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Cape Breton Highlands National Park Updates

Story by: Team Destination Cape Breton

Important information about Cape Breton Highlands National Park

Parks Canada is working with the Destination Cape Breton Association, Tourism Nova Scotia, and other partners to keep visitors informed and safe.

Access and services will be focused on limited autonomous day use of trails and other outdoor settings. The health and safety of employees, visitors, and all Canadians are of the highest priority for Parks Canada. The Agency is following the advice of public health authorities in resuming visitor access and services. Only places and activities where health and safety risks to employees and visitors can be mitigated will be available for visitation. The visitor experience will be different than it has been in the past as we adapt to COVID-19.

Parks Canada is asking visitors to be cautious and conservative in their use of these places, to observe travel restrictions, to respect the guidance of public health authorities, and to help flatten the curve and keep families, friends, and neighbours healthy and safe.

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Starting on June 22, Parks will gradually reopen camping facilities starting with select self-registration camping areas with limited capacity. Additional camping will reopen in phases, at reduced occupancy, throughout June and July. Visitors are required to have a reservation in order to camp at a Parks Canada place. Parks Canada recognizes being in nature provides important physical and mental health benefits. Going outdoors, including camping overnight, is a great way to maintain health and wellness, so long as everyone follows physical distancing practices.

Visitors should note that there are limited washroom facilities available in select areas.  For more information on camping this season, please click here to learn more.

Under the restrictions remaining in place, group activities and public events are suspended in Cape Breton Highlands National Park until further notice.

Parks Canada will re-evaluate access and services at Cape Breton Highlands National Park on an ongoing basis and keep visitors updated as more information becomes available. Please check their website regularly for the most recent updates

People hiking on mountain

What’s Open in the Cape Breton Highlands National Park?

Updated on June 17, 2020

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Update

What’s Closed?

Updated June 17, 2020

Everything you need to know about the Skyline Trail 2

Your Safety While Visiting

  • Parks Canada is asking Canadians to stay home and support the national effort to limit the spread of COVID-19.
  • Keep a healthy space of 2 metres between you and others.
  • Be extra cautious when engaging in any activities to avoid injury and/or getting lost to help minimize the demands placed on emergency response, search and rescue teams, and on the health care system.
  • Leave no trace when you visit outdoor spaces. Please take all your garbage with you and help keep these places clean.
  • Abide by all travel advisories.
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Other Parks Canada Locations in Cape Breton

Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site

What’s Open (As of June 23, 2020):

  • Reconstructed site:
    • Guardhouse
    • Chapel
    • Soldiers’ barracks
    • De la Plagne House
    • De la Vallière House – Mi’kmaw Interpretation Centre
    • Engineer’s Residence
    • Commissaire-Ordonnateur’s Residence
    • De Gannes House
  • Select visitor services
  • Costumed interpretation
  • Washroom facilities (limited access)
  • Fortress Louisbourg Association café
  • Ruins Walk
  • Lighthouse trail
  • Old Town trail
  • Royal Battery trail
  • Kennington Cove Road
  • Simon’s Point trail
  • Kennington Cove Beach
  • Anson’s Cove Beach
  • Kennelly’s day use area and pit privies
  • Parking lots

What’s Closed (As of July 23, 2020):

  • Visitor centre
  • All other reconstructed buildings
  • Camping and diversified accommodations
  • Fortress Louisbourg Association gift shop, restaurants and bakery
  • Evening program

Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site

What’s Open (As of June 23, 2020):

  • Museum building
  • Self-guided tours
  • Museum gift shop
  • Select washroom facilities
  • Rooftop terrace
  • Green spaces
  • Walkways
  • Parking lot

For the time being the Interpretation and visitor experience programs and the Tetra Café will remain closed

Cape Breton Highlands National Park

What’s Open (As of July 25, 2020):

  • Chéticamp and Ingonish visitor centres
  • All hiking trails (except Branch Pond Look-off and the middle section of the Coastal trail, and with limited parking at the Skyline trail)
  • All Cabot Trail look-offs
  • All beaches and day use areas*
    • * Ingonish Beach closed to swimming
  • Parking lots
  • Entrance gate kiosks
  • All playgrounds
  • MacIntosh Brook campground
  • Big Intervale campground
  • Broad Cove campground (limited access; reservations required)
  • Cheticamp campground (limited access; reservations required)
  • Ingonish Beach campground (limited access; reservations required)
  • Fishing Cove backcountry campground
  • Ingonish Beach
  • Lone Shieling
  • Fishing with permit (purchased in advance at participating locations)
  • Limited washrooms and pit privies

What’s Closed (As of June 25, 2020):

  • All diversified accommodations (oTENTik and equipped camping)
  • Interpretation and visitor experience programs 
  • Ingonish Beach (closed to swimming)
  • Corney Brook campground
  • Mary Ann Falls Road
  • Branch Pond Look-off trail

St. Peter’s Canal National Historic Site

What’s Open (As of July 13, 2020):

  • Operation of locks and swing bridge
  • Green spaces
  • Walking trail
  • Parking lot

What’s Closed (As of July 13, 2020):

  • Building facilities
  • Washrooms
  • Visitor experiences
  • Boat docking

Marconi National Historic Site 

What’s Open (As of July 13, 2020):

  • Visitor centre and exhibit area
  • Washroom facilities
  • Green spaces
  • Walking paths
  • Parking lot

Please check the Parks Canada national information portal dedicated to COVID-19 for regular updates.

Team Destination Cape Breton 1

Team Destination Cape Breton

Our team at Destination Cape Breton is always exploring our beautiful island. We love discovering our hidden gems, working with partners and putting our island the pedestal it deserves!

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