Branch Pond Look-off Trail – Cape Breton Highlands National Park
Note: Infrastructure improvements in the park may cause delays or reduce services while we complete this important work. We appreciate your understanding at this time.
The trail explores Acadian, boreal and taiga land regions and leads to a viewpoint offering an impressive view of the Atlantic coast and the park interior plateau, with Cape Smokey and Cape North appearing as miniature mountains in the distance.
Trailhead: Turn off the Cabot Trail onto the Warren Lake Road. Immediately turn right onto Mary Ann Falls Road and follow it for about 6 km to the small parking area.
Significant Feature: Highland plateau, barrens
Length: 8.4 km (5.2 mi) return
Hiking Time: 2.5–3 hours to the look-off
Elevation: 100–296 m (330–950 ft.)
Gentle climb. Rugged sections.
Trail Rating: Moderate
GPS Co-ordinates for Trailhead (in decimal degrees):
Lat: 46.753010 Long: -60.364957
Park is open year-round but full visitor services are only available from mid-May until mid-October. A park pass is required for hiking or use of other services in the park; park entry fee applies. Check in at the Parks Canada visitor centres in Chéticamp (16 Visitor Centre Rd., situated on the west side of the park) or in Ingonish (37637 Cabot Trail, on the east side of the park) to obtain passes, information on visitor safety and any other information you may need, including a trail location map.
For your comfort and safety:
– Do not approach, disturb or feed wild animals.
– Take along appropriate clothing – rapid weather changes often occur on the plateau or along the coast.
– Carry water with you, especially for longer trails, climbs or open barrens.
– Bring insect repellent as black flies and mosquitoes are common all summer.
– Mountain bikes are permitted only where indicated, for public safety and protection of the environment.
– Stay on designated trails and boardwalks to protect fragile vegetation.
– Do not throw food or scraps along the trails or roads.
– Read “Keep it Wild, Keep it Safe” brochure, available at park visitor centres and on the Parks Canada website.
– Recreational drone use is prohibited within the national park for the safety of wildlife and other visitors.