Cape Breton Highlands National Park

Vacation Travel Guide
Ingonish which includes rugged coastline

Hike through forests, go looking for dolphins and whales and swim in freshwater lakes at this spectacular park in the north of Cape Breton Island.

Explore Cape Breton Highlands National Park and find deep river canyons, steep cliffs, beaches, forests and mountains. The diverse wilderness is set between the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of St. Lawrence and incorporates part of the Cabot Trail, a long scenic highway.

Driving or cycling the Cabot Trail is a great way to see the park. You will travel along the park’s coastlines and over hills. Stop at the many lookout points to admire the beautiful scenery. Experience the natural surroundings by taking one of the hiking trails, ranging from gentle walks to challenging treks. Some of the park’s 26 routes are suitable for cyclists.

Follow the trails through thick forests to more lookout points. As you make your way through the trees, along coastal paths and by rivers, see how many examples of the local wildlife you can spot. There are approximately 230 species of birds, including bald eagles and hawks. Look for beaver, moose, raccoon and the elusive Canadian lynx.

Go to cliff-top viewing points to search for dolphins, seals and whales. July to October is the best time for whale spotting, especially from the Mackenzie Mountain Look-off and Lakie’s Head Look-off.

Swim in the cool waters of the park’s freshwater lakes and Atlantic Ocean beaches. Warren Lake is the largest lake, while Black Brook Beach is one of several places with saltwater and freshwater swimming areas.

Cape Breton Highlands National Park sits on the northern peninsula of Cape Breton Island. It is a 2-hour drive from Sydney and about a 5-hour drive from Halifax. Stay overnight at one of eight campgrounds, which are open from May to October. Additional accommodation is available at the park’s villages and communities, including Ingonish, Neil’s Harbour and Pleasant Bay.

The park is open year-round, although heavy winter snowfall restricts access to some roads and trails. Visit the park’s website for details of entry and camping fees.

Top Hotels Close to Cape Breton Highlands National Park

Knotty Pine Cottages
Knotty Pine Cottages
3.5 out of 5
39111 Cabot Trail, Ingonish Ferry, NS
The price is $87 per night from Jan 18 to Jan 19
Situated in Ingonish Ferry, this beach motel is 1.4 mi (2.3 km) from Ski Cape Smokey and within 6 mi (10 km) of Cape Breton Highlands National Park and Highlands ...
4.4/5 Wonderful! (105 reviews)
"Great cottage. Amazing views"

Reviewed on Oct 31, 2021

Knotty Pine Cottages
Mountainside Cabin along The Cabot Trail #1
Mountainside Cabin along The Cabot Trail #1
Big Intervale Cape North, NS
The price is $159 per night from Jan 20 to Jan 21
Situated in the mountains, this cabin is 0.8 mi (1.3 km) from Cape Breton Highlands National Park and within 9 mi (15 km) of North Highlands Community Museum ...
4.8/5 Exceptional! (26 reviews)
"Nice place and cute cottages"

Reviewed on Jan 1, 2022

Mountainside Cabin along The Cabot Trail #1
MacToimin Cottage(Private Hot Tub)Cabot Trail, Pleasant Bay,N.S.
MacToimin Cottage(Private Hot Tub)Cabot Trail, Pleasant Bay,N.S.
Pleasant Bay, NS
Situated in the mountains, this cottage is 0.5 mi (0.8 km) from Whale Interpretive Centre and within 12 mi (20 km) of Cape Breton Highlands National Park and ...
4.3/5 Excellent! (3 reviews)
"Property was lovely, hot tub was wonderful but the lack of a proper wifi connection made my travel companion nuts!"

Reviewed on Sep 17, 2021

MacToimin Cottage(Private Hot Tub)Cabot Trail, Pleasant Bay,N.S.
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Plan a trip to see Cape Breton Highlands National Park

Hearthstone Inn Sydney
Hearthstone Inn Port Hawkesbury
Cambridge Suites Hotel Sydney

Popular places to visit in Cape Breton Highlands National Park

Cape Breton Highlands National Park

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Best Lodging Options Near Cape Breton Highlands National Park

Knotty Pine Cottages
Knotty Pine Cottages
3.5 out of 5
39111 Cabot Trail, Ingonish Ferry, NS
The price is $87 per night from Jan 18 to Jan 19
Knotty Pine Cottages
Mountainside Cabin along The Cabot Trail #1
Mountainside Cabin along The Cabot Trail #1
Big Intervale Cape North, NS
The price is $159 per night from Jan 20 to Jan 21
Mountainside Cabin along The Cabot Trail #1
MacToimin Cottage(Private Hot Tub)Cabot Trail, Pleasant Bay,N.S.
MacToimin Cottage(Private Hot Tub)Cabot Trail, Pleasant Bay,N.S.
Pleasant Bay, NS
MacToimin Cottage(Private Hot Tub)Cabot Trail, Pleasant Bay,N.S.
MAPLE RIDGE CABINS
MAPLE RIDGE CABINS
27340 Cabot Trail, Big Intervale Cape North, NS
MAPLE RIDGE CABINS
Highland Glamping
Highland Glamping
Pleasant Bay, NS
Highland Glamping
Highland  Sunrise Suite (Private Hot Tub)Cabot Trail ,Pleasant Bay,N.S.
Highland Sunrise Suite (Private Hot Tub)Cabot Trail ,Pleasant Bay,N.S.
Pleasant Bay, NS
Highland Sunrise Suite (Private Hot Tub)Cabot Trail ,Pleasant Bay,N.S.
Hikers Suite (Private Hot Tub) <br>Cabot Trail, Pleasant Bay ,N.S.
Hikers Suite (Private Hot Tub) <br>Cabot Trail, Pleasant Bay ,N.S.
Pleasant Bay, NS
Hikers Suite (Private Hot Tub) <br>Cabot Trail, Pleasant Bay ,N.S.
The Mountain View Motel & Cottages
The Mountain View Motel & Cottages
2.5 out of 5
23659 Cabot Trail Road, Pleasant Bay, NS
The Mountain View Motel & Cottages
Comfort and Convenience - 0.5kms from Cabot Trail
Comfort and Convenience - 0.5kms from Cabot Trail
Cape Breton Highlands National Park, NS
Comfort and Convenience - 0.5kms from Cabot Trail
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.