Fishing Cove, Cape Breton Highlands National Park
On the weekend we decided that we wanted to go on a different hike. We wanted to try something that we haven’t done before, but we also didn’t want to sit in the car for a long drive. Looking at the possibilities before us - we chose to hike Fishing Cove.
Roman and I have hiked Fishing Cove before, but that was a few years back and we only completed the short trail (which is now closed to the public). This time we planned on going the long route.
We were eager to hit the trail on an early Sunday morning. The weather was idyllic. The air was brisk when we started out but it warmed up, and the sun was out without a cloud in the sky. It was truly perfect hiking weather.
When we got to the trailhead we checked out the distance - only 6km one way. In total it was about a 12km round trip. We figured that would be a decent hike for a Sunday morning. We could have handled a longer hike but this lent more flexibility in the afternoon to go to the Frog Pond Cafe in Cheticamp afterwards (if you haven’t been - you should go!) and still have time to play in the garden that evening.
The trail was rather unexpected. I think we were bracing ourselves for a rather easy stroll through the woods with a wide trail. Well, this was quite different. The trail starts out somewhat wide and eventually narrows to a footpath in the woods - exactly what we wanted!! We love hiking when it feels like nature hasn’t been much disturbed by humans.
The trail descends for about 5km and follows a small river all the way to the end where it opens up into the ocean. Hearing the rushing water was really calming. The trees were almost budded out and the colour that they produced was a vibrant spring palette. The ground was covered with lots of spring-green moss and ferns just popping up out of the ground. There was lots of mud and I’m super thankful that I wore my Salomon hikers, which have Gore-Tex and kept my feet nice and dry! Roman swears by his Merrel Moabs. It's the most comfortable hiking shoe he has ever had.
At one point we were talking about these hikers we met on a hike in California and how they were walking bare-foot. So Roman decided to give it a shot and took off his shoes to experience in a different way. He loved it! Apparently it's very grounding. I guess I'll have to try that next time haha.
By the cove there’s a place where you can rock scramble to get an amazing view. There’s also a few places where you can camp, you have to register with Parks Canada first, but we recommend doing that if you enjoy the peace and quiet with nature. It was unbelievable that we had it just to ourselves that day!! There was not another soul on the trail, just Roman and our friends. The hike back up to the parking lot takes a little longer but all in all I think it took us about 4 hours round trip.
We highly recommend that you check out this trail - you won’t be disappointed!
Directions: From Cheticamp drive 24km towards Pleasant Bay. The parking area with the trailhead is on your left.
Duration: 12km, about 4 hours - there is no cell service