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Overview

Cape Breton Highlands National Park covers an immense tract of land, about 600 square miles (950 sq km), at the north end of Cape Breton Island, offering some of the world's most spectacular views of the meeting of land and sea. Between Ingonish Beach on the east side and Pleasant Bay on the west there lies a vast highland wilderness. The Cabot Trail, a solitary road, winds up over the steep headlands and cliffs providing outstanding views in all directions — of forested and moorland hillsides above and around, and rocky coast below. The park has six accessible campgrounds located along the periphery that offer a variety of camping ...

Cape Breton Highlands National Park covers an immense tract of land, about 600 square miles (950 sq km), at the north end of Cape Breton Island, offering some of the world's most spectacular views of the meeting of land and sea. Between Ingonish Beach on the east side and Pleasant Bay on the west there lies a vast highland wilderness. The Cabot Trail, a solitary road, winds up over the steep headlands and cliffs providing outstanding views in all directions — of forested and moorland hillsides above and around, and rocky coast below. The park has six accessible campgrounds located along the periphery that offer a variety of camping experiences and it also has one remote campsite on the sea. Hiking is a popular activity in the park and there are 25 trails varying in length from less than two miles to more than nine miles. Some climb up over the headlands for expansive views, while others may choose to follow the route of the Cheticamp River through its gorge. Swimming is available in both fresh water and saltwater, and while excellent fishing is available it has some restrictions. In winter, several trails are groomed for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, although permits are required for these activities.

Barbara Rogers
About the Expert

Barbara Radcliffe Rogers has written or coauthored more than 30 guidebooks, including The Portugal Traveler, Drive Around Portugal, City Spots Munich, City Spots Helsinki, City Spots Stockholm, Eating New England, and the Maine section of Thomas Cook's Independent Traveller USA.

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Barbara Rogers for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Best to visit June through September but it is pleasant, though cool, a month earlier or later. Some attractions are open only in the summer and fall.