The trail system consists of a series of stacked loops or circuits allowing hikers to enjoy routes ranging from a short 20 minute, 3 km hike to a 4 hour, 12 km hike. There is a trailhead sign and maps at all trail intersections.
The Bridges and Ponds Loop
The Bridges and Ponds Loop starts at the parking area and travels through a hay field. Shortly after you will enter a mixed forested area and crisscross a clear gravel bottomed brook. The habitat here varies greatly so be on the look out for a variety of wildlife; deer, beaver, coyote, fox, muskrat, mink, eagle, owls, ducks, woodpeckers, kingfisher to name a few. You can also find sinkholes here; evidence of underlying gypsum formations.
The Back Loop
The Back Loop begins from the Ravines Loop and follows the brook upstream through a hardwood valley containing sugar maple, yellow birch and beech. Shortly after the hilltop you will reach a lookoff offering views of the hemlock/ spruce ravines of the Skyline Loop below. As you drop down you will move from hardwood through a stand of spruce and hemlock, returning to the brook at the Ravines Loop.
The Ravines Loop
The Ravines Loop branches off of the skyline loop and switchbacks down into a ravine through a forest of Red Spruce and Eastern Hemlock. The trail then handrails a clear brook downstream under a canopy of maple trees. Soon, you will begin to climb up the other side of the ravine through hemlocks. Part way up you have a choice to either continue up to the Skyline lookoff or take a less rigorous route to join Skyline. The latter route crosses several gullies as you travel along the hillside.
The Skyline Loop
The Skyline Loop continues from the top of the Lookoff Loop and follows the hardwood ridge at the top of the mountain. From here you will drop into a steep sided ravine; home to large old growth Red Spruce and Eastern Hemlock. The understorey here is open due to the shade that the hemlocks provide; giving a hiker the sense of being surrounded by giants. A look-off provides a view of the surrounding landscape and ocean waters. On the descent you will pass through forest stands containing 10 species of old growth hardwood and softwood.
The Lookoff Loop
The Lookoff Loop is characterized by a hearty climb to a view of Antigonish Harbour. You will climb steadily through a young mixed forest to a hardwood forest near the top of the mountain. The return loop runs along a section of old woods road.
The Highfield Loop
The Highfield Loop climbs to offer views of Antigonish Harbour and the coast of Georges Bay after passing through an old pasture now replanted with native tree species. The trail also takes you past a sink hole lake and sections of old growth hemlock, spruce, and pine.