Cape Breton Highlands National Park – the wild-romantic island part of Nova Scotia
The Canadian Cape Breton Highlands National Park is set in beautiful countryside north of Cape Breton Island in the Atlantic Ocean. The first National Park of the Atlantic Provinces belongs to Nova Scotia. A striking contrast is the cliffs of the fjord-like rugged coast and the long white sandy beaches of Ingonish Beach. The latter is ideal for swimming in summer. The National Park offers a variety of attractions and activities, such as trekking, hiking, canoeing or a round of golf on a world class course with stunning views. On the tours, through the undisturbed nature, you often meet wild animals such as moose, bald eagles, coyotes and black bears.
Via the Canso Causeway to the Cape Breton Highlands National Park
For a vacation on the island and Atlantic Province of Nova Scotia, as well as a visit to the Cape Breton Highlands National Park, one usually flies to the capital, Halifax. The National Park is located in the north of the island of Cape Breton, which is connected via the Canso Causeway (dam with lifting bridge) with the mainland part of Nova Scotia. The Cape Breton Highlands National Park stretches from the Atlantic coast to the St. Lawrence River. Due to the mild Gulf Stream running along the Atlantic coast, Cape Breton enjoys a pleasant climate in summer with temperatures of up to 30 degrees Celsius. While spring sets in with still fresh 5 degrees Celsius at the end of April, it reaches already at the bloom time of the Lupinen in May and June 12 to 17 degrees Celsius. In winter, there can be snow depths of up to three meters due to the maritime weather conditions.
Pleasant climate for those seeking relaxation and active vacationers
The eastern entrance to the Cape Breton-Highlands National Park is located in the small town of Ingonish, the western in the Akadierdorf Chéticamp. The picturesque Ingonish is the ideal starting point for cycling and hiking tours in September and October. For the first entry is the short trail “Freshwater Lake Trail” through a landscape that is reminiscent of the Scottish Highlands. This may have been the occasion for many Scots to settle on this island in the Atlantic. In the months of September and October, deep-sea fishing is particularly interesting, as the passing mackerel swarms are hunted by the biting tuna.
The warm summer months of July and August are particularly suitable for bathing days and long beach walks on the sandy beach of Ingonish Beach. For exploring the national park, the Cabot Trail car road, a 300-kilometer ring road, which leads partly through the natural park. The Cabot Trail is one of the most beautiful coastal roads in the world. The impressive panorama attracts every holidaymaker. The emerging coyotes and black bears are rather shy, but they should be treated with due respect. Harmless is the popular gannets, seabirds in the size of a goose, which are excellent gliding and diving for fishing lightning fast into the sea.
Woody high plateau and rugged rocky coastline overlooking the Atlantic
In the highlands of the Cape Breton National Park are the boreal coniferous forests, which, with the leaves of the (maple) deciduous trees, discoloring in the autumn, produce the inimitable color mixture of the Indian Summer. However, the beginning of the Indian Summer may differ by a few weeks from year to year. In the northern third of the Highlands, In the tundra-like plateau is a small charming waterfall, the Beulah Falls. The National Park is also a retreat for many large mammals, such as moose, deer, black bear, and coyotes. In autumn you can admire the impressive bald eagle on the Canso Causeway. However, to discover a whale and seal, you need quite a bit of luck.
Fascinating landscape and the influences of Celtic and Acadian culture
If you want to get even deeper into the secrets of the Cape Breton Highlands, you can learn about nature, the unique landscape, and the geological history during geo-coaching. In the western part of the national park, the village of Chéticamp is located near Ingonish, where visitors can find out about the national park. In the lively fishing village of Chéticamp, you can still hear the French of the Acadians, the descendants of the French settlers. However, the Celtic-Scottish influence predominates, with typical sounds resounding in the Folk Festivals of the Cape Breton Highlands National Park. In Glenville on Cape Breton Island, Glenora Distillery is the only manufacturer of single malt whiskey on the North American continent. The special thing about the ripening is the use of barrels, in which the famous Canadian ice wine was previously developed. A button is recommended.
Cabot Trial – Impressive in every season
The Cabot Trail is named after the discoverer John Cabot. The road lines the rocky coastline of Cape Breton and winds its way higher and higher into the Cape Breton Highland National Park. From the Cabot Trial, you have a breathtaking view of the Atlantic and later of the Gulf of St. Lawrence. From the steep slopes, you can watch with a bit of luck, the whaling whales here.
Did you know that …
- the Cape Breton Highlands National Park was founded in 1936 and stretches over 950 square kilometers?
- the mild maritime climate and harsh landscape of the park offers a unique blend of Acadian, Boreal and Taiga habitats for wildlife and plants? This special mix of northern and southern species is found nowhere else in Canada.
- the canyons in the Cape Breton National Park are very important to the eco-system? They provide for the protecting valleys, in which the Canadian forests are to be found.
- the northern Cape Breton houses 631 indigenous and 118 introduced or “exotic” plant species?
- the park has a history that goes back to the last ice age?
- The park and the Cabot Trail have visited annually by about 200,000 Canadians and international visitors?
- From the 8th to the 16th of October the Celtic Colors International Festival is taking place? For 9 days Cape Breton Island is home to a unique celebration of music and culture. With three guided hikes offered in conjunction with musical events, you can walk with violin music in the ear through a vibrant world of autumn leaves and experience breathtaking moments.
- When driving through the park, you pass a small village or a small town about every 30 km, which welcomes the visitor?
- the 26 hiking trails take hikers 150 km of different terrain, from seashore shorelines to beautiful mountain peaks, through the rare taiga forest and magnificent waterfalls?
- In the Cape Breton Highlands are some of the oldest forests in Nova Scotia? Some trees are over 350 years old and so huge that you would need 4 adults to make a circle around a tree.