This trail is harder to find than you would think. After doing the Freshwater Lake Look Off trail Shannon & I headed on foot up the road, past the second park "permit purchase" booth to the Keltic Lodge turn-off. There we followed the road and signage markers for trail 28 and Ingonish Beach around by road.
If you are planning to take this trail after the Look Off trail then look for a small "cut" in the road bank to your right, just past the second park "permit purchase" booth. This will put you on Old Keltic Road a de-activated paved stretch that will lead you past the lakeside loop part of the trail on your right as you head for Ingonish Beach - it comes out near the soccer pitch area. The Lakeside loop entrance is right opposite a small pond and slough where you'll find a beaver lodge and hear the sound of what the local ranger called "wood frogs". From the description of the croak (found in a local flora/fauna type booklet) I believe this is the Leopard Frog. It sounds like a "snoring drone" and is hard to pin-point a first.
Taking the right loop entrance will lead you around a level trail that is and easy walk and can be ridden by bike as well being wheelchair accessible all the way around. You will see Irises, softwoods galor and, if the weather is warm, there will likely be swimmers in the enclosed swimming area which has a nice sand beach.
Coming out at Ingonish Beach you can marvel at the sandy sweep of the beach (backed by round granite cobbles) reaching around to the headlands where the Keltic Lodge overlooks the bay, beach and lake!
Being on the ocean this means cooling breezes on a hot day. A concession stand is located at the Southeast corner of the parking area so you can pick up a snack or drink if you feel the need.
see above for locality directions:
Head North to Cape Breton, once over the Canso Causeway head north on the Cabot Trail until you get to Ingonish. For those not used to narrow steep roads going up & around Cape Smokey will be an intimidating experience!! We did it in sunshine and in fog. As Elmer Fudd wouldh have said "Be Vewwwwwwwy Cawefullll" here.
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