• Brandon McArthur

My First (Sort-Of) Experience in the Highlands

Updated: Nov 7, 2020

Miah is a way more experienced outdoor explorer than I am. There was a period growing up (2-3 years) where I camped every weekend with my family. We had a trailer at that time, so not too many tent experiences. Outside of that, I've typically camped once or twice a year most of my life. I say that just to contextualize the perspective my blog posts are coming from: I'm a relatively inexperienced camper who is just beginning to adventure! Two weeks ago, Miah, Ned and I took a trip to Cape Breton to do some hiking and camping in the Highlands. The only other time I had visited Cape Breton was a long time ago, and I honestly don’t remember the trip. I remember that we didn’t camp or hike, so this really felt like my first time experiencing the Highlands.

Because the dog was with us, our exploration options were limited. We did every trail Ned was allowed on, and was under 2 hrs so we didn’t overwork him. Beagles have a lot of energy, but because he is a puppy, he’s still only allowed so much exercise in a day. Next time we go back to CB, which will likely be before winter, we will have someone babysit Ned so we can have a few more trail options. Clearly, we really enjoyed Cape Breton because we're already planning a trip back! I would have really liked to do the skyline trail, which is now at the top of my list for next trip. In between hikes, we drove the cabot trail, stopping at the look-off points. We also stopped at Highlands Hostel to visit a friend of ours, and take a tour of his hostel! Just like our apartment in Halifax, the Highlands Hostel is a converted church! The hostel is super cool, as is the owner Bricin. Lots of very cool skateboarding memorabilia in there!

Miah chose our campgrounds which were in Broad Cove and Cheticamp. We contemplated staying a night in Meat Cove, but decided it might have been too windy for the dog. I am already excited to head back to the Highlands, and stoked that we’ve got plenty of time left before it's too cold. Every Nova Scotian has told me their favourite time to visit the cabot trail is the fall - so take the time to plan a trip now! We can help with any gear you might need.

Photo is of Meat Cove, one of my favourite places we visited. Another favourite was Wabo's Pizza in Cheticamp.

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