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Beginnings in Cape Breton

• Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia •

A breathtaking sea of green and hairpin turns along a beautiful coast is what makes Cape Breton the ideal detour (or destination) for a road trip. Oh, and car advertisements.

Just a three-hour drive from Halifax, the Cape Breton Highlands National Park draws in thousands of people each year to hike the many trails along its routes. While driving, you’ll be surprised that the road conditions are far better than most cities, such as Toronto.

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Probably what was most memorable about heading to Cape Breton was our own little cabin 🏡 – yes, in someone’s backyard – but it was so cozy, surrounded by trees, and the darkness at night acted as kind of a barrier to the outside world… I didn’t even feel like leaving to explore. 😅

Placed on breakfast tray, we were welcomed with a cute letter, a pack of chewy caramels, and a small can of Piroulines from our Airbnb hosts, Christine and Jody. While pricey, it was definitely a five star stay, especially if you plan to visit Sydney and Cape Breton.

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The Middle Head trailhead, just behind the Keltic Lodge.
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No coyotes, just chipmunks.

There was a hilarious moment during the Middle Head trail where Patrick and I thought we heard a wolf or a coyote, but turns out it was just a hiker with a bad, phlegmy throat.

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Of course our two days in Cape Breton would be filled with varying weather conditions. 😒 We decided to follow a counter clockwise direction around the Highlands, meaning going through quite a bit of construction to and from. We opted not to use the Englishtown ferry, and I was really hoping (but at the same time not hoping) to run into… larger, furry friends along the route. 🙄

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While I had wanted to do the Franey trail, I wasn’t sure why but I felt breathless even during the Middle Head trail (must be the seafood building up in me 🙄). And the Freshwater Lake Look-off, which wasn’t even a trail, it was just steps, which felt like going on StairMaster. The stairs at the gym do not equate to the actual experience of this short, uphill trek… it made me think, “this is what my patients who are short of breath must feel like”. 🤔

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All I remember is the interesting scent of Ingonish Beach that hung in the air.
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Really easy to miss a step as you ascend, or descend, the Freshwater Lake Look-off.

Despite only spending a couple of hours driving mainly to Ingonish, it was definitely only a primer. The hairpin turns in dense fog, general overcast with varying weather conditions, the smells of the forest and water… it was new and refreshing, giving us a sneak peak into what was more to come.

12 thoughts on “Beginnings in Cape Breton

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