Winter is a fabulous time of year to get outside and be active. In Cape Breton, there are plenty of opportunities for outdoor winter fun. With snow, you can engage in a wide range of activities from snow shoeing to sledding, from downhill skiing to cross country skiing. Outdoor skating is always fun, if we have thick enough ice. However, if the weather stays mild, most rinks in Cape Breton offer affordable public skating and those snowshoeing and skiing trails can be hiked if there is no snow.
There are numerous organized winter activities as well. In the Cape Breton Highlands National Park, the group Les Amis du Plein Air have organized guided hikes every Wednesday and Saturday starting at 10 am at various locations both inside and outside the park. If there is snow, you can bring along your snowshoes or cross country skis. Below is the schedule for the next month:
Wednesday December 22: Annual Christmas Bird Count guided by Gordon Delaney of Parks Canada. Meet at the look-off on the left hand side past Grande Falais. The hike is on the new trail called Le vieux chemin du Cap-Rouge. Come out to learn more about local birds.
Wednesday December 29: Cheticamp Island Road (Lighthouse Road)
Wednesday January 5: Petit Etang – meet at Chaisson Brothers Gravel Pit for a hike along the beautiful Cheticamp River.
All hikes are meant to be enjoyable and taken at your own pace. For more information, contact Gayle at 224-1544 or visit http://www.pc.gc.ca/eng/pn-np/ns/cbreton/visit/visit8.aspx.
Ski Ben Eoin is also a great place for outdoor winter activities. Every Wednesday at 10 am, there is a group that goes snowshoeing on the beautiful, groomed snowshoeing trails at the resort. They also have three moonlight snowshoe jaunts scheduled for January 18, February 17 and March 17. For more information, call 828-2804.
Cape Breton is a wonderful place for outdoor (and indoor) winter activities. Be sure to be prepared with food, water and proper clothing. Embrace the winter and enjoy the wonderful natural assets we are so fortunate to have.
Cape Breton is a playground. Go out and play!