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Cape Breton Highlands National Park

Date: May 21st 2021 until October 24th 2021

The world-famous Cabot Trail weaves through 950 km2 (366 sq. mi.) of magnificent highlands and coastal wilderness in northern Cape Breton. The park offers 26 hiking trails (from easy strolls to challenging climbs), camping  for families and adventurers alike, world-class golf and cycling, incredible wildlife, relaxing beaches, breathtaking look-offs, and more. Bordered by the Gulf of Saint Lawrence and the Atlantic Ocean, you are never far from a delicious feast of lobster, fresh from the sea around you. 

A park pass is required for use of all services and facilities in the national park, including campgrounds, the Highlands Links Golf Course, and the Keltic Lodge at the Highlands. Revenues are used to maintain and improve park services. You can purchase a park pass at one of our visitor centres.

Visitor Centre locations 

West entrance (Chéticamp): 16 Visitor Centre Road, GPS coordinates N46 38.784 W60 57.029 

East entrance (Ingonish): 37637 Cabot Trail, GPS coordinates N46 38.450 W60 24.233 

Parks Canada’s knowledgeable staff will launch your adventure by providing an itinerary tailored to your needs and interests. Along with your park pass and map, get safety tips and informed suggestions on activities and places to discover.  If travelling with young adventurers, ask about Parks Canada Xplorers and Club Parka activities.

In Chéticamp, stay connected with free Wi-Fi and visit the nature bookstore to pick up field guides, local cultural history books, and gift items. Charge up at our electric vehicle charging stations.

In Ingonish, check out the interactive map to help you plan your visit and take a little something home from the official Parks Canada merchandise. 

Cape Breton Highlands National Park’s operating season is from mid-May to mid-October, with full services in July and August. The Cabot Trail is open year-round

For more information on the park’s fees and services, including seasonal passes, visit

Eco-travellers delight


Craft a sustainable and eco-conscious adventure.


The natural landscape of the park is not only beautiful, but rare. Several dozen species of rare or threatened plants and animals can be found here, as well as old growth forests of international importance. Connect with these natural wonders on your visit and help protect the special ecology of this place. 


Electric vehicle charging stations located throughout the park offer a sustainable way to enjoy your dream road trip. You can find a list of charging stations and their locations here. 


Reduce your carbon footprint by cycling around Cape Breton Highlands National Park. Be one with the mountains as you cycle through coastal and inland regions of the world renowned Cabot Trail. Bike to nearby beaches and hiking trails from your campsite at Broad Cove (Broad Cove Beach), Chéticamp (Salmon Pools), and Ingonish Beach (Freshwater Lake) campgrounds. Some of our trails such as Clyburn Valley  and Le vieux chemin du Cap-Rouge  are also great for cycling. To learn more about cycling in Cape Breton Highlands National Park visit our website. 

Parks Canada works to ensure the natural beauty and biodiversity of the park is preserved for future generations to enjoy. Salmon population restoration, boreal forest conservation and Skyline Trail headland restoration are a few projects Parks Canada is currently focusing on.


Journey through cultures


Along with rolling mountains, river canyons, waterfalls, and dramatic headlands, the landscape is also imprinted with rich and diverse cultures. 


Since time immemorial, L’nu, also known as the Mi’kmaq have called this place home. Learn about the legend of maple syrup at MacIntosh Brook trail, through interpretive panels dedicated to this story. During the peak season, a Mi’kmaw storyteller invites you to experience a deeper connection through authentic songs, games, and gatherings.


The rich traditions of Acadian and Gaelic settlers are also woven throughout the landscape. Visit Le Chemin du Buttereau or the Lone Shieling for a taste of history, then visit one of the many vibrant communities that border the park to experience living languages, music, and culinary traditions. 


Thinking of visiting the iconic Skyline trail?


This popular trail offers awe-inspiring views of mountains, wildlife, and the sparkling Gulf of St. Lawrence. Visit the trail in the early morning to avoid crowds. You can help protect this spectacular view by staying on the designated boardwalk and following posted signs. The rare and fragile plantlife surrounding the trail has been damaged in recent years by visitors leaving the boardwalk and following social trails. Some of these lead dangerously close to cliff edges, and fines may be issued to visitors entering restricted areas. The Parks Canada conservation team has begun restoration efforts, but they need your help to let nature flourish in this area. Stay on the boardwalk and #ProtectTheView.


Hidden Gems


Why not take the trail less-travelled?  


Acadian Trail, climb 365 metres above the Chéticamp River for panoramic views of the Acadian coastline, the Chéticamp river valley and the park’s highland interior.

Aspy trail, named for the unique geologic feature of the Aspy fault escarpment, is a hidden gem in the heart of the park, featuring a steep climb, waterfalls, and total immersion in forest and wilderness.

Clyburn Valley, marvel at the spectacular stands of hardwood trees, boulders bigger than cars, old abandoned beaver ponds, meadows, apple trees and even the remains of an old gold mine. 

Broad Cove Mountain, travel through a dense forest of softwood to the top of Broad Cove Mountain for exceptional views of the rocky Atlantic coast, with Middle Head and Cape Smokey in the distance.



Cape Breton Highlands National Park is the perfect backdrop in any photographer’s dreams. From rugged coastal landscapes to towering highland vistas, nature photographers are sure to enjoy capturing every second they spend in Cape Breton Highlands National Park.


Drone flying is a popular hobby and useful in many fields of work (including photography). However, drones can pose risks to visitors, disturb wildlife, and lead to negative experiences for other visitors to Cape Breton Highlands National Park. For these reasons, Parks Canada strictly limits the use of drones.


Flying a drone without park or site approval may result in law enforcement action and a fine of up to $25000.

You and your dog

Travelling with a beloved pet? Be sure to keep them on leash at all times, for their safety, the safety of wildlife, and out of respect to other visitors in the park. 

Dogs are not permitted on the Skyline trail, the supervised portion of Ingonish beach, or in oTENTik units at campgrounds. Pets should not be left unattended in vehicles, particularly during the hot summer months.  

We welcome you and your pet on leash to explore other trails and day use areas throughout the park. Thank you for cleaning up after your pet. Pick up droppings and place them in appropriate refuse containers. 

If you are travelling with a service animal, please contact us for more information:

Parks Canada Discovery Pass 

Get ready for exciting new experiences with the Parks Canada Discovery Pass – 450 000 km2 of memories await! Your gateway to history, nature, and adventure from coast to coast to coast. Get the pass that provides access to all Parks Canada administered sites for 12 full months from date of purchase.

Get curious about natural and cultural treasures in Canada, hear stories from Indigenous cultures, or explore hidden gems. Do it all with the Parks Canada Discovery Pass. 

Call  902-224-2306 to order your pass, or buy online. Business hours are 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday to Friday, except statutory holidays.

Family/Group (up to 7 people in a vehicle) – $139.40

Adult (18-64) – $69.19

Senior (65+) – $59.17

Youth (17 & under): Free 

Important Information 

Major credit cards are accepted, and passes will be mailed out to the recipient. Passes are non-transferrable and cover admission fees at Parks Canada administered places only. Additional fees for programs and experiences may apply. When planning your 2021 vacation, please be mindful of COVID-19 measures that may be in place throughout the year. 

Experiences Nearby

Places to Stay Nearby