Cape Breton Highlands National Park is known for its spectacular highlands and ocean scenery and is the most striking feature of northern Cape Breton. Steep cliffs and deep river canyons carve into a forested plateau bordering the Atlantic Ocean. One third of the Cabot Trail runs through the national park, along the coasts and over the highlands.
The park was established in 1936 and covers 950 square kilometres, across about 20% of northern Cape Breton. It is the largest protected wilderness area in Nova Scotia and is one of a system of national parks protecting outstanding Canadian landscapes.
The temperate maritime climate and rugged landscape of the park create a unique blend of Acadian, Boreal and Taiga habitats, plants and animals. This special mix of northern and southern species is not found anywhere else in Canada.
The park also features several species of large mammals including black bears, foxes and moose. There are 200 species of birds including eagles and hawks and the waters are home to several species of whales.
Hiking trails in the park offer great forest and coast views, and there are beaches for sunning and swimming.