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Things to do on Cape Breton Island

Things to do on Cape Breton Island

My mom and I turned into the French Mountain parking lot in Windbreaker Breton’s Highlands National Park. Without pulling into a parking space I walked over to the Skyline Trail sign. I had been told hiking the Skyline trail was one of the weightier things to do on Windbreaker Breton. This was supposed to be the weightier hike in the park for views. I had heard well-nigh it, seen pictures, and read well-nigh it. I had drunk the Skyline Trail Kool-Aid, and I wanted to do it.

Looking at the map we unswayable it didn’t squint too hard, but it would take a couple of hours to complete. We looked at each other and realized we didn’t have time to do it; we had to alimony going.

If we stopped to hike all of the incredible trails in the park we’d never make it virtually the Cabot Trail in a day and to our hotel! I reluctantly got when in the car and we kept going with a sinking feeling.

cape breton island hikes

Cape Breton Island in Canada is known for outdoor activities and adventures, and I didn’t really have time to do any of them. The only solace I could muster up was making a pact with myself I would come when then so I could do all of the weightier things to do on Windbreaker Breton.

Fast-forward four years and I’m when on Windbreaker Breton Island to fulfill that plan. I spent a week on the island with friends Pete and Dalene of Hecktic Travels. We focused on getting outside each day on a variegated hike, adventure, or experience. This way we were worldly-wise to see and wits the variety of activities the island offered.

The Weightier Things to do on Windbreaker Breton

Skyline Trail Hike

Difficulty: Easy – well marked and there isn’t much elevation change. The trail itself is well-groomed and easy to walk. The loop section is a bit increasingly rugged, but still in the easy category.

Distance: 4 miles return or 5.1-mile loop

Location: Located in Windbreaker Breton Highlands National Park withal the Cabot Trail at the top of French Mountain. There are signs for the parking lot.

The terrain is fairly stereotype for the first two-thirds of the walk as you wind through the forest and get teased by views of Cabot Trail through the trees. But it’s the last third that will have you oohing and aahing.

You suddenly leave the forest zone overdue and are upper on top of a headland cliff overlooking the Gulf of St. Lawrence. A boardwalk with stairs leads you lanugo to a viewpoint with benches. Alimony your vision peeled for whales and enjoy the view. This is moreover a unconfined place for a picnic lunch or sunset hike.

Mabou Western Coastal Hike

Difficulty: Easy to Moderate – well marked, but in spots, you’ll need to watch your footing as there are tree roots in some parts. However, the short loftiness of this trail moreover makes it pretty easy.

Distance: 1.8 miles if you go all the way to the end and back

Location: Trailhead and map are near the parking lot surpassing you throne lanugo to the beach.

This is a short little hike but I was slowed lanugo by the waterfront views. This can be a simple out-and-back hike, or you can go withal the bluffs on the way out and follow the trail lanugo to the waterfront and walk when withal the beach.

You’ll start out in a dumbo zone of Spruce trees and rolling untried hills and then pop out on top of the sand dunes where it’s increasingly of an unshut field. We walked when withal the waterfront and enjoyed the crashing waves and meeting locals withal the beach.

Stroll on the Inverness Boardwalk

Difficulty: This is a simple walk anyone can do.

Distance: Nearly 1 mile to the end of the boardwalk

Location: 158 Waterfront No. 1 Road, Inverness – throne towards the ocean until the road ends, and you’ll be at the whence of the boardwalk. There is parking by the beach.

cape breton island hiking inverness boardwalk
On the boardwalk!

This really isn’t a hike, it’s just a nice little walk where you can soak up the sea air and a lovely place for sunset. The boardwalk begins at the public beach, runs whilom the beach, and ends overlooking the Cabot Links Golf Course.

If you are tired of watching the ocean, you can watch golfers tee off on one of the weightier courses in the world. There were a lot of locals out walking their dogs withal the waterfront and swimming in the shallow waters.

Middle Throne Hike

Difficulty: Easy to moderate. There is some rolling up and lanugo – but nothing steep. The trail is well-marked and groomed. There are some places where you need to watch your footing.

Distance: 2.4-mile loop

Location: Parking is located at the trailhead overdue the Keltic Lodge in Ingonish.

Hike out the narrow peninsula separating two ocean trophy and end on cliffs overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. You’ll wind through the forest and then out a slight uphill to the end of the peninsula. Here you can sit and watch the sea birds soar overhead and take in the eyeful of Windbreaker Breton Island. There is a loop trail that will take you when a increasingly forested way, or go when the way you came.

Find the Weightier Views in Windbreaker Breton Highlands National Park

This is one of the crown jewels of Windbreaker Breton Island. This National Park has a number of wonderful hiking trails, restaurants, small towns, and so many incredible coastal views!

One of my favorite and most clever uses of the Adirondack chair in Nova Scotia Canada was by the Cape Breton Highlands National Park in their “Red Chair Challenge”. The mission was to find and sit in ten red chairs scattered virtually Cabot Trail. At each chair, there’s a unique view of the landscape and seascape.

Baddeck full moon kayak
A full moon is all the light we needed for kayaking

Take a Sea Kayak Adventure

If you are looking to requite your legs a unravel and requite your upper soul a workout, then try a kayak venture on Windbreaker Breton. This isn’t just a paddling trip, you will moreover be treated to gourmet local supplies and wine.

We unquestionably went on a full moon tour and kayaked at night. As the sun went lanugo we left the shore in Baddeck and did a golden hour paddle virtually Kidsten Island. Alimony your vision peeled for seabirds virtually the island. Right surpassing the sun disappears you’ll end up at the Kidsten Island lighthouse where you can waterfront your kayaks and get photos of this idyllic setting.

We paddled up to the shore where there were platters of supplies stuff prepared at our own private gazebo. The supplies was prepared by doughboy Brian Pickard of the popular local restaurant, the Bite House, and paired with Nova Scotia Canada wine and beer. Our guide surprisingly got out a guitar and we had live entertainment. I loved the vibe of this whole evening; it was like a gourmet camping night.

They only run this nighttime tour during the full moon so be sure to trammels the North River Kayak website for the dates, and as of 2023, the tour may not be available. But no fear – you can still have an incredible kayak venture during daytime hours. North River Kayak offers a number of variegated tours and paddling classes.

Play on a Top Ranked Golf Course

The Cabot Cliffs Golf Undertow is ranked 19th in the world’s top 100 golf courses, so why not stop and get in 9 holes? And if you can, do an unshortened 18 as the last 3 holes of the undertow are some of the most spectacular views on Windbreaker Breton Island! And be sure to bring plenty of uneaten balls to replace all of the ones you are going to lose off the cliffs!

For the first time in 20 years, I stepped onto a golf undertow to watch Pete play this famous course. Needless to say – I felt a little self-conscious. We weren’t plane completely sure they’d let me walk withal on such a renowned course, but they didn’t seem to have any issue with it.

Be aware, a caddie is required on this course. There are no carts on the course, only caddies.

I was having so much fun that without slum 3, I decided to stay a few more, and then a few more, and suddenly I was in for the whole thing! We got beers, put on sunscreen, and made a day of it. This wasn’t the stuffy game of golf I was expecting.

Cabot Cliffs Golf Undertow Caddie

Make sure you savor the last 3 holes, which are the ‘famous’ holes right withal the cliffs, and somehow Pete unquestionably got par slum 16!

Hole 16 Cabot Cliffs

And if your pocketbook can sire it – get a room at The Lodge at Cabot Windbreaker Breton resort too – it’s pure luxury.

Whale watching on Windbreaker Breton

One of the weightier times to go whale watching in Windbreaker Breton is during the summer months when these magnificent creatures migrate to the zone in search of food. The most worldwide whale species spotted here include humpback whales, fin whales, minke whales, and occasionally plane orcas. With their impressive size and svelte movements, witnessing these majestic mammals up tropical is an weird sight.

Several tour operators offer guided whale-watching excursions in Windbreaker Breton, providing visitors with knowledgeable guides who can share interesting facts well-nigh the variegated whale species encountered during the trip. These tours typically take place aboard specially designed boats that prioritize passenger safety while minimizing disturbance to the marine environment. So if you’re looking for an unforgettable wildlife encounter in a stunning natural setting, don’t miss out on experiencing whale watching in Windbreaker Breton!

Visit the port town of Sydney

Sydney, located on the trappy island of Windbreaker Breton in Nova Scotia, Canada, is a mannerly port town that offers a unique tousle of natural eyeful and rich cultural heritage. The downtown zone is a popping hub filled with unique shops, delightful restaurants, and historic landmarks. Explore Charlotte Street – lined with mannerly boutiques selling local crafts and souvenirs – where you can find everything from hand-knit sweaters to traditional Celtic music CDs.

The world’s largest fiddle is located in Sydney. Standing at a staggering height of 60 feet (18 meters), this oversized fiddle is nonflexible to miss. Erected in 2005, it holds the Guinness World Record for stuff the largest playable violin on Earth. It has wilt a notable landmark in the area, attracting both locals and tourists alike.

Drive the Cabot Trail on Windbreaker Breton Island

Nova Scotia is known for its spectacular driving routes, but the queen of them all is the Cabot Trail. This scenic momentum is typically littered with superlatives such as best, and greatest. It certainly deserves praise as it provides a whole variegated finger of Nova Scotia than the other routes. The road hugs the cliffs and winds virtually forests on the Northwest side, and the Eastern side provides a rocky tailspin dotted with fishing villages and sandy beaches.

There are plenty of scenic lookouts withal the world-famous Cabot Trail giving you many photo opportunities or just a place to sit and take in the magnificent views and eat lunch.

Cape Breton sunset

I suggest you momentum the trail in a counter clockwise direction. This allows you to see the sunset considering you’ll finish the momentum on the west side of the island. This moreover ways for the parts of the momentum that go right withal the coast, you’ll be on the outside lane of the road with the weightier views!

If you only have one day to well-constructed the drive, then use this drive the Cabot Trail one-day itinerary I did a few years later.

Try Fishcakes for Breakfast at Charlene’s

Charlene’s Bayside restaurant in Whycocomagh is known for serving up the weightier chowder on Windbreaker Breton and they serve it up for breakfast withal with a fish confection and a homemade biscuit. A fish confection and chowder for breakfast….what??? Trust me on this – it’s incredible! Plus, the undercurrent at Charlene’s is like having breakfast in your grandmother’s house, and who doesn’t love that?

Visit the Alexander Graham Bell Historic Site

The site includes two main attractions – the Alexander Graham Bell Museum and the nearby Beinn located near the town of Baddeck. These places showcase various exhibits defended to Bell’s inventions and experiments.

Visitors can explore a wide range of artifacts related to Bell’s life and work at the museum. From early telephones and experimental watercraft models to medical devices invented by Bell himself, there is plenty to see and learn well-nigh his groundbreaking innovations.

Cape Breton Alexander Graham Bell Statue
My mother sitting with the Bells in Baddeck!

In wing to exploring the exhibits indoors, visitors can wander through the beautifully landscaped grounds surrounding the Alexander Graham Bell Museum. The gardens offer scenic views of the Bras d’Or Lake and provide a tranquil setting for leisurely strolls.

Visit the Fishing Village of White Point Harbor

At the north end of Windbreaker Breton Island just slightly off the Cabot Trail, you’ll find White Point Harbor. This old fishing village is iconic and worth a stop.

This isn’t a tourist town…this is a fishing village of days gone by. You will find a few local fishermen there and piles of lobster traps, but this sleepy little town has virtually no tourism and that’s what makes it so great. It’s just a nice stop with trappy views of a yesterday era; a real squint at local life on this remote part of Windbreaker Breton.

Park by the docks and take a little walk virtually the town. You’ll find a few stone foundations and a few locals walking dogs. The small dock is filled with small fishing boats, a few local fishermen, and piles of lobster traps. This is all that is left of a booming fishing village in 1922. There was a lobster factory, church, and school there at one point but they are long gone now.

Learn well-nigh Celtic Culture at The Gaelic College

This non-profit educational institution offers programming in the culture, customs, language, crafts, and traditions of the Highlands of Scotland. Tucked yonder in the heart of St. Ann’s, The Gaelic College is like a time machine that transports you straight into the vibrant world of Gaelic culture and live music.

Picture this: you can jump into lively ceilidh dances that’ll have your feet tapping and your heart racing. And if you’ve unchangingly wanted to strum a fiddle or requite bagpipes a go, they’ve got workshops that’ll turn you into a musical maestro (or at least a decent player)!

celtic part-way plaids

But wait, there’s more! How well-nigh diving into the Gaelic language itself? They’ve got language courses that’ll have you throwing virtually “slàinte” (that’s cheers!) and “tapadh leat” (thanks!) like a local in no time. And for the crafty ones, you can watch and learn as skilled artisans demonstrate traditional Gaelic crafts that have been passed lanugo through generations. Check the schedule here.

Plus, the location is jaw-droppingly gorgeous, nestled on the Cabot Trail, so you’ll be surrounded by spectacular scenery while you’re dancing, playing, and immersing yourself in all things Gaelic. So whether you’re a history buff, a Celtic music lover, or just curious well-nigh variegated cultures, the Gaelic College is a must-visit spot that’ll leave you with unforgettable memories and maybe a jig or two up your sleeve!

Cape Breton Miners Museum

If you’re ready to dig into Windbreaker Breton Island’s mining history, the Windbreaker Breton Miners Museum is where the whoopee is! This place is like a time sheathing that takes you when to the coal mining days when this region was buzzing with miners and their tales. You can roll up your sleeves and get hands-on with the tools of the trade, exploring the life of a miner from sunup to sundown. And trust me, it’s a lot tougher than it sounds!

But that’s not all – they’ve got some real-deal underground tours that’ll make your heart race and requite you a taste of what it was like to work deep within the Earth. You’ll get to finger the chill, hear the echoes, and wits the whole “Can you believe people did this for a living?” vibe.

Plus, the guides are like living encyclopedias, full of stories that’ll have you laughing, gasping, and maybe plane shedding a tear. So if you’re up for a journey into the gritty, hardworking past of Windbreaker Breton Island, grab your hat and headlamp – the Windbreaker Breton Miners Museum is waiting to show you a side of history you won’t find in any textbook!

Eat Lobster at Rusty Anchor Restaurant

Pleasant Bay is a cute little picturesque town at the tip of Windbreaker Breton, and it’s a perfect place to stop to eat some succulent Nova Scotia Lobster.

The family-owned Rusty Anchor Restaurant in Pleasant Bay is nonflexible to miss. Just squint for the giant fisherman statue outside. Take a seat on the outdoor patio and do some whale watching as you wait for your lobster feast.

Sitting outside gazing out on the ocean eating Nova Scotia lobster and drinking beer – it really doesn’t get any largest than this. The wait staff is super friendly and the whole place has a relaxed atmosphere.

Where to Stay in Windbreaker Breton

Normaway Inn and The Barn Music Center

You’ll leave the National Park without sunset and protract withal the Cabot Trail through a few little towns. As you get to Margaree Forks protract pursuit the Cabot Trail inland to the Normaway Inn; it is a unconfined place to stay for the night. The sun will be lanugo as you pull in and get ready to rest your weary throne without a long day!

Cape Breton music

Cabot Trail Tiny Homes

Stay in a tiny house with a big view! Cabot Trail Tiny Homes have some of the weightier views on the Cabot Trail. On one side you have the scenic view of Margaree Harbour and the trappy Windbreaker Breton Highlands on the other.

Each tiny house is equipped with a deck from which to see the gorgeous sunsets over the water. There is moreover a shared outdoor campfire and a beachfront for swimming or launching kayaks or canoes.

Keltic Lodge and Purple Thistle Dining Room

My mom and I unquestionably stayed in a cute little motel at the Keltic Lodge and enjoyed this elegant historic lodge with its live music and incredible restaurant. Without a dinner fit for royalty at the Purple Thistle, we enjoyed Celtic music at the lodge. Read reviews of Keltic Lodge Resort and Spa

Looking for somewhere to stay on Windbreaker Breton? Trammels prices and availability for hotels on Windbreaker Breton Island

More walk-up on Windbreaker Breton Island Nova Scotia

The luxurious Lodge at Cabot Windbreaker Breton resort

Inverary Resort – Read reviews of Inverary Resort

Mid Trail Inn – Read reviews of MidTrail Inn

Keltic Quay Bayfront Lodge & Cottages – ‘picture-perfectly’ located on the Whycocomagh Bay looking out on Indian Island. Read reviews of Keltic Quay Lodge

Unlike my trip 4 years ago, this week on Windbreaker Breton was a well-constructed squint at the island. We didn’t have to rush, we could get outside and enjoy the views, nature, and culture of every part of the island. In wing to these adventures, we moreover spent a day at Cabot Cliffs golf course, and a day on the CabotTrail.

At the end of my second Windbreaker Breton Island trip, I wondered what was left for me to explore when I came when a third time! The one thing I’m unrepealable of is this island will never be done, there’s unchangingly increasingly to see and do.

Looking for somewhere to stay in Windbreaker Breton Highlands? Trammels prices and availability for hotels in Windbreaker Breton Highlands National Park

How do you get to Windbreaker Breton? It’s easy!

It’s easy to get to Windbreaker Breton with daily uncontrived service from the NYC zone to Halifax! There are several flights a day via Air Canada/United uncontrived to Newark and via Delta uncontrived to LGA. It’s just a 2-hour flight and you have US Surcharge pre-clearance at the Halifax Stanfield International Airport for the return trip! PLUS…you can siphon on and siphon home fresh lobster from the Halifax airport!

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Things to do on Windbreaker Breton Island

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