Skiing in Northern Cape Breton

Skiing at the Top of the Island includes track skiing on the groomed trails at the North Highland Nordic ski area,  and on the similarly groomed trails in the Cape Breton Highlands National Park .   For backcountry enthusiasts, guided tours into both the national park and the Aspy Fault Wilderness Protected Area offers touring skiers mountain vistas while skiing on level terrain. For downhill skiers, Ski Cape Smokey, a half hour’s drive away, features a 1,000 foot vertical overlooking the Atlantic, with quad chairs and surface lifts.

The backcountry ski season generally begins in mid-December, while the North Highland Nordic facility generally has groomed trails in time for Christmas, hosting an annual Christmas Race series that is over a decade old.(A testament to the snow conditions in the region, the North Highland Nordic group hosts a number of cross country competitive events each year, and since it’s opening in 1986 has only on one occasion cancelled an event due to lack of snow.)

Grooming continues at both facilities into late March, and sometimes into early April, and in years of heavier snowfall favorable backcountry conditions exist in the mountains until early May.

Whatever technique one chooses, skiing at the Top of the Island offers a combination of scenery, wildlife, dependable snow conditions, uncrowded trails and friendly hosts.

Cabot Trail Outdoor Adventures
Fax: 1-888-616-1689
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Year round guided experiences in the spectacular wilderness settings of Northern Nova Scotia. Hiking, paddling, cycling, snowshoeing and ski tours for all ages and abilities. Lets explore the Cabot Trail together.

North Highlands Nordic
29325 Cabot Trail , Nova Scotia Canada Phone: 1-902-383-2479
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We offer a wonderful winter vacation experience with cross country skiing and snowshoeing on the scenic majesty of Cape Breton’s Cabot Trail.

The North Highlands Nordic Ski Club was founded in 1977 by a small group of enthusiastic cross country skiers who shared a love of winter and of the splendid scenery in the Northeast Highlands Area of Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia.

The club is proud to have hosted a number of major national and regional ski races including the 1987 Canada Winter Games, 1989 Canadian Junior Nationals, and the 1986, 1987, 1994 and 1998 Atlantic Championships and numerous Loppets and Provincial Championships.


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