A new hiking event is coming to Cape Breton. On July 17th, Hike the Highlands Festival with assistance from Cape Breton Highlands National Park will host the Cape Breton Highlands 3 Peaks Challenge. Modeled after the UK 3 Peaks Challenge, teams of four hikers each will hike three mountains in 12 hours starting at 7:00am and finishing around 7:00pm.
The event will be held in honour of Parks Day, a day in recognition of Canada’s National Parks. Visitors will have the opportunity to enjoy park facilities free of charge on this day.
The three peaks chosen for the challenge are Franey, Sugarloaf and Acadien mountains, together averaging 400 metres in elevation. The challenge involves approximately 113km of driving and 20 km of hiking. “Don’t under estimate the hiking distance, these are three of the toughest mountains in the Cape Breton Highlands,” says Tom Wilson, chair of the 3 Peaks Challenge. Hikers will be ascending and descending each of the mountains over difficult terrain, spending about 2.5 hours driving between the peaks, and 9 hours or so walking in the mountains.
A limit of fifteen teams will be accepted in this challenge. For each team of four hikers, one must be designated as team captain. The team captain will be responsible for the safety and welfare of the team, and well as making sure team members are prepared for this event. Due to limited parking on two of the three peaks, event organizers request that each team travel in one car.
The registration fee for each team is $100, including a souvenir t-shirt for each team member and a Parks Canada 125th anniversary souvenir. The team captain must register his/her team online, including team name and members names along with their t-shirt sizes as well pay online. The deadline for registration is Friday, July 2. Visit the Hike the Highlands Festival website for more information.