Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, is a scenic wonderland. Rolling hills, vast ocean vistas, wildlife and, of course, friendly people! The city of Sydney is the urban centre of the island, and while many visitors head from here into the national park to get their outdoor fix, anyone in Sydney—local or tourist—need not drive far for a hike.

There are a plentitude of trails in and around Sydney. Here are 10 of our favourites.

Cape Perce

Length: 7.7 km

Elevation gain: 65 m

Rated as moderate, this is a beautiful out-and-back trail that takes you along the water all the way. The trail is accessible year-round and it’s the perfect hike to watch for birds and a variety of marine life. Be sure to bring your camera for this one!

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Ironville Falls

Length: 4.2 km

Elevation gain: 89 m

This out-and-back trail will take you through the woods to Ironville Falls. Rated as moderate, be sure to wear sturdy hiking boots for this one. The falls are beautiful, and it’s possible to get close to them. The trailhead is located just off Barrachois Road.

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Fairy Hole Trail

Length: 2.7 km

Elevation gain: 108 m

Fairy Hole is a gorgeous, out-and-back trail that will take you along a ridge overlooking the ocean. There is access down to the water, but hikers will have to navigate down a steep slope, bypassing rocks, and using ropes. Be sure to wear proper hiking boots, the ground can be uneven in spots. Once you’re down at the water, there are caves to explore, as well—like the namesake Fairy Hole.

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Gabarus Gull Cove

Length: 12.7 km

Elevation gain: 241 m

Situated within the Gabarus Wilderness Area, this is a stunning trail that takes you along the water’s edge and then loops around to come back down the same trail. The trail is rated as moderate, and proper hiking boots are a must for this trail. The trail is well maintained and previous hikers have indicated there are maps available at the trailhead, as well as parking.

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Dalem Lake Loop

Length: 2.4 km

Elevation gain: 42 m

This trail provides an easy walk around Dalem Lake. There’s access to the lake, as well as picnic tables set up along the trail. This is a great option for the whole family; the trail is mostly packed gravel, which makes it easy to bring a stroller along as well.

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East Bay Hills Trail

Length: 3.1 km

Elevation gain: 94 m

This is an easy loop trail that will get you out of the car and stretching your legs. The trail is well groomed and it’ll take you through wooded areas. If you’re going during the warmer months, be sure to pack bug spray. There are boardwalks and benches along East Bay Hills Trail.

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Green Link Rotary Park Trail

Length: 3.2 km

Elevation gain: 29 m

Situated in the middle of Sydney, this trail is a great option if you don’t want to go too far from the city. The trail is a gravel footpath and you’ll find a river and a waterfall along the way. Dogs are welcome on this trail.

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Coxheath Hills Wilderness Trail

Length: 6.3 km

Elevation gain: 249 m

The Coxheath Hills Wilderness Trail is rated as moderate and takes you up the face of a mountain. Once at the top, the trail will start to level out. You’ll also find Pittman Lodge at the top. The trail features some beautiful bridges and a waterfall, as well as a sweeping view from the top. Dogs are allowed on this trail, as long as they’re kept on a leash.

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Dominion Beach Trail

Length: 3.9 km

Elevation gain: 20 m

Located not too far from Sydney, the Dominion Beach Trail is an out-and-back hike that takes you across a peninsula. The walk is relatively flat, making this a great trail for many skill levels. And with these kinds of views, don’t forget to bring your camera along for this one! Dogs are allowed to use this trail, as long as they’re kept on a leash.

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Baille Ard Nature Trail

Length: 2.7 km

Elevation gain: 49 m

An out-and-back trail through the woods, this is a great trail for all skill levels. The trails are well groomed and the views are beautiful, so bring your camera. Also keep an eye out for unique birds along the way! There are a few small streams along the way, as well. During the warmer months, be sure to bring along bug spray.

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