Skyline Trail – Cape Breton Highlands National Park

Months of Operation

May 20 - October 29

Hours Of Operation

Park is open year-round but full visitor services are only available from mid-May until mid-October. No maintenance in off-season.

Location

19685 Cabot Trail, Cape Breton Highlands NP, Cabot Trail

Contact

T: 902-224-2306

F: 902-285-2866

E: cbhnp.info@pc.gc.ca

Description

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 and 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. 

Trailhead: On the Cabot Trail on the top of French Mountain 
Significant Feature: Headland cliff, ocean
Length: 6.5 km (4 mi) return; 8.2 km (5.1 mi) loop
Hiking Time: 1.5–3 hours
Elevation: 290–405 m (950–1330 ft.)
Main trail suitable for most skill levels. Boardwalk with steps at headland. Rugged back loop.
Trail Rating: Easy

GPS Co-ordinates for Trailhead (in decimal degrees):
Lat: 46.737691 Long: -60.880377
Park is open year-round but full visitor services are only available from mid-May until mid-October.

A park pass is required for hiking or use of other services in the park; park entry fee applies. Check in at the Parks Canada Visitor Centres in Chéticamp (16 Visitor Centre Rd., situated on the west side of the park) or in Ingonish (37637 Cabot Trail, on the east side of the park) to obtain passes, information on visitor safety and any other information you may need, including a trail location map.

For your comfort and safety:
- Do not approach, disturb or feed wild animals.
- Take along appropriate clothing - rapid weather changes often occur on the plateau or along the coast.
- Carry water with you, especially for longer trails, climbs or open barrens.
- Bring insect repellent as black flies and mosquitoes are common all summer.
- Mountain bikes are permitted only where indicated, for public safety and protection of the environment.
- Stay on boardwalks to protect fragile vegetation.
- Do not throw food or scraps along the trails or roads.
- Read "Keep it Wild, Keep it Safe" brochure, available at park visitor centres.

More Details

Detailed Information

Trail length: 8.20 km / 1.50 hrs
Trail type: Wilderness trail
Trail surface: Natural
Activities: Birding & wildlife, Hiking
Directions: Trailhead: On the Cabot Trail on the top of French Mountain