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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

Keltic Lodge At The Highlands
Keltic Lodge At The Highlands
2.5 out of 5
383 Keltic in Rd, Ingonish Beach, NS, B0C 1L0
The price is $96 per night from Feb 8 to Feb 9
$96
per night
Feb 8 - Feb 9
Stay at this hotel in Ingonish Beach. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking, and an outdoor pool. Popular attractions Middle Head Trailhead and Highlands Links are located ...
Keltic Lodge At The Highlands
Skyline Cabins
Skyline Cabins
2 out of 5
37759 Cabot Trail, Ingonish Beach, NS, B0C 1L0
Stay at this motel in Ingonish Beach. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking, and a 24-hour front desk. Our guests praise the helpful staff and the comfy beds in our ...
4.6/5 Wonderful! (505 reviews)
"This place was great! The location was amazing, the cabin was clean and cozy, and the owners were wonderful."

Reviewed on Oct 17, 2022

Skyline Cabins
The Mountain View Motel & Cottages
The Mountain View Motel & Cottages
2.5 out of 5
23659 Cabot Trail Road, Pleasant Bay, NS, B0E 2P0
Stay at this business-friendly motel in Pleasant Bay. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking, and breakfast. Our guests praise the helpful staff and the comfy rooms in ...
3.7/5 Good! (495 reviews)
"This was a great place to stay on our trip around the Cabot Trail. The staff were excellent, the room comfortable, and the restaurant quite good...AND they had live music the night we were there!!"

Reviewed on Oct 25, 2022

The Mountain View Motel & Cottages
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.

Popular places to visit


Best Lodging Options Near Cape Breton Highlands National Park

Keltic Lodge At The Highlands
Keltic Lodge At The Highlands
2.5 out of 5
383 Keltic in Rd, Ingonish Beach, NS, B0C 1L0
Keltic Lodge At The Highlands
Skyline Cabins
Skyline Cabins
2 out of 5
37759 Cabot Trail, Ingonish Beach, NS, B0C 1L0
Skyline Cabins
The Mountain View Motel & Cottages
The Mountain View Motel & Cottages
2.5 out of 5
23659 Cabot Trail Road, Pleasant Bay, NS, B0E 2P0
The Mountain View Motel & Cottages
Mountainside Cabin along The Cabot Trail #1
Mountainside Cabin along The Cabot Trail #1
Cape North, NS
Mountainside Cabin along The Cabot Trail #1
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.
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.
Highland Glamping in the cozy, sleek Greywolf
Highland Glamping in the cozy, sleek Greywolf
Pleasant Bay, NS
Highland Glamping in the cozy, sleek Greywolf
Highland Glamping in the spacious StarCraft
Highland Glamping in the spacious StarCraft
Pleasant Bay, NS
Highland Glamping in the spacious StarCraft
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.
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.