Hiking the Middle Head Trail at Cape Breton Highlands National Park

About Middle Head Trail

Middle Head Trail on a Stormy Day

The Middle Head Trail located within the Cape Breton Highlands National Park, follows a long and narrow peninsula separated by two ocean bays, ending on cliffs overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. There are plenty of opportunities to see seabirds, seals, and eagles!

If you don’t have time to commit to a full day of hiking, then Middle Head Trail is perfect for you. This trail follows the landscape as it extends out to sea, beginning with a well-maintained path commencing just past the Keltic Lodge near Ingonish.

Trail Description

The Middle Head Trail opens up into a meadow that is about 40 meters wide at the “neck” of the head. That is where the exposed rock cliffs become visible, with the opportunity to explore side trails off the main route. The views are most definitely the main attraction to this trail, having Cape Smokey’s cliffs on the right, and Ingonish Island to the left.

Trail Difficulty

This hike typically takes between 1-2 hours, with many occasions to take breaks at the various lookout points located along the trail. The terrain of Middle Head Trail is mostly level with short climbs and a few more rocky and rugged sections. Several points of interest are spread throughout the trail, depicting the fishing culture of the past, as well as the natural ecosystem of the area.

The Misty Magic of Cape Breton Island


Only 47 kilometres from Cabot Shores along the Cabot Trail, the Middle Head Trail is the ideal trail for those looking for an accessible, yet stunning hike close to home. Exiting Cabot Shores, turn right onto the Cabot Trail. Middle Head Trail is located along the Cabot Trail just after Ingonish Beach. Enter the Cape Breton Highlands National Park. Then turn right towards the Keltic Lodge. Follow the road and watch for signage.

A Lookout Point Located Along the Middle Head Trail

Additional Links

For more information on hiking trails located near Cabot Shores, please refer to the following: