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Itinerary for hikers - Cape Breton and Cape Chignecto?

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May 5th, 2003, 05:36 PM
  #1
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Itinerary for hikers - Cape Breton and Cape Chignecto?

We're planning to visit Nova Scotia in early July. We're avid hikers, and we also want to do a bit of biking and kayaking. We love the backwoods, and we but my husband loves food and wants to maximize his consumption of great seafood on this trip. So, we would tend to spend more time in the remote areas of the province, but we would only backpack/camp maybe one night - and even then, only if necessary to take in the best scenery.

We have 7 nights. Arriving at Yarmouth via the Scotia Prince on July 5th in the morning. The plan was to spend a few nights near the Cabot Trail. We also wanted to spend time at Cape Chignecto (we've heard fabulous reports about the hiking), and I just love the idea of backpacking along a cliff and camping in so we can see the sun set over the water.

The problem is - we're already driving a lot in a short amount of time, and Cape Chignecto is really out of the way. We would need to spend our last night somewhere near Yarmouth, because the ferry leaves early in the morning. Has anyone visited Cape Chignecto? Is it worth the detour? Should we backpack, or is there a decent place to stay/eat nearby, since its so remote?

Thanks in advance!
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May 5th, 2003, 08:20 PM
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Cape Chignecto is indeed impressive, but with seven nights, I would concentrate on Cape Breton.

If you want a good, relatively short hike en-route, I would recommend an overnight in Wolfville {lots to do in this area and lovely inns} and a hike to Cape Split, where you can view the tide action [check tide tables; my husband and I missed it!] You can also take a drive from here to Halls Harbour for fresh lobster, for your husband.

If you do visit Cape Chignecto, we found Parrsboro a good base. We stayed at Gilespe House, which we liked a lot. Parrsboro is very interesting, as it has operators giving fossil and rock tours, an excellent fossil museum,and a theatre on a boat, and it isn't touristy.

Do watch for storm warnings, however, for the Cape if you backpack. The night after my husband and I did a dayhike there, a storm suddenly moved in, and we were so glad that we had decided not to camp!

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May 6th, 2003, 02:17 AM
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I agree with the previous post but Cape Chignecto is absolutely breathtaking as well. It is Nova Scotia's largest provincial park with 18 miles of coastline. There are various trails - a 3-4 hour one or a day long hike. There is also a three-day minimum trail of 36 miles which is the coastal trail and takes you around the perimeter of the park.

If you like to hike, there are still many more trails you can use along your way to Cape Breton. Cape George on the Northumberland Strait between New Glasgow and Antigonish. There is a 21 mile network of hiking trails of variable distances.

The Province has recently published a new "hiking" brochure. Call 1-800-565-0000 for one or visit www.trails.gov.ns.ca for more information.

Don't worry about finding plenty of seafood, it is abundent here that time of year. You may even be lucky to catch the crab season in Cape Breton.

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May 11th, 2003, 09:08 PM
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Thanks for the advice. Have either of you done more than a day hike at Cape Chignecto? I just got Michael Haynes' "Hiking Trails of Nova Scotia," and from his description, the most dramatic scenery in the park is on the western shore (where you would be hiking on the second day). It seems like unless we do the full three day loop, we'll miss the best part of this area. I have to say, I'm so disappointed that there isn't an inland trail going to the western shore (see what I mean on the map)

http://www.capechignecto.net/map.htm

The author just raves about the trail between Little Bald Brook and Cary Brook - but I'm not sure I want to spend three straight days hiking in order to see it (especially the last stretch of the loop, which looks like 10, boring inland miles).

Also - do you have any information on whether three days is realistic for this trip? We've done 14 mile day hikes in the Adirondacks up big peaks - so, even with a backpack, I can't imagine why the guidebooks all say you really need three days for a 32 mile hike over relatively flat terrain (or is it not as flat as I'm thinking?).

Thanks again for the advice!

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May 12th, 2003, 10:47 AM
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Hi again, Jennymarie, We didn't do the full loop, just a dayhike, but did look into hiking the full trail. I vaguely remember thinking that we'd need two overnights, three full days at 10 miles a day or so. I suppose that you could reduce this to one night and one full day if you hiked a less leisurely 16 miles each day.

There were some inclines on our Chignecto dayhike {the first leg in}, but probably nothing as challenging as you're used to.

Not sure this is much help, but at least it will bring it to the top where hopefully, someone who has actually hiked the full trail will see it and respond. I'm interested too - I agree, it sounds like a great hike!
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May 13th, 2003, 05:28 PM
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Thanks so much Molly. I'm just happy to have found someone who has seen Cape Chignecto at all! There's a lot less first-hand information out there about this out-of-the-way wilderness than there is about the various tourist traps of Nova Scotia

We're still hesitating about whether to do it. It sounds like such an exciting trip, but I only wish I'd found it when I was in college, when I had the time, and the strength!

Thanks again!
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Jun 6th, 2013, 04:32 PM
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Hi - Just wondering if you ended up doing the hike? my husband and I on our 30s are thinking about going as well but we will have only 2 nights and one full day. Meaning we arrive in the park 4pm day 1, we are there day 2 and day 3 we need to departure at 10am.
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