Skyline Trail (Cape Breton Highlands National Park)

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This is part 3 to my road trip series. I spent two full days exploring the Cabot Trail in Cape Breton and one of the things I really wanted to do was hike the Skyline as I heard the views were spectacular.

Talking to many people I was advised to get there early in the morning if I wanted to see any wildlife. I was a little nervous to do it alone for fear of coyotes. Unfortunately due to the length of drive to the location I was unable to make it there early but settled for late afternoon. It wasn’t that crowded but there were enough fellow hikers along with me. It is an easier trail than most as it is fairly wide with only a very gradual incline. The full trail is a 7k loop. That said, it was a good 3 hours return as I also stopped for many photo ops. Once I got to the entrance to the sky deck there were a series of what seemed to be hundreds of stairs down to various observation decks. With much excitement it was an easy down, but climbing back up was a different story..lol

As you can see in the last two photos the amazing views. It was a bit windy but I lucked out with a gorgeous day. It could have been all fog…I must have spent at least a good 30 minutes taking different shots from various vantage points.

On the way back I noticed a small group of hikers ahead stopped and looking at something just off to the right side of the trail. Curious I had to see why they had stopped. To my surprise I came across not just one but a whole family of moose. I was amazed. I was so shocked that I never even thought take any photos. I just stood there frozen for a second then I pulled out my iphone to capture some video. I have never seen a moose close up. They were giant….and when I say close I mean like 15-20 feet away.. There was about 5-6 of us watching the family feed and rest. After about 2-3 minutes I realized that they were not fazed by us humans and seemed at ease with our presence. I decided it was time to pull out my camera. I was laughing in my head as I painfully tried to unzip my backpack and gear silently. I took like 5 minutes to prep. I snapped a bunch of quick shots  and then I put on my telephoto. I stayed for another 20 minutes snapping away. I was even engaged by mommy moose as you can see in the second photo. She seemed curious but very cautious. I maintained my distance and carefully observed her body language for signs telling me to back off. My D800 keeps on amazing me with it’s quality and colour. It was overcast that day and the forest was a bit dark. I was shooting at around 1250 iso with little to no noise. The first photo was cropped from around 30 feet away and I can still see such detail. Well anyway it was an experience I will take away to hopefully fuel future wildlife photo trips.

Enjoy!!

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3 comments on “Skyline Trail (Cape Breton Highlands National Park)

  1. Luke says:

    Great Post. I can’t believe how close those moose are, brilliant photos.

  2. yv0nnej says:

    Gorgeous photos 🙂 The Cabot Trail is one of my favourite parts of this island! Glad the moose didn’t decide you were a threat.. momma moose aren’t very kind but totally worth it for the photos!

  3. outdoorcanvas says:

    Friend of mine lives in Moncton, NB and has told me about this area. Very beautiful!

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