Friday, July 7, 2017

Cape Breton Highlands National Park

Hello, bonjour, as they say everywhere in the park. Canada is good at many things, and making me realize my linguistic shortcomings is definitely one of them. 

We left Halifax and began our entirely uneventful drive to Cape Breton. 

We got into the park around 3 and made our way over to our oTentik which was awesome! Not quite "glamping" but spacious, clean, warm (it had heat!) and close to the bathroom. We were totally spoiled. 

We decided to do a little exploring before our program that evening, so we made our way over to Green Cove, where our minds were blown. 

People were actually very nice about all the Bruins gear. We ended up finding Bruins fans everywhere we went! 

A quick campfire dinner and then to ingonish beach for a Lantern Walk Through Time which was a little hokey. Lots of quasi ghost stories and a guide who took herself VERY seriously. But it made for some good snickering for the next few days. 

Ingonish Beach

Right before we heard about every potential "lady in white" who wanders around Cape Breton after dark. 

The next day was a BIG day. After sleeping in a bit, we made our way over the Broad Cove Mountain for a little up-and-down hike. 

We then made our way over to MaryAnne Falls which was gorgeous. The water was freezing, but that didn't stop jax (and then me) from going barefoot and fording across a bit.  

Happy that he made it to the other side without falling in! 

Right after we took this picture some very brave souls decided to go for a dip in this water, which was icy. 

We rested up for a bit and then head over to the other side of the park for the afternoon. We stopped at MacIntosh Falls, which wasn't as dramatic, but magical in a different kind of way. Jax was very impressed by the backpacker who packed up his hammock and then skibbled up the Falls and into the woods. 

One of Jax's assignments in his explorers booklet was to hug a tree. So he did. 

Note the hiker up and to the left. 

Our final destination was the Skyline Trail where the hope was our sunset hike would enable us to see a moose. Sadly, that didn't happen. But the hike was so beautiful it almost didn't matter. 

On the boardwalk. 

It was a BIG day with almost 10 miles hiked and almost no complaints from the kids. 

The grousing came a little bit the next morning when we told them we were going back out. "But we just hiked yesterday!" Still, they were placated with promises of swimming in the afternoon, so out to Middlehead we went. 

See how thrilled they look? 

As promised, in the afternoon we went swimming in the very cold Warren Lake. 

Sure it's rocky, but at least it's also freezing! 

We had a low key night with our first showers in days, a campfire dinner, s'mores, and glow sticks. 

This morning we got packed up, sad a sad goodbye to our oTentik, and drove back across the park to see just a little more before we left. 

We did the bog walk which was different and really pretty. 

Jax also had to identify insect-eating plants. Here's one. 

Here's another. 

One last stop at the Cheticamp visitors' center for Jax to pick up his explorer pass and we were back on the road. One wrong turn and a couple unanticipated stops turned our 5 hour drive into about a 7.5 hour drive, but everyone was really really great about it. We arrived in Moncton, grabbed a pizza, and the kids hit the pool. 

When we realized the drive was going to be much longer than we thought we resorted to bribery, and I stand by my choices. 

Even the stuffed friends started to get bored in the car & wanted a change of scenery. 

We made it! 

All in all, I am so so so glad we went. Cape Breton is a truly gorgeous place. Well worth the drive. We 100% lucked out and had perfect weather the entire time we were there. It was just amazing across the board. 

Tomorrow the plan is a water park, which will be a whole different experience. And then home! We will have packed a lot into this week. 


  1. Gorgeous!! And +1000 for excellent use of "skibbled". This looks like such an amazing trip.

    1. (This is Liz Scheier, btw. This is an old handle I haven't bothered to change because lazy.)