness, particularly in its Western Loop.
Most of the trail is wide and surfaced in crushed stone, making it suitable for most walkers, even though the first few hundred metres require a fairly intense climb up the hillside.
The trail systems highlight is the excellent Pittman Lodge, a shelter open year-round and available for overnight use by contacting the Coxheath Hills Wilderness Recreation Association.
Cautionary Notes: Wildlife. Steepness.
Ratings are designated from 1 to 5 indicating suitability for all fitness and experience levels, with 5 being suitable only for experienced and very fit outdoor people. Novices should only choose level 1 and 2 hikes, and work their way up. Level 4 and 5 hikes have indicators associated with their ratings.