10 Finest Mountaineering Trails in Nova Scotia, Canada

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Blessed with a rugged shoreline, sandy seashores, and pine forests, the mountain climbing trails in Nova Scotia are numerous and delightful. Regardless of your talent stage, there’s a hike in Nova Scotia for you. 

Most individuals start their journey to Canada’s second-smallest province within the metropolis of Halifax. From the capital, there are many close by paths and trails ready to be explored. Getting round with your personal wheels is one of the simplest ways to take action. 

The perfect time to discover by foot is the summer time months when the climate is extra predictable and heat — nonetheless, that additionally means extra individuals on the paths. Springtime and autumn are additionally nice seasons for mountain climbing Nova Scotia.

Mountaineering across the bays in Nova Scotia – such a stunning place!

We spent 15 days driving throughout the province; ranging from Halifax, heading west to Yarmouth, central NS, and throughout to Cape Breton Island. Alongside the best way, we explored as a lot of the pure great thing about the province as potential.

Lace-up your mountain climbing boots, pack some meals and water and head out on a hike in Nova Scotia. Here’s a checklist of 10 beneficial routes.

1. Kejimkujik Nationwide Park (Hemlocks and Hardwoods Path)

Strive saying that 5 instances!

Nova Scotia has simply two Nationwide Parks, Cape Breton and Kejimkujik, or just “Keji” for brief. The park is break up into two sections: Kejimkujik Nationwide Park & Nationwide Historic Website, and Kemimkujik Nationwide Park Seaside.

This was our favorite place to hike in Nova Scotia, the pure magnificence was unimaginable! Ensure that so as to add Keji to your checklist, it’s undoubtedly one of many best places to visit in Nova Scotia in terms of nature and historical past.

Kejimkujik Nationwide Park and Nationwide Historic Website

For those who’re trying to get away from all of it and luxuriate in a peaceable time out in Mom Nature, this can be a great place. Right here you may go tenting, biking, canoeing, geocaching and naturally, mountain climbing. 

There are 15 common mountain climbing trails right here within the park and a couple of backcountry routes providing a variety of lengths and problem ranges. Most of the routes are quick, however we discovered an excellent in-between hike, the “Hemlocks and Hardwoods” path. 

hiking in nova scotia at the kejimkujik national park with trees and a path
Hemlocks and Hardwoods path in Kejimkujik Nationwide Park

Throughout this 5 km (3.1 mi) loop hike, we solely got here throughout one different particular person! This was a really peaceable hike by means of 300-year-old Hemlock bushes. Nearly all of the path is pure, however a portion is alongside a picket boardwalk, constructed to guard the roots of the large conifers that tower above.  

For those who’re up for the problem, there’s the Eel Weir to Hearth Tower loop (19.5 km/12.1 mi), Channel Lake trek (in a single day, 24 km/15 mi), Large Dam/Frozen Ocean (in a single day, 23 km/14.Three mi), or the multi-day 60.5 km/37.6 mi Liberty Lake route.

Click here to seek out Kejimkujik Nationwide Park on the map, and click here to be taught extra concerning the hikes out there within the park.

Kejmkujik Nationwide Park Seaside

Situated 100 kilometers to the southeast of inland Keji is Kejimkujik Nationwide Park Seaside.

For those who’re trying to do some mountain climbing by the Atlantic, this can be a good place to take action. Try the straightforward, 2.Eight km (1.73 mi) linear Harbour Rocks Path which passes by bogs, forest, a stunning sandy seaside and Harbour Rocks.

Hold your eyes peeled for numerous birds, flowers, and when you’re fortunate a seal offshore!

kejimkujik seaside national park nova scotia
Strolling on the Kejimkujik Seaside

An alternative choice within the Kejimkujik Nationwide Park Seaside is the longer, tougher 4.Four km (2.73 mi) Port Joli Head loop path. This route crosses a bathroom, previous coastal forest, and opens up on the head with superb coastal views, full with crashing Atlantic waves.

You are able to do the route counterclockwise, or clockwise, however when you do the previous, you’ll save the white sandy seashores for final! Click here to seek out Kejimkujik Seaside on the map.

place to base your self for exploring this Nationwide Park is White Point Beach Resort, which is only a 25-minute drive to Keji Seaside (about 1 hour to inland Keji). This resort has been a Nova Scotia trip staple since 1928.

We beloved the onsite mountain climbing paths, the attractive personal seaside, the reside music within the evenings, the view of the ocean whereas eating, and the stunning cottages. 

white point beach resort hiking
The shorter hikes round White Level had been additionally very nice – proper alongside the water

Word: On the time of writing, Port Joli Head path was closed attributable to some harm attributable to Hurricane Dorian. Regulate Parks Canada to see when this stunning route will reopen. 

2. Polly’s Cove Path

For those who’re coming from Halifax, earlier than you attain the well-known Peggy’s Cove and its iconic lighthouse, ensure that to pop in on the lesser-known Polly’s Cove.

This neighbouring cove is a superb place to get pleasure from a simple, 3.9 km (2.Four mi) loop path. The primary path could also be quick, however there are quite a few aspect paths which you could take as nicely.

For those who determine to take one of many feeder trails, simply make it possible for they’re well-trodden and are a correct path so that you don’t disrupt the ecosystem right here.

polly's cove hikes in nova scotia
Don’t miss Polly’s Cove in your solution to Peggy’s Cove

The surroundings and terrain you’ll expertise throughout your go to relies on the time of yr. For those who’re within the space in the summertime (like we had been), you’ll possible discover blue skies and extra greenery and flowers, whereas the winter months could be foggy and damper. Spring can carry muddy trails, so be ready with correct gear.

Benefit from the ocean and cove views from large monolith granite boulders, and don’t overlook to go to the previous battle bunkers earlier than returning to the automotive and carrying on to see Peggy’s Cove up shut.

On the subject of Mountaineering Nova Scotia, this is without doubt one of the greatest trails surrounded by a number of the most recognizable sights.

Click here for instructions to Polly’s Cove Path.

3. Center Head Path

Situated on Cape Breton Island within the Nationwide Park of the identical title, this can be a quick however candy hike. 

Center Head Path is positioned in Ingonish, with trailhead entry from subsequent to the highly-rated Keltic Lodge. This 3.Eight km (2.Four mi) loop may be loved by all health ranges and is without doubt one of the greatest hikes in Nova Scotia. 

middle head hiking trail
Center Head was quick nevertheless it was undoubtedly one in all our favourites

Jutting out into the Atlantic is the Center Head peninsula, with the path taking within the perimeter of the neck. Get pleasure from spectacular views of the ocean, Cape Smokey, and Ingonish Island from the tip of the peninsula. Hold your eyes peeled for whales and seals!

Sadly, we didn’t spot any marine life throughout our hike, however there have been many seabirds, squirrels and woodpeckers. 

There are many bushes on this route so that you gained’t be quick on shade when mountain climbing in the summertime. For those who’re in search of a picturesque place for a leisurely hike, you’ll wish to take a look at this 1.5-hour mountain climbing spot. 

Click here for instructions to Center Head Path. 

middle head trail cape breton
Attractive views from the Center Head Path (we had nice climate!)

4. Franey Path

Sticking close by, subsequent up is Franey Path. Despite the fact that it’s positioned only a 10-minute drive from Center Head, this can be a more difficult trek. 

Lots of Nova Scotia’s mountain climbing routes are positioned alongside the shoreline, however Franey Path is all concerning the mountains and forest — with lake and ocean views!

There’s an elevation acquire of 341m (1,118ft), making the best way up a bit troublesome. Nonetheless, when you’re pretty match, you shouldn’t have any points and the loop ought to take you about 2 – 2.5 hours to finish. 

As soon as on the high, get pleasure from a reward on your efforts!

franey hiking in nova scotia
Views from the highest of Franey Path (there’s additionally a few chairs right here to loosen up on)

Sit on one of many many rocks and gawk on the expansive views of the Clyburn Brook canyon beneath and the Atlantic shoreline additional afield. You’ll additionally be capable of spot the Center Head peninsula from this vantage level. 

The Franey Path is a loop trek, however many individuals choose to hike down the identical manner they got here up as the hearth highway down isn’t as fascinating.

Ensure that to carry numerous water, bug spray, sunscreen, and a few snacks for this path. And, maintain your eyes peeled for moose. 

Click here to seek out Franey Path on the map and be taught extra about this hike on the Parks Canada website.

5. Spry Bay and Headland Path

The Taylor Head Provincial Park is dwelling to five marked trails, with Spry Bay and Headland being a superb selection to completely benefit from the space.

For those who’re not eager on an extended hike, you may simply do the Spry Bay loop. However, when you’re up for it, proceed to the headland and benefit from the view from the purpose. In complete, it ought to take about Three hours to finish each Spry Bay and the Headland loop. 

Stroll by means of coastal forest, rocky seashores, marshlands, and extra — this can be a excellent place to expertise quite a few pure habitats. Hold your eyes peeled for porcupine (and maintain your canine on a leash!), seals taking part in within the bay, and plenty of seabirds. 

taylor head provincial park nova scotia hiking
What a view

As this can be a coastal hike main out to a headland, be ready for adjustments in climate…and wind. Click here to seek out Taylor Head Park on the map. 

6. Skyline Path

This is without doubt one of the hottest mountain climbing trails in Nova Scotia. Throughout our go to, the route was fairly closely trafficked, however we selected to finish the loop, fairly than simply an in-and-out hike, and had been rewarded with a quieter observe. 

Situated within the Cape Breton Nationwide Park, the Skyline Path provides epic views of the Cabot Path highway, the Gulf of St. Lawrence, and Cheticamp Island. For those who’re fortunate, you’ll spot whales within the water and moose or a bear on the path! 

The trail is nicely maintained and when you attain the headland, there’s a picket boardwalk with steps (to guard the delicate foliage) main down to a degree. 

hiking the skyline trail in nova scotia
The Cabot Path winding by means of the mountainside (view from the Skyline Path)

For those who’re mountain climbing Nova Scotia in the summertime, I like to recommend finishing the 8.2 km (5.1 mi) loop fairly than backtracking the best way you got here in. The bottom of the loop is extra rugged and undoubtedly quieter. In complete it’s going to take about 2-Three hours to finish the Skyline Path. 

Click here for instructions to the Skyline Path.

7. Cape Break up Path

Within the Bay of Fundy & Annapolis Valley space, you’ll discover this widespread hike within the Provincial Park of the identical title. The surroundings alongside this forest path route is good, nevertheless it’s the endpoint that’s the true star of the hike!

Opening up on the tip of the headland, you’ll spot The Spires (a rock formation) jutting out of the water. With nothing however expansive views of the Bay of Fundy, this can be a excellent place to get pleasure from a picnic.

Totalling 13 km (Eight mi) and about 5 hours return, the Cape Break up path is taken into account a average hike by many web sites, nevertheless it’s extra on the straightforward aspect. For those who’re ready with water and good sneakers, and in comparatively fine condition, you’ll be fantastic.

Remember that the cliffs listed below are eroded and it’s suggested to remain nicely away from the sting. 

cape split nova scotia trails
Distinctive rock formation (the Spires) at Cape Break up

When you’re completed your hike, drive 35 minutes and spend a while in and round Wolfville and the Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia’s premier wine area.

I like to recommend staying on the historic Blomidon Inn and consuming on the Church Brewing Company — a church turned pub. Or, keep simply 5 minutes from one of the widespread vineyards at Victoria’s Historic Inn.

Lastly, don’t overlook to affix a wine tour so you may totally get pleasure from your self with out having to drive. We went with Grape Escapes and had a fantastic day!

8. Pot Lake Loop

This stunning space is positioned fairly near Halifax, making it a fantastic day journey from town. 

Pot Lake Loop is one in all 4 consecutive loops, with the whole space often called The Bluff Wilderness Mountaineering Path. For those who stick to only Pot Lake Loop, you may count on a scenic 7.Four km (4.6 mi) hike, which ought to take about 3-Four hours. 

The views alongside the path are nice, however the icing on the cake is if you attain the top and luxuriate in panoramic views of Cranberry Lake and Pot Lake.

Spend a while right here on one of many many flat boulders and luxuriate in a picnic. Deliver numerous water, and ensure to pack out what you pack in. 

hiking in nova scotia at the bluffs wilderness
Attractive mountain climbing within the Bluff Wilderness Mountaineering Path – a simple journey from Halifax

For those who’re feeling energetic, the second loop (the Mi’kmaq Hill Loop), is 17.Four km (10.Eight mi) return. Or, go to once more and check out the third and fourth loops — Bluff Loop and Hay Marsh Loop.

These are for much longer at 23.Four km (14.5 mi) and 29 km (18 mi) and are thought of backcountry hikes, so ensure you’re correctly ready and capable of sort out one of these journey. 

Since Pot Lake Loop is only a 25-minute drive from Halifax, you may be again in supper time and a pint of beer on the waterfront at The Bicycle Thief. Strive the ragu or the lobster roll — you gained’t be disillusioned! 

lobster roll at the bicycle thief
The lobster roll at Bicycle Thief is tasty!

Yow will discover the parking zone for these trails on the map, here

9. Uisge Bàn Falls Provincial Park

For those who’re trying so as to add swimming in a waterfall to your Nova Scotia hike, take a look at Uisge Bàn, which is Gaelic for “white water” and is pronounced “ish-ka-ban”.

This straightforward, but scenic, hike passes by means of a wide range of bushes (birch, maple, and beech woods), earlier than arriving at a 16 meter (50 ft) waterfall! Benefit from the surroundings and the recent air on this hike (it may be muddy autumn/winter) and go for a dip within the recent water. 

At 2.7 km (1.7 mi), it’s a pleasant in-and-out path that’s good for all talent ranges. Uisge Bàn Falls Provincial Park hike is positioned only a 20-minute drive from Baddeck, which makes for a fantastic day journey from the village.

20111022 Uisge Ban Falls Provincial Park 18
Ken Heaton / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)

We stayed on the Inverary Resort in Baddeck and had a pleasant keep there — the property is about proper on the Bras d’Or Lake in a stunning spot!

The newly renovated lakeside restaurant serves up pub meals and engaging pints of craft beer. For those who’re feeling energetic after your hike, you may hire SUP boards or kayaks right here as nicely.

Click here to seek out Usige Bàn hike on the map.

10. Celtic Shores Coastal Path

Take your decide with this route! Working from Port Hastings within the south to Inverness within the north, this 92 km (57 mi) path on Cape Breton Island is without doubt one of the greatest locations to do long-distance mountain climbing in Nova Scotia.

For those who needed, you would hike the whole size, whereas tenting or staying at visitor homes alongside the best way. 

Or, you may simply select to do parts of the path, as we did. We pulled over simply exterior of the neighborhood of Judique after we noticed the path map and had been immediately intrigued!

celtic shores coastal trail map nova scotia
As quickly as we noticed this signal, we pulled over!

We parked the automotive, introduced a small backpack with some water, and a jacket and went for a stroll. We had simply stuffed up on fish muffins and chowder on the close by Celtic Music Interpretive Centre and this was a good way to stroll it off.

The path is nicely maintained and flat, making for a really pleasurable stroll.

Alongside the 92 km (57 mi) route, there are quite a few locations to go to and issues to see and do. Don’t miss the Glenora Distillery in Glenville (a fantastic place to spend the evening …and pattern the whiskey!), and the seaside, {golfing}, and brewery in Inverness. 

Get pleasure from These Hikes in Nova Scotia

For out of doors lovers and mountain climbing aficionados, Nova Scotia will steal your coronary heart with its rugged trails and wild shoreline. On this checklist, I largely shared straightforward to average hikes, however for these up for extra superior treks, you’ll discover them right here as nicely. 

At all times heed native recommendation earlier than setting off, and all the time be ready for a change in climate — in spite of everything, that is Atlantic Canada. Benefit from the pure great thing about the province, and ensure to reward your self with a superb seafood meal on the finish of the hike!

A giant thanks to the Nova Scotia tourism board for making our journey to the province potential. As all the time, all ideas and opinions stay our personal regardless of any complimentary providers or lodging supplied. A few of the photographs on this article are courtesy of Shutterstock

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