5 Fantastic Hiking Trails in Nova Scotia

Fantastic hiking awaits you in Nova Scotia. Hike on seaside trails with broad ocean views, travel trails winding through old-growth forests, huge highland hilltops, or stroll past pastoral fields and rolling orchards. 

Located on the Atlantic Ocean, Nova Scotia in Canada emits a windswept charm. From Cape Breton Highlands to the Bay of Fundy, one of the best ways to travel Nova Scotia is on foot. 

Let’s explore 5 of the very best Hiking Trails in Nova Scotia.

Skyline Trail

  • Distance: 4mile return
  • Time: Three hours
  • Difficulty Level: Easy

Highlights

  1. Moving headland cliff facing the rugged coast at the end of the trail
  2. Look for wildlife on the four miles return hike
  3. One of 26 scenic paths in Cape Breton Highlands National Park

This path may lead to some of the best views, probably in all of North America. Watch for whales in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, follow the Cabot Trail and get an unbelievable view of the Atlantic Ocean from a headland cliff. 

Cape Split Trail

  • Distance: 3.5 miles one-way
  • Time: five hours
  • Difficulty Level: Moderate

Highlights

  1. Recommended hiking trail offering unimaginable picturesque coastal views
  2. Around 7.5mi./12km return
  3. Wildlife viewing, Picnicking, and Bay of Fundy tidal observation are also accessible.

Although we accept that a route is a destination, the end of this hike is the real motivation to do it. The trail finishes with an incredible view of the Spires: rock formations that break out of the ocean in a tall, barrel-shaped fashion. You can fancy a picnic lunch and unwind on the cliffs’ edge, testing your patience with vertigo.

Balancing Rock Trail

  • Distance: 1.55 miles one-way
  • Time: 1 hour
  • Difficulty Level: Easy

Highlights

  1. Well-groomed 1.55-mi. tracks and a 235-step staircase leading to the viewing platform
  2. A slim upright column of basalt, balanced on its tip
  3. Located a quick 5-minute ferry ride from Digby Neck.

This path loops through the woods towards a staircase that falls to the water’s edge. From here, you have a panoramic view of “Nature’s Time Post,” a thin basalt stack that extrudes from the ocean. It’s the most impressive and most illustrated column of basalt in the region.

Franey Trail

  • Distance: 4.6 miles loop
  • Time: 3 hours
  • Elevation: 95-430 m
  • Difficulty Level: Difficult

Highlights

  1. A difficult 4.6 mi. (7.5 km) broken loop
  2. Proffering 360-degree views of the Atlantic coastline and Clyburn Brook canyon
  3. One of 26 scenic paths in Cape Breton Highlands National Park

This strangely steep, rough trail is gifted with picturesque views of Clyburn Brook Canyon. On a bright day, you can gaze out to the Atlantic Ocean from Cape Smokey to Ingonish.

Louisbourg Lighthouse Trail

  • Distance: 1.24 mi. one-way
  • Time: 1 hour
  • Difficulty Level: Easy

Highlights

  1. 1.3 mi. Path offering dramatic landscapes of the Fortress of Louisbourg.
  2. Interpretive panels reveal the area’s importance, including its flora and fauna.
  3. Reach the trail year-round, following the “Lighthouse” signs along Havenside Road.

In the early 1700s, Canada’s first lighthouse was constructed on this coast. Discover more about the country’s harmonious history by traveling to the Louisbourg Lighthouse Trail. Walk through Brook Landing Cove, Gun Landing Cove, and around Lorraine Head to Big Lorraine. Each step is steeped in history.

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