The centerpiece of our stay in Cape Breton was our hike of Franey Mountain, an 1,100-foot ascent that took us between 3 and 4 total hours up and down. It could have been done more quickly but we took our time, soaking in and photographing the beautiful scenery of the Cape Breton Highlands along the way (as well as a pretty bird that I believe was a ruffed grouse).
There are two trails that lead to the top. The one we chose for the climb turned out to be the better one in terms of the views–we chose the other trail for the hike back down, which was much less challenging but also much less interesting from a scenery perspective. I don’t remember which was which, but if you’re looking at a map, the straighter looking trail is probably the less interesting one. Either way, you are likely to take both: one on the way up and the other on the way down.
Overall, it’s a beautiful hike. Climbers who reach the peak are rewarded with spectacular views of lush green mountains along a picturesque coast, as well as the opportunity to sign the hiker’s guest book attached to an Adirondack chair at the top. If you find yourself in Cape Breton, Franey Mountain is definitely worth a visit.
Here is a compilation of panoramas and HDR photos taken during my two-week road trip through the Canadian Maritime Provinces in late August/early September, 2016.
All of the following photos are panoramas except where HDR appears in the description.
Prince Edward Island
We only allotted two days for Prince Edward Island but it ended up being one of our favorite legs of the trip. We stayed on the less-touristy northeast side of the island at an inn on a cliff overlooking the sea. The view from our room was spectacular. The entire stay was relaxing and serene. I only wish we could have spent more time here.
Cape Breton, Nova Scotia
Cape Breton is an island at the northeastern tip of Nova Scotia. It is a must-visit if you’re in the area. The Cabot Trail, which encircles the majority of the island, is a drive of breathtaking beauty. The highlands, in particular, are reminiscent of Scotland. In all, we spent four days here but with all of the hiking and sightseeing available, you could easily stay a week or two.
The New Brunswick area has much to offer, including Fundy National Park, which we barely had time to explore outside of one early evening hike. We spent most of our two days in this province at Cape Enrage and the Hopewell rocks–where you can walk the beach at low tide and kayak around the same rocks at high tide. There are no high-tide photos in this collection, but I did take some and will share them at a later date.
I didn’t take many panoramas during my stay on the main island of Nova Scotia, so there isn’t much represented here. The highlights from this leg of the trip included a two-night stay in the charming capital city of Halifax and a stop in the lovely town of Lunenberg, where we also visited The Ovens National Park. Nova Scotia has so much more worth seeing but a lot of our time on the island was spent driving to and from Cape Breton.
Overall, it was a great trip that gave us a taste of everything the Canadian Maritimes have to offer, though we could easily have spent a week or more at any one of the four primary regions we visited. We fell so much in love with the area, in fact, that we are giving serious thought to exploring the possibility of moving there.
When hiking to the top of Franey Mountain in the Cape Breton Highlands, you will encounter this picturesque lookout about 1/3 of the way up (or 2/3 of the way down, depending on which of the two trails you chose to go up). It’s a beautiful hike, especially as you get closer to the top, where you are rewarded with spectacular views of the mountains and coast. The 1,100-foot ascent is not too challenging (especially if an out-of-shape schlub like me can make it to the top)–I think it took us between 2 1/2 and 3 hours to get to the top, though it can be done more quickly if you’re in better shape and not stopping for photos. Going down was much faster as we took the second trail down, which was much less interesting from a scenery perspective, and also less challenging.
I made one alteration to this photo–I used the content-aware touchup tool in Camera Raw to remove my hiking pole that was leaning against the rock–it turned out really well, not even noticeable. Bonus points if you can tell me where the pole was. 🙂
Hello, readers and fellow bloggers, I’ve been on a bit of a hiatus, partly because I embarked on a two-week, late-summer road trip through the Canadian Maritime Provinces. Since then, I have been busy culling and processing all of the photos from the trip (when I can find the time, that is), but hopefully I’ll get back to regular posting soon.
In the meantime, I have compiled all of the video I shot during my trip into the movie below. The Braveheart score seemed appropriate given the Scottish feel of Cape Breton.