I used to live in a small city of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. This eastern province of Canada is the second smallest province and I called it home for four years. The Maritimes, as what they collectively call the provinces in Atlantic Canada, has so many things to offer. From food, history, perfect weather, hiking trails and its friendly people – you wouldn’t regret visiting or living in this ocean paradise.
Apart from the gorgeous waterfront in downtown Halifax and the lobster, I mostly enjoyed the outdoors here. A few minutes from the city, you’d hit a few trails that you’d never expect exist from your own backyard.
Here’s a list of my most favorite hiking trails in Nova Scotia.
#1 Skyline Trail, Cape Breton Highlands National Park
I first visited Cape Breton last Fall of 2017. It is a 5-hour drive from Halifax and is home to Cabot Trail, a world-renowned coastal scenic drive.
Cabot Trail is a loop and takes about 4-5 hours to complete starting from the city of Baddeck, Nova Scotia. There are a lot of trails you could hike in the Cabot Trail but the famous one is the Skyline Trail.
It was, so far, the windiest hike I’ve ever experienced. It is a seven-kilometre loop hiking trail and it took us at least 3 hours to do the loop. It is an easy hike located between Pleasant Bay and Cheticamp on the northeast side of Cape Breton Island. It offers scenic views of the mountains and the ocean and is surely not to be missed.
Tip: Fall season is the best time to visit. We stayed at an Inn in Baddeck, the closest town to the entrance of the park.
#2 Cape Split Hiking Trail, Kings County, N.S.
My friend, Richiel, and I visited Cape Split last summer. It is a short 1.5 hour drive from Halifax and is located on the Bay of Fundy coast of Nova Scotia. It is a 12-kilometre hike through the woods and ends up with a nice view of the split.
We finished the hike in three and a half hours. Not bad for a 12-km hike! It is only a day-use park and no camping is permitted. Parking is free and pets are allowed on this hike.
#3 Bluff Wilderness Hiking Trail, Timberlea, N.S.
This is my third-wheel hike. I hiked with my friend, Mary Ann, and her boyfriend, Dan. This is a moderate-difficult hike with forest, lakes and granite barrens setting. This is a backcountry hiking loop but it would be up to you on which of the 4 stacked loops you would like to do. We did the shortest Pot Lake Loop, a 9-km return trip that took us about 2.5 hours to complete.
We went last November 2017, another fall hike. The leaves were starting to fall and the trail was almost empty when we did this hike. We wanted to come back to complete the 2-day hike of the trail last summer but due to our conflicting schedule we weren’t able to do it.
#4 Duncan’s Cove Hiking Trail, Chebucto Peninsula
A week before our trip to Hawaii, Richiel and I hiked this trail close to Halifax. A short 30-minute drive from the city would take you to the rural community of Chebucto. It is one of the coastal hikes in Halifax Regional Municipality that has the best view of the Atlantic Ocean. It is an 8-km round trip hike, about 3-4 hours to complete, and is best to be done in the late summer.
This is a very rocky hike with granite cliffs along the trail. The cool ocean breeze could make the temperature significantly lower than the city – so layering is best when hiking this trail.
#5 Gypsum Mine Trail and Egypt Falls, Cape Breton Highlands National Park
I came back to Cape Breton last summer with my boyfriend. It was his first time in Nova Scotia so I chose Cape Breton as the best place to showcase the beauty of the province.
We hiked the Gypsum Mine Trail first. It wasn’t actually a hike but more of a walk with a mini hike. It used to be where they mine gypsum and ever since they closed the mine they transformed it to a trail. It was an easy 20-minute hike from the parking lot with a beautiful view of a lake.
Egypt Falls was our next stop and it came by as a surprise. Finding the trail to the falls was kind of difficult as there was only a small wooden sign that takes you to the falls. The hike could be muddy and steep and has ropes to hold onto, but it was well worth the effort. Egypt Falls is located at the community of Margaree Harbour in Cape Breton.
Wear comfortable shoes and hike early in the morning to avoid crowds.
Disclaimer: All opinions and views on this post are my own. Copyright all pictures by Kathleen of I Am Miss Adventures.