The idea of a long-distance footpath with spectacular views of the Northumberland Strait was originally formulated by Gordon Young of Pictou in 2003. For years, he lamented the lack of long distance hiking trails in Nova Scotia so he would go elsewhere -- to other parts of Canada or to other countries. When hiking in these places, his mind would wander "back home" -- where you can climb 1,000 feet and have fantastic vistas of the water and islands -- and he would wonder why Nova Scotia didn't have the same experience.
So a few years later, Gordon approached some key government officials with the idea. One meeting lead to another and then more meetings followed. More and more people became interested in the concept to the point where there are now county-based volunteer groups in Cumberland, Colchester, Pictou counties and all are working simultaneously on sections of the trail within their counties.
On June 07th, 2008, the Cape to Cape Trail was officially launched at Stonehame Lodge & Chalets on Fitzpatrick Mountain in Scotsburn, Pictou County. Pictou County also hosted the 1st Annual Cape to Cape Trail Building Weekend and built new sections of trail on Fitzpatrick Mountain and along Six Mile Brook
During the summer of 2008, the Cobequid Eco-Trails Society (CE-TS) hosted many volunteer trail building events and in the fall of 2008, they officially opened the 6.2 km Rogart Mountain Trail, in Earltown, Colchester County. The Kenomee Trail System in the Economy River Wilderness Area near Economy is also designated as part of the Cape to Cape Trail and an additional 28 km is currently being developed in the Earltown Lake area and Gully Lake Wilderness Area.
Antigonish County plans to break trail this summer with the Cape George Heritage Trails designated to be part of the Cape Trail.