New five-day long distance trail coming to Canada’s Ocean Playground

Meat Cove, NS
Meat Cove, N.S. Photo: Destination Cape Breton

The Cabot Trail on Cape Breton Island in the province of Nova Scotia, Canada, is known for its rugged, breathtaking beauty. And soon, there’s going to be another trail nearby to wow visitors to the Atlantic province known as Canada’s Ocean Playground.

A new coastal hiking trail is being developed within the Polletts Cove-Aspy Fault Wilderness Area, north of the Cabot Trail. Once completed, the Seawall Trail will be the only multi-day coastal hike of its kind along the Eastern Seaboard of North America.

The Province is investing C$6.4 million in the design and construction of the nearly Seawall Trail, which will run for almost 50km. The funding will cover huts and bridges, as well as marketing, communications and engagement with local Mi’kmaw communities in the traditional district of Unama’kik (Cape Breton).

While walkers can do the trail in whatever timescale suits them, the official trail experience will last five days, with four unique hut locations along the trail. The hut system will provide a reward for hikers after the challenges of the trail, allowing them protection from extreme weather and significantly lightening their packs.

The wilderness adventure, if walking north, ends in the remote community of Meat Cove, at the northern tip of Cape Breton Island.

Nova Scotia’s most northerly settlement, Meat Cove has been called ‘360° of beauty.’ The village is surrounded by jagged peaks and interconnected mountains where eagles soar above.

“The Seawall Trail has the potential to become one of North America’s iconic wilderness attractions for world travellers,” said Allan MacMaster, Minister of Finance and Treasury Board and MLA for Inverness, on behalf of Communities, Culture, Tourism and Heritage Minister Pat Dunn.

“It is an investment that will allow visitors to experience coastal scenic beauty now and forever.”

Visitors will have options for multi-day and shorter wilderness hikes and opportunities for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Obviously in the winter.

Image: Inverness County

The Municipality of the County of Inverness is leading the Seawall Trail project. A project steering committee, co-chaired by the municipality and Seawall Trail Society, will provide guidance as the project progresses.

The society was formed in 2014 to develop northern Cape Breton’s natural walking assets.

Build Nova Scotia will provide project management and administration services to the municipality for design and construction of the trail; the municipality will work with the society and Build Nova Scotia to support community engagement and ongoing project communications.

In addition to direct tourism revenue, operation of the Seawall Trail is expected to create jobs and stimulate private investment and business opportunities including guides, tour companies, accommodation, restaurants, transportation, and other adventure tourism operations.