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Parks Canada ~ Parcs Canada
Cape Breton ~ Le Cap-Breton

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CAPE BRETON HIGHLANDS NATIONAL PARK OF CANADA (N.S.)

THIS RESEARCH AND GENEALOGICAL WEBSITE WAS ARCHIVED IN 2010

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The Park Environment

Camping

Full services, including hook-ups and showers, are available from mid-May to mid-October. Reservations for group camping and wheelchair-accessible sites only.

Campfires are restricted to fireplaces provided. Bring an axe to make kindling; it cannot be collected in the woods. Camp stoves are recommended.

Mid-May to mid-Oct.; rates are per day. Four day permits also available - stay four nights, pay for three. No reservations except for group campgrounds and wheelchair accessible sites. A National Park Motor Licence is required for each vehicle. Register at campground kiosks; self-registration also available. All campgrounds have flush toilets except Big Intervale.

Cheticamp (at west entrance)

124 unserviced sites, 14 electrical sites (2 wheelchair accessible), 24 RV sites (1 wheelchair accessible). Showers, kitchen shelters with woodstoves, outdoor theatre, playgrounds.

Corney Brook (near west entrance)

20 unserviced oceanside sites. Fireplace, kitchen shelters with wood stoves, playground, swimming.

MacIntosh Brook (east of Pleasant Bay)

10 unserviced sites. Kitchen shelters with wood stoves, playground.

Big Intervale (west of Cape North)

10 unserviced sites. Pit privies, kitchen shelters with wood stoves, fireplaces, playground.

Broad Cove (near east entrance)

173 unserviced sites (2 wheelchair accessible) and 83 RV sites. Showers, kitchen shelters with woodstoves, group fireplaces, playgrounds, swimming, outdoor theatre.

Ingonish (near east entrance)

Late June to late August. 90 unserviced sites. Showers, kitchen shelters with wood stoves, playground.

Group Camping

Marrach and Robert Brook. Reservations required.

Wilderness Camping

Fishing Cove and Lake of Islands. Must purchase a backcountry use permit, available at Park Information Centres.

Hiking

The Park's 27 hiking trails range from 20-minute family strolls to panoramic climbs. For spectacular coastal views, we recommend:

* L'Acadien

* Le Buttereau

* Skyline

* Jack Pine/Coastal



* Broad Cove Mountain

* Franey

* Middle Head

For details, purchase Walking in the Highlands at the information centres.

Backpacking

* Fishing Cove

* Lake of Islands

All backpackers must purchase a backcountry use permit. Drinking water should be boiled; backpacking stoves recommended. Garbage must be packed out. Information on bears available at information centres.

Park Activities

Interpreters present daily programs in July and August, highlighting northern Cape Breton's natural and human history. Nightly programs at outdoor theatres in Cheticamp and Broad Cove Campgrounds. Check the information centres and campground bulletin boards for details.

Nature Observation

Look for orchids at the Bog, listen for the Northern Waterthrush along the Salmon Pools or search for moose at Benjies Lake. Ask for a Fact Sheet and speak to an interpreter for details.

Swimming and Sunbathing

Fresh water or salt water? Ingonish Beach has two superb beaches to choose from. Lifeguards on duty in July and August.



Other swimming areas include: North Bay, Black Brook and Warren Lake on the east side and La Bloc on the west.

Golfing

Tee off at Ben Franey, and prepare to enjoy a 10.5-km (6.5-mi.) nature hike through some of the world's most spectacular scenery. The Highlands Links, one of the world's best courses, is located in Ingonish. For tee-off times, reservations and tournament play, call the Golf Pro Shop at (902) 285-2600 (mid-May to mid-October). At other times, call (902) 285-2691.

Tennis

Ingonish Beach offers three paved tennis courts, free of charge, from late April to mid-October. Rental equipment is available at the Golf Pro Shop. To arrange tournament play, call (902) 285-2691

Cycling

The highlands rise steeply along the Cabot Trail from sea level to over 450 m (1,500 ft.) - an unforgettable cycling experience. Rental mountain bikes are available for short treks at the Cheticamp Information Centre.

Fishing

Purchase national park fishing licences for trout and salmon and obtain fishing regulations at the information centres and campground kiosks.

* Check nearby communities for deep-sea fishing excursions.

* Help conserve Atlantic Salmon by catch-and-release fly fishing.

Touring the Cabot Trail

Plan six to eight hours from Cheticamp to Ingonish to take advantage of the numerous lookoffs, roadside exhibits, walking trails and scenic side routes (106 km, actual driving time is two hours.)

The Cabot Trail offers a safe, but spectacular, driving experience. The section between Cheticamp and Ingonish is maintained by the Canadian Parks Service.

You won't want to miss:

* La Bloc Beach

* Cap Rouge Geology Exposition

* Bog Trail on French Mountain

* Fishing Cove Lookoff

* MacKenzie Mountain Lookoffs

* Lone Shieling Trail

* North Mountain Lookoffs

* Alternate Scenic Route

* Green Cove Trail

* Lakie's Head Lookoff

* Freshwater Lake Lookoff

Winter Activites

January to early April:

* Cross-country ski the Park's groomed and ungroomed trails.

* Downhill ski at Cape Smokey.

* Toboggan on the steep 5th fairway of the Highlands Golf Links.


Camp for free from mid-October to mid-May. Cheticamp Campground: flush toilets, kitchen shelter with woodstove, drinking water. Park at Information Centre and walk in. Ingonish Campground: pit privies, kitchen shelter with wood stove, drinking water. Park at kiosk and walk in. Axe recommended.


Organized Groups

Camping facilities and interpretive presentations are available for organized groups year-round, with advance arrangements. For more information, call the Park.

Conveniences

Public washrooms are located throughout the Park. Lone Shieling Trail has a serviced washroom, partway along the trail, open from late-May to mid-October.

Public and emergency telephones are located at the Cheticamp and Ingonish Information Centres, the entrances to the major campgrounds, the Grande Anse and Big Intervale Warden Stations, some roadside emergency shelters and all nearby communities.

Services for Visitors with Disabilities

Wheelchair-accessible washrooms are available at the Cheticamp Information Centre, North Bay Beach and Black Brook Beach. The French Mountain Bog Trail and pit privy are wheelchair accessible. Two campsites and a washroom/shower facility at Broad Cove Campground are wheelchair accessible, as are the Cheticamp Information Centre exhibit and some roadside interpretive signs.

Pets

Pets must be kept under control at all times and must not interfere with wildlife or with the enjoyment and safety of other visitors.