The Bonny Highlands

Thursday, June 10, 2010 Road Junkies 1 Comments

Day 41:  Cape Breton Highlands National Park, NS
Tearing ourselves away from our seaside hideaway this morning, we set out to see the wonders of Nova Scotia's Cape Breton Highlands National Park, beginning with a hike on part of the Franey Trail, a steep and strenuous five-mile loop. We battled clouds of gnats to find a good hiding spot for a letterbox.
After planting, we headed back down the trail to explore other parts of Cape Breton park, which covers most of the northern part of Cape Breton Island.  Bounded on the west by the Gulf of St. Lawrence and on the east by the Atlantic Ocean, the park protects 366 square miles of highlands and coastal wilderness.
The first national park in the Atlantic provinces, Cape Breton is said to bear a striking resemblance to the Scottish highlands. Cabot Trail, a scenic drive around the perimeter of Cape Breton Island, winds along the edge of the park's rugged and forested slopes.
Small fishing villages dot the coast throughout the park, providing picturesque scenes. Something about the sun here seems to intensify the vibrance of colors.
This was without doubt one of the most beautiful drives we have experienced.  The California coast, one of our favorite spots for natural scenic beauty, came to mind as we traveled on the Cabot trail, though the Atlantic waves certainly are no rival to the spectacular power of the Pacific as it rolls in to shore.
Tomorrow we leave our paradise by the sea and begin our trek back toward Georgia, heading west through New Brunswick, Quebec, and Ontario before we turn south and prepare to face the heat and humidity once again.

Daily Stats
Miles driven: 158
Letterboxes: 2 planted
High temp: 66° F
Gas: $3.806/gallon
Snakes on hiking trail: 1
Gnats:  67,439
Moose warning signs:  22
Piles of moose scat:  2
Moose:  0
Beautiful vistas:  45
Spruce trees:  423,568
Steep grade signs:  14