The Skyline Trail contains a stunning view of the mountains that allows you to take that ideal panoramic shot that is well worth the walk. I would recommend bringing a long telephoto lens or binoculars to ensure that you can get the best views of Skyline Trail.
I started my journey at 9AM with the weather at 8C (47F). The trail was easy to walk as it’s a slow decent down. There were several pine trees with a boardwalk along the trail. After walking for an hour, I had seen a sign for the first observation point. I loved the view of the mountains. It was hard to photograph as there were a lot of pine trees in the way. However, I knew there was more of the trail and was hoping I could get a better view at the next observation point. I resumed my walk on the trail and ten minutes later, I found a better observation point that gives you a non-obstructive view of the mountains.
I was psyched to see the view of the mountains with the winding road and the Gulf of Saint Lawrence. The construction workers and vehicles from this view looked like Micro Machines. There are many levels you can observe the Skyline to allow you to capture the scenery in many angles. I noticed a ship in the water and I was trying to identify it. Using the full zoom on my camera, I learned it was the Canadian Coast Guard.
After enjoying the great scenery, it was worth taking a good rest as the walk back involves a lot of climbing.
Review the details below to see where I walked, the distance and download my GPS tracks to relive my experience.
Max elevation: 407 m
Min elevation: 242 m
Total Time: 03:14:56
Cape Breton Highlands National Park is known for its spectacular highlands and ocean scenery. Steep cliffs and deep river canyons carve into a forested plateau bordering the Atlantic Ocean. One third of the Cabot Trail, a world-famous scenic highway, runs through the national park along the coasts and over the highlands.
The cool, maritime climate and rugged landscape permit a unique blend of Acadian, Boreal and Taiga habitats, including old-growth forests of international importance.
Cape Breton Highlands National Park
Ingonish Beach, NS
A dramatic headland cliff overlooks the rugged coast from the end of this level trail. You can enjoy an eagle’s view of the Cabot Trail as it winds its way down the mountain – vehicles look like toys. Watch for whales in the Gulf of St. Lawrence from the viewing decks. Moose, bald eagles, bears and numerous boreal birds live in this habitat. Be cautious with children around the cliffs and give moose a wide berth. The headland plants are very fragile and easily damaged by trampling, so stay on the boardwalk. Dogs are not permitted here as they disturb wildlife, especially moose and bear.
Length: 7.5 km (4.7 mi) return or 9.2 km (5.7 mi) loop
Elevation: 290 – 405 m (950 – 1,330 ft)
Time: 2 – 3 hours
Significant Features: Headland cliff, ocean Main trail suitable for most skill levels. Boardwalk with steps at headland. Rugged back loop.
Trailhead: On the Cabot Trail at the top of French Mountain
GPS Co-ordinates for Trailhead (in decimal degrees): Lat: 46.737691 Long: -60.880377
Trail info courtesy of Parks Canada
Trailhead:On the Cabot Trail at the top of French Mountain