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

The Mountain View Motel & Cottages
The Mountain View Motel & Cottages
2.5 out of 5
23659 Cabot Trail Road, Pleasant Bay, NS
The price is $83 per night from Sep 25 to Sep 25
Situated in Victoria Subd. A, this motel is 0.7 mi (1.1 km) from Whale Interpretive Centre and 11 mi (17.7 km) from Cape Breton Highlands National Park. Skyline ...
3.6/5Good! (318 reviews)
"Quaint and lovely accommodations in an amazing setting of green mountains. Friendly staff and adjoining restaurant were perfect for a relaxing stay."

Reviewed on Sep 19, 2021

The Mountain View Motel & Cottages
Skyline Cabins
Skyline Cabins
2 out of 5
37759 Cabot Trail, Ingonish Beach, NS
The price is $101 per night from Oct 21 to Oct 21
Situated near the beach, this motel is 0.2 mi (0.4 km) from Cape Breton Highlands National Park and within 3 mi (5 km) of Highlands Links and Middle Head Trailhead. ...
4.5/5Wonderful! (363 reviews)
"Very good!"

Reviewed on Sep 21, 2021

Skyline Cabins
Mountainside Cabin along The Cabot Trail #1
Mountainside Cabin along The Cabot Trail #1
Red River, NS
The price is $157 per night from Oct 23 to Oct 23
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 ...
4.9/5Exceptional! (14 reviews)
Good
"Good"

Reviewed on Sep 13, 2021

Mountainside Cabin along The Cabot Trail #1
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.

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Best Lodging Options Near Cape Breton Highlands National Park

The Mountain View Motel & Cottages
The Mountain View Motel & Cottages
2.5 out of 5
23659 Cabot Trail Road, Pleasant Bay, NS
The price is $83 per night from Sep 25 to Sep 25
The Mountain View Motel & Cottages
Skyline Cabins
Skyline Cabins
2 out of 5
37759 Cabot Trail, Ingonish Beach, NS
The price is $101 per night from Oct 21 to Oct 21
Skyline Cabins
Mountainside Cabin along The Cabot Trail #1
Mountainside Cabin along The Cabot Trail #1
Red River, NS
The price is $157 per night from Oct 23 to Oct 23
Mountainside Cabin along The Cabot Trail #1
MAPLE RIDGE CABINS
MAPLE RIDGE CABINS
27340 Cabot Trail, Red River, NS
MAPLE RIDGE CABINS
Ingonish Chalets
Ingonish Chalets
3 out of 5
36784 Cabot Trail, Ingonish, NS
The price is $165 per night from Sep 29 to Sep 29
Ingonish Chalets
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
The price is $121 per night from Oct 18 to Oct 18
Hikers Suite (Private Hot Tub) <br>Cabot Trail, Pleasant Bay ,N.S.
Highland Glamping
Highland Glamping
Pleasant Bay, NS
The price is $91 per night from Oct 24 to Oct 24
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
The price is $121 per night from Oct 25 to Oct 25
Highland Sunrise Suite (Private Hot Tub)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
The price is $117 per night from Oct 25 to Oct 25
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.