Construction + Trail Addition at North Highlands Nordic

by Cross Country Nova Scotia Staff, November 25, 2020 (updated January 6, 2021)


A strong community of volunteers is ensuring the legacy of North Highlands Nordic continues, as the walls of a new groomer building rise up, during a multi-phase infrastructure project.  

Situated in a natural snowbelt, lies the 12km of expertly groomed cross-country ski and snowshoe trail system.  Yearly snow accumulation averages 393.1cm, as reported by Environment Canada (climate normals station data), ensuring a dependable base of snow for the trails.  The club is located in Cape North on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia.

North Highlands Nordic is developing a more skier-friendly base of operations, located between Cabot Building Supplies and the Northern Victoria Community Centre.  New construction for 2021 includes an access trail spanning 300m, parking area, and groomer building with a heated storage area.  The access trail connects this new home-base to the existing trail network. A new chalet will be constructed for 2022.  The club anticipates the improvements will go a long way towards attracting even more skiers to the region and help to continue establishing the northern Cape Breton region as a true and dependable winter destination.  

This season, the club will operate out of the heated storage area, situated in the groomer building.  At this location, you will find friendly folks who work at the office, and ski rentals.

August 10th, 2020 – Access Trail Construction

North Highlands Nordic has a special place in our province’s history of bringing outdoor enthusiasts together on skis and snowshoes, since its formation in 1977.  A catalyst for developing a love for cross-country skiing in the area, North Highlands Nordic is our province’s longest-running club with the highest community membership. Volunteers have worked to attract national attention to the region and develop competitive cross-country skiing. North Highlands Nordic is the first Nova Scotia club to host two national events – 1987 Canada Winter Games and 1989 Jr. Canadian Nationals. It has been the home training ground for some of our province’s top competitive skiers who have achieved gold at events including the Gatineau Loppet, Canadian Birkebeiner, Jr. Canadian Nationals, and regionally-hosted races. NHN skiers have also competed at the World University Games and World Cup races. North Highlands Nordic has significantly impacted people’s lives through sport for over 30 years. At the heart its success, lies exceptionally dedicated people with a “can-do” attitude – bar none.  

The infrastructure project is a fine example of North Highland Nordic’s many achievements through cooperation of community.  Supporters are coming together to donate a wide-range of skill-sets and resources including:  heavy equipment operators, builders, online fundraisers, take-out dinner organizers, land donors, corporate sponsors, and more.  A common vision is being realized to ensure the health and wellness of a community, and benefit countless future generations.

Plan to spend time exploring North Highlands Nordic this season.  You’ll be sure to enjoy the trails, world-class scenery of the Cape Breton Highlands, and the company you’ll find in a truly awesome place.  For more information, visit


Follow along the journey of this historic build. Enjoy the photos below for highlights of North Highland Nordic’s construction, fundraisers, and updates.  For additional photos visit, North Highland Nordic – Building Project or Facebook.

August 6th, October 26th

November 13th

Foundation for the groomer building with heated storage area (photographed left).  Volunteers secure a new sign for North Highlands Nordic (photographed right).

November 18th

November 18th

Very exciting!  On November 18th, 2020, volunteers work to put the roofing in place.

November 20th

Next up – closing the rafters.

November 20th

Weather-tight on November 20th!  Ready for all of the approaching snowstorms, cross-country skiers and snowshoers.  This season, the club will operate out of the heated storage area, situated in this building.  At this location, you will find friendly folks who work at the office, ski rentals, and washroom.

November 24th

December 4th

NHN Facebook: Friday, December 4th. Pouring cement floor in Groomer Building. Great turn out. Big thanks to Beaudie and his crew for their help and to Scotiabank for the great lunch of pizza and chicken for the volunteers. And to Kevin, as always there!

December 4th

December 7th

A door and a window were installed on this date – getting closer to completion.

December 23rd

Garage door was installed on December 23rd. Ready for many seasons ahead.

Volunteers Supporting Volunteers!

Paula Michaelis, NHN President, rounds up support for volunteers working on the construction tasks.  

Fundraising Events

Many volunteers are supporting this project.  Photographed above are volunteers working at a spaghetti supper fundraiser on November 8th, 2020.

Current Fundraisers

Have you enjoyed spending time at North Highlands Nordic?  There are many ways to support the continued legacy of this club, as listed below.

If you would like to make a charitable donation, please visit Support a Club Project.  

Club Updates


>NHN:  Updates + Donations

>The Ultimate Experience at North Highlands Nordic

>Daniel Murray – Bryan Scallion Award

>Rejean Chamberland – Official of the Year

>North Highlanders Ski Team

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