Explore the most popular backpacking trails in Nova Scotia with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

3 days ago

A challenging trail with a very steady ascent to the top but the payoff is certainly worth it. This trail rivals Skyline for the view from the top. absolutely fantastic!!

12 days ago

Best of the bests..don't miss out the second view point just after the main view point . it is amazing

Being a runner, I do this the first loop 1-2 times a year. A challenging course which pushes the limits of my abilities. When you do get to one of the look-offs, the views are breath-taking. Plan at least 3-4 hours if you plan to walk the first loop.

Best view!

17 days ago

Franey does not disappoint! The view from the top was amazing! It is pretty demanding but doable for sure. We came back the road and were glad we did because the ascent was tough. Has to be one of the best hikes in Cape Breton!

Only did first loop. with Megan, Holly and BobbySue

1 month ago

Heaven on earth..

Just hiked this for the first time with some friends who do it annually, we did the loop in 1 day ... which was not easy ... and didn’t really give the opportunity to see the beauty at each lookout ... would recommend taking two days

Very technical, but no markings!

Visited from Sweden and decided to try it out. Beautiful trail (surprisingly familiar type of environment for a Swede) which is well marked and quite technical. Rocks, roots, some pretty steep inclines and overgrown sections. A little muddy in a few places but no problem to keep your feet dry this day. I do a fair bit of trail running and really liked the technical terrain which for sure can be challenging if you are not used to "climbing" inclines. Did not see a living soul during my hike, apart from a few bugs when I stopped for view, water or snacks. Completed it in 4 hours in a fairly quick and steady pace with a few shorter stops. Loved the lakes and the parts where the forest had a "troll"-ish feel to it. Was tempted to go for a swim in the lakes but decided against getting wet this time. :-)

Lots of bugs at this time of year but the wind held them off. Lots of rocks, roots, and hills on this trail so wear good shoes and prepare for some vigorous hiking. Beautiful trail that’s great to do solo or with company. Good look off and resting spots for a water/snack break, cooking, camping, or simply just resting.

2 months ago

Wow! What an incredible hike. A group of 7 of us did this hike today (on May 1st). It definitely isn’t an easy trail, but it is also not hard. Moderate is a fair rating. Very steep at some point, but only for shorter spurts. I would recommend waiting until mid-May if you’re planning on going. The descending part of the loop was still VERY snowy and had a lot of fallen trees, so it might actually be wise to descend the same way as the ascend until the snow is gone. All of our socks got incredibly wet in our hiking boots. Still worth it for the amazing views at the top, and the delightful hike. It was cloudy/foggy when we began, but by the time we got to the top, we made it over the fog and it was great. It took about 3.5 hours with a substantial break at the top. Such a fun time!

The best trail I’ve been on. It’s a hard days hike to finish this in one day. I hike this trail 2-3 times a year in winter as well as the summer. I often camp one night at the half way point.

Great trail if you do a shorter loop for dogs and day hikes as well.

Absolutely the most beautiful place in Nova Scotia ❤️❤️

on Franey Trail

3 months ago

amazing view. bring a beer to the top to enjoy the hard work. I suggest going up and down the same side. the windy road back down is easier but feels like it takes forever and not scenic at all.

Some newly felled trees across trail on West side of Ash Lake, otherwise in great shape this spring.

Simply Beautiful.

6 months ago

hiked this a few years ago. loved it!

Nice in the fall. Ash Lake is quiet and lovely. It's really good to record and compare with the map as the trails can be a little faint at times. There are tapes and paint at tricky spots though plus some signs. I didn't go the Hobson's Lake route but picked a different way in and back.

8 months ago

wonderful place!

great views. plenty of long climbs but space between them to gather your steam back.
Can be done in 3 days, 4 at a more moderate pace.

9 months ago

We were suppose to hike Skyline on the west side of Cape Breton, but fog rolled in. Franey was our next choice and did not disappoint at all. Great hike, great views. Up and back as the loop is not challenging.

10 months ago

Great hike. Incredible views of the Ingonish area. This was our first time hiking Franey. We've hiked Skyline numerous times. The views from Franey are more breath taking then Skyline.

10 months ago

Amazing view

great for a day hike

on Franey Trail

11 months ago

Nice views, a lake, some small streams. I recommend going up counter clockwise for an easier accent.

on Franey Trail

11 months ago

Loved the scenery

This trail was challenging and exhilarating all at the same time. The first day we hiked 12 ish from visitors center to Refugee. There were 3 climbs and descents that were said to be 45 degrees steep and one km in length each way. It was a long, slow zigzag descent and an even slower ascent on the other side. With each down we knew there was an up coming. Honestly, I'd rather go up than down.
Day 2 -we hiked 8ish km from Refugee to Big Bald Brooke. It was a spectacular day and absolutely beautiful scenery. There were some ups and downs, but not like day 1. The camp sites at big bald were lovely and we cooled off and cleaned up in the brooke right beside our camp site.
Day 3- we planned on hiking to Seal Cove (7 km) but things changed and we decided to boogy out to Eatonville where were parked a car. Day 3 was rainy and foggy in the morning. However, even with the fog it was obvious that the views would be sellar on a clear day.
TIPs: not for the faint of mind or heart.
TIP 2: take electrolyte drink or tabs to replenish what was lost in sweat
TIP 3: purify all water!!!
TIP 4: Be sure to hang food in a tree. 10' high, 5' out from the tree to avoid bears thinking you are the restaurant.

Above all... SMILE and enjoy

Beautiful trail, but no marking!

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