I have heard many people comment on how hard of a hike it is, but I would personally rank it moderate. I would say it is an easy hike in terms of how smooth the trail is (there are no technical bits and minimal elevation gain) and because no navigation is required; however it is 12 km so I would call it moderate for length.
When we planned our trip to Cape Split, we thought it would be a fun day hike with our 5 year-old. We expected her to make it most of the way in and that we’d have to carry her intermittently on the way out since the trail is 12 km after all. After hiking the first five years of her life though, this kid was ready! She hiked the whole way in without breaking a sweat and hiked most of the way out with some occasional piggybacking during the last 2 km. Her only complaint was that we weren’t camping because she wanted to hang her food in the trees away from the bears! Talk about proud mama moment!!
“But I wanted to hang our food in the trees away from the bears!”
Pack a picnic for this hike for sure! The cape is the best part, so you should sit and enjoy the view when you get there. There are hundreds of gulls just past the cape (and potentially chicks depending on when you go!). Bring binoculars for kiddos to check them out. If you are really up for an adventure, you can descend to the beach (depending on tides). I would only do this if you are a more experienced hiker and understand how dramatic the Fundy tides are. We did not descend to the beach with the kiddo.
If you are looking to camp nearby, check out Blomidon Provincial Park. There is also a lovely hike at Blomidon along the Jodrey trail.
A Cautionary Note
Sea cliffs are incredibly dangerous! It is not a joke. People who are careless can and do fall off, and some die. Whether you are hiking this trail as an adult or as an adult with child, make sure no one goes too close to the edge! With respect to kiddos, I say parents know their children best. If you have a wandering 2 year-old, save this trail for another time. If you have a strapped on baby or a trail-smart preschooler, go for it but never let that child out of your sight while on the cliff.
Info for baby-slinging folks
- Keep kids away from the cliff edge! This is not a hike for toddlers (see note above on cliffs).
- Use a kidcarrier for this one. It is not a stroller-friendly hike.
- There are outhouses at the beginning and at the midpoint of the trail. This is a long hike for kiddos though so be prepared should nature call before you get to the outhouse!
- It is usually quite windy on a cape, so try to put hats with chin straps on the wee ones so theirs hats don’t blow away.