Cape Breton County
2.6km Partial Loop
Coast, History, Woodland

Lighthouse Trail

You will never find a more historical hike then the Lighthouse Trail. The present day Louisbourg lighthouse is actually the fourth to be built on this point, the original being the first built in Canada, in 1734. Lighthouse point was the sight of the English attack on Battery Island which guards the entrance to Louisbourg Harbour. Battery point was a first deference for the Fortress of Louisbourg, the largest historical reconstruction in North America. About one hour down the trail you will find Wolfe’s cove, the actual site where the English landed with their canons. As you walk, think of the English troops dragging six cannons along these cliffs and bogs to the lighthouse.

The trail starts at the Louisbourg lighthouse and is well groomed and maintained for the first kilometer or so to Gun Landing. Here you have the choice of taking the loop back or you can continue on as far as Big Lorraine.

Big Lorraine

If you continue past Gun Landing to Big Lorraine, 6km away, You will find many quaint coves and knolls as well as many bogs and sinkholes (careful around these, I sunk up to my knee in one).

Lorraine Head, the sight of a 1900’s Irish immigrant shipwreck, the Astrea, is located about two hours into the trail. We found this was far enough to go for the day. But then again it was about 26 degrees that day, with very little shade on the coast.

There are many opportunities to take pictures and you will find much plant life and wildlife to keep you interested. One of the most unusual things about the plant life is the spongy feeling you get underfoot as you walk. These areas are all rock, with very little drainage; the vegetation grows on top of this terrain and therefore forms almost a waterbed affect.

You should be careful on this hike, there are many areas near cliffs and spots where the trail disappears and you are forced to follow the rugged coast.

CAUTION: The weather in this area, like most of Cape Breton, can change quickly. The rocks can become very slippery when the weather gets bad.
MapFrom the Locals
From the Locals
From the Sydney Bypass (route 125) take exit 8 toward Louisbourg. Drive about twenty minutes until you come to the town of Louisbourg. Just past the S&L Railway Museum, turn left onto Havenside Road. Follow this road (keeping to the right) until you come to the Louisbourg lighthouse and parking lot. The trail starts on the far side of the parking lot.
Photos by: wuttge, Calypso Orchid
One comment
  1. Courtney MacLeod July 6, 2016 at 4:06 pm

    Beautiful trail! Was pleasantly surprised with all of the history throughout the trail. Unfortunately, both our phones with cameras died…so we will have to head back another day for more pictures. Easy enough trail to complete, with boardwalks, but if you decide to be adventurous and climb down to the rocks, proper footwear is needed.

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