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“Great views, Great Wildlife”

Cape Breton Highlands National Park
Ranked #1 of 17 things to do in Ingonish
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Treasures abound throughout the headlands and rugged cliffs of Cape Breton Highlands with its abundant wildlife, spectacular scenery and human history dating back to the last Ice Age.
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Great views, Great Wildlife”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 23, 2014

My girlfriend and I spent 3 days hiking throughout the entire park. We decided to take the Skyline Trail Hike, which was led by our amazing guide Miranda, and the Seeing in the Dark Hike, led by the super insightful Katie.

Skyline Trail - This is one of the most beautiful trails we saw in the entire park. Though long, the hike is essentially flat and very doable for even the most beginner hikers. The hike crosses through territory that is frequently visited by moose and bear so it is nice to be in a group. Also, our guide Miranda gave us many very interesting bits of information about these animals and their affects on the local ecosystem. The hike culminates the BEST lookout in the park.

Seeing in the Dark - This is a very unique opportunity to see the park in a very different light. Our guide, Katie, forced our group to rely on their sense of touch, hearing, and smell to navigate this lakeside trail at twilight. This may be the darkest walk you ever take in the woods and I think everyone came out of this hike a bit more confident in their ability to navigate the forests. We also got the opportunity to use our sense of taste at the end of the tour when she served us oatcakes and blueberry - Yum!

Visited July 2014
Helpful?
Thank J. Y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Durham, NC
Level Contributor
26 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Just gorgeous”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 22, 2014

Spent three days around the park. Hiked Skyline Trail (and saw a bear!), Fishing Cove Trail (upper half of it), the Bog, Crofter's Hut (gorgeous short hike through sugar maples), Beulach Ban Falls, MacIntosh Brook, and many overlooks. Truly one of the more beautiful places on earth. Park is well-maintained.

Visited July 2014
Helpful?
Thank bangsezmax
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
273 reviews
169 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 147 helpful votes
“Excellent countryside”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 21, 2014

We stayed at Chetticamp a and spent two days walking in the park. Our best walk was Skyline followed by the walk to a lake at number nine on the map. We saw a bear, chipmunks, eagle, squirrels, birds, but no moose and (fortunately) no coyotes.
Recommend you buy a pass for the maximum number of days it might take - we ran out of time on ours but they only seem to sell tickets at each end of the park which left us a little anxious that we might be fined when it would not be our intention not to pay.
Skyline is an fantastic walk, we did it after four pm and had peace and quiet for the most part, meeting very few people along the way. Similarly for trail 9.
Did not enjoy walk around lake towards end (? No 20) it was a path with lots of tree roots across it and difficult to navigate using all my skills at balancing. So I was less able to look about for animals and nature. Also we went around in a clockwise fashion and the first half of the path is narrow and muddy in places requiring either solid walking boots or acceptance of wet muddy feet.
But I shall come back to do the other walks in the park.

Trails not suited for buggies or wheelchairs. Need sturdy shoes for most of them and plenty of water. Bug spray is absolutely essential as is a sun hat.

Suggest stopping at visitor centre is a must before starting any trails.

Visited July 2014
Helpful?
Thank Katie906
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Richmond, Virginia
Level Contributor
87 reviews
57 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
“Stunning Views”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 19, 2014

Cape Breton Highlands is rich in natural beauty, from amazing coastal views to wildlife sightings. As several reviewers suggested, we took the trail counter-clockwise which allowed us to to drive on the mountain side of the road, versus the cliff side. We used Cheticamp as our "homebase" for two nights and were able to explore the west side of the park to Pleasant Bay in our first afternoon. We were in the area when a rainy weather system was setting in, so we made the most of our first afternoon there when the weather was perfect. In just three hours, we were able to drive from Cheticamp to Pleasant Bay and back, taking in the vistas at the scenic pull-offs. We spotted two moose along the road that afternoon, which was the extent of out sightings other than the numerous seagulls and black guillemot.

The park was peaceful and quiet, with few tourists when we visited in late June. We were captivated by the scenery and charmed by the small villages outside of the park boundaries.
We spent two full days in Cape Breton Highlands National Park and explored outside of the park as well. In the park, we hiked Skyline and Middlehead Trails. Our favorite hike was Whitehead Trail, just outside of the park near Neil's Harbor. The walk was easy, the views were absolutely beautiful, and definitely not to be missed.

Cape Breton and the Cape Breton Highlands National Park are definitely worthy to be at the top of your of Nova Scotia travel plans.

Visited June 2014
Helpful?
Thank HistoryHoppers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portola Valley, California
Level Contributor
67 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“One of the highlights of Nova Scotia!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 18, 2014

A remarkable National Park with some of the most stunning views, beautiful hiking and long empty roads you will find. You must visit if you come to Nova Scotia!

Visited July 2014
Helpful?
Thank Cookie2008_04
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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