A Weekend In Cape Breton
Entering Cape Breton is like crossing a path into a magical land. You notice the hills roll a little higher, and your car drives right up against the ocean. It’s intoxicating, and you’ll never want to leave.
Our trip began taking a stop right at the edge of the Cape Breton trail at Cabot Shores. The cabins and domes were quaint and cozy, but it was the view that had us completely enthralled. Although we stayed for one night, Aleyah and I made the most of it. We enjoyed the natural beauty of the surrounding area; there was apparently a moose reserve nearby, but we were out of luck in spotting one.
We were just at the edge of the dry season, so we were able to have a little fire at the end of the day. Aleyah and I consumed many marshmallows and just simply enjoyed the clear, starry sky.
Across the ways, there was a rolling hill that completely dominated the entire right side of the resort. It offered a taste of what sort of beauty waited for us at the top of Mt. Tenerife.
Sitting at the very tip of Cape Breton, just off the official trail, is an unmarked parking lot. I recommend you use a trail app and follow locals’ instructions in order to locate it. Mt. Tenerife is adorned by a flagpole at the very top, and is stretching 289m high. Climbing was the most difficult part. I was accompanied by a well-seasoned hiker, Aleyah, and motivated by my will to see the top. I would highly recommend you avoid this trail if you are a casual hiker, as it is all uphill, and severely rocky. I am a casual hiker, so you can imagine the struggle to make it.
However, when you make it to the very top, you completely forget how hard it was to get there. Despite the new holes in my leggings, and sore feet, I felt triumphant and relieved. I touched that flagpole, sat down on the rocky ledge, and let my lungs take in all of the fresh ocean air.
I won’t mention the fact that we left right as the sun started to sink along the horizon, or that we were nearly out of gas (please, get gas before your trip).
Our journey ended in a little farmstay at the edge of the Cape Breton entrance.
Off the road in Baddeck, nestled between rows of Juniper trees, is a rejuvenating farm getaway. This spot is called Blackbird Retreat, and it was the most rewarding stay after such a grueling hike.
We were greeted by the dog concierge, Juna, named after the very trees at the entrance marking the farm. She’s a kind girl who was more than happy to show us around. Aleyah and I were startled by her appearance, but then again, we just went through a very difficult hike.
The property is located behind the host’s house, which is perfect for those who like their own privacy. You have a separate shower and toilet, but it is located outside. Normally, I would be a little hesitant to book a space that had a separate washroom, but this stay is for the experience, and it most definitely was done right.
The couple who own the farm are so lovely, and they greet you when you arrive. They offered to show us around the farm, or even suggested we check it out ourselves. Unfortunately we didn’t stay for long, but we highly recommend you go to their website for more information on the experiences they offer. This is a gem hidden away in the entrance to Cape Breton, and we highly recommend you give yourself a full weekend to enjoy it.
Words by Kristen Reid
Photos by Aleyah Solomon