yes, the water is cold cold cold...
The waters off the coast of Cape Breton are a frigid affair at best. I do not think swimming is a popular activity for non-locals. I gave it the old college try as I was hot as hell after toting my camping gear down to Fishing Cove. It cooled me off pronto but I didn't need a shower after that.
- Hiking and Walking
- Road Trip
When my sister and I were hiking in the Cape Breton Highlands National Park, part of the Cabot Trail, there was a lot of moose poop (or scat, a word that I heard for the first time on the hike) everywhere. In and of itself, this isn't such a big deal. It might put you off chocolate moose droppings for a while and scatologists do suggest not picking the scat up with your bare hands to examine it because of deadly parasites.
The concern is that this is a representation of the 4000 moose that inhabit the park. When you drive you have to be continuously on the lookout for moose. Moose are very unpredictable, they cross the road randomly, and where there are moose crossing signs, there are even more of them. They are most active at dusk and at night. On my last drive, in a span of half an hour, there was one on the road ahead of us and 3 others on the shoulder of the road. They scattered when they saw us, but sometimes they charge the car when spooked, so don't challenge them.
- National/State Park
There is enormous pleasure to be had from exploring nature, from just sitting listening to the water slap over the rocks or to see an eagle fly. But there is a good reason you are warned not to hike alone, particularly not in a place you don't know well.
In late October 2009, a young Canadian folk singer named Taylor Mitchell was attacked by 3 coyotes while hiking on the Skyline Trail in Cape Breton Highlands Park, She was hiking alone, and while other hikers heard her screams and came as quickly as possible, she died of her injuries.
There had not been any coyotes involved in attacks on humans since the 1970's according to local sources. The death was perhaps even more shocking because it occurred on the Skyline Trail, one of the most well known of the trails in the Highlands Park. A coworker told me about this, actually a few days I had returned from Cape Breton.
a word of caution to the wise. Don't hike alone!
- Budget Travel
WATCH FOR MOOSE
Every once in a while, driving through Cape Breton Island, you will see WATCH FOR MOOSE signs. They are very large and hard-to see animals. They can usually be seen by the roads in early morning or around dusk. The signs are usually placed where moose have been known to cross the road and the sign will tell you to "beware" for the next ??? miles.
Hans and I actually saw a moose cow with her young calf, only once, and it was early morning
Watch for Moose
You'll see signs displayed in the Cape Breton Highlands warning about moose crossings . There are quite a few moose in this area so take care when driving especially at night. They are huge animals and it could cause seriuos injuries if you collide with one.
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
- Road Trip
Steep windy roads
Easy to take for granted when you go up, it's when you go down that the trouble starts.
When driving in mountanous terrain, you go up, down, up again, down again. It eventualy evens out. Going down a 8-10% steep slope for a mile is tough for the breaks. Imagine 10 miles.
I lost my breaks completly, compression wasn't doing much for me because it was a diesel engine, parking break works just so well. We rammed into a road halt like savages and skid to a stop.
Pretty bad odor coming from the breaks I tell you. So many stops and enjoy the view.
Booking Accommodations on the Cabot Trail
It is important to know that accommodations must be booked early in and around the Ingonish area! This is not only a destination for tourists but it also where many residents of Cape Breton spend their summer vacations. Some of the rooms are booked years in advance for certain weekends by returning guests.
Bring a Waterproof Tent
When it rains in Cape Breton Island. It REALLY rains. There are no words to describe how hard it rains. - well, I suppose 'deluge' is one! ha ha ha! - I did have with me a very good waterproof tent. Thanks to my very good boyscout best friend! And I encourage you to have one too.
- Family Travel
- Historical Travel
- Whale Watching
Sydney Tar Ponds - Environmental Hazard
The tar ponds are North America's largest toxic waste site. Basically, the Sydney Steel Plant used to let it's slag dump out into nearby creeks. If you are visiting Sydney, there really isn't anything to worry about. In fact, you can even take a tour of the area if you want to. As long as you don't decide to go swimming in the tar or bottle some to take home, you're fine. Actually, you can't even get close enough to do this. No worries so long as you head the "No Tresspassing" signs.
this is what 1500 feet and 10 miles looks like....
This gives you an idea of what you have to do to get down to Fishing Cove and why it is a great place to escape the masses while visiting the National Park.
- Road Trip
- Hiking and Walking
Sydney Tar Ponds
The largest industrial waste site in North America, leftover from the dead steel industry. Only about 3 km from the waterfront of Sydney.