The Skyline Trail is my favourite hike along the awe-inspiring Cabot Trail and features stunning views. It’s one of the top hiking trails in Canada, known for it’s famous boardwalk look off and ocean swept vistas. The trail is in the heart of Cape Breton Highlands National Park. It’s a real must for outdoor and hiking enthusiasts. The summit of the trail gives you a bird’s eye view of the Gulf of Saint Lawerence, where you might be able to spot whales from the lookout. Just be sure to leave your dog at home – they are not permitted on the trail to prevent them from disturbing the plentiful wildlife. The trail is open from May 20th through to October 10th.
Start in Margaree
In order to do this hike the best way, your first stop should be at the Dancing Goat Café in Margaree. It is usually pretty busy, so call ahead and order your fresh sandwiches so they are ready for pick up on your way through. For this trip I opted for the Avocado & Bacon on homemade multi grain bread. It was delicious and gave me a boost of energy for the hike ahead.
The Skyline Trail is one of 27 hiking trails through Cape Breton Highlands National Park. It is a 7.5km round trip that is a pretty moderate walk… There is a bit of a descent as you make you way out to the panoramic view of French Mountain, with the ocean and Chéticamp in the distance, making the return trip on a bit of an incline. Not to worry though, there are many rest stops along the way as well as wildlife and vegetation to admire.
This trip I was lucky and saw a family of partridge and two moose. Being a bit frightened of birds, the partridge gave me more of a fright than the moose. Seeing a moose that close up and not on the side of a highway is a real treat! Be mindful that they are wild animals, get a picture, and then keep on trekking.
A Two Hour Hike
The hike in its entirety took me 2 hours past flora and fauna as I took in the smell of the Canadian forest.. There were many families and people of all ages on the trail – it can be done by most but be sure to adjust your timing accordingly… Also, be sure to take a few minutes and enjoy the smell of the Christmas (pine trees) as you approach the expansive Atlantic Ocean views. Happy Hiking!
Looking for more Cape Breton adventure? Try doing the Cabot Trail in a Day.