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Important Notice to Visitors – Hurricane Fiona Update – October 3

Story by: Team Destination Cape Breton

Important Notice to Visitors

Updated: 4:00 pm, October 3, 2022

Cape Breton Island Tourism Industry Has Largely Reopened and Celtic Colours Kicks Off October 7

While Hurricane Fiona caused damage to parts of Cape Breton Island, some communities have fared much better than others.

“The tourism and cultural sectors have faced many challenges over the last few years,” says Terry Smith, CEO of Destination Cape Breton. “On Cape Breton Island, we’re once again being challenged to rise again after the effects of Hurricane Fiona. We’re very happy to see that most of industry is either open or in the process of reopening and that cruise ships are returning as of Monday, October 3. And we’re thrilled that the Celtic Colours International Festival is forging ahead on Cape Breton Island starting October 7.”

Celtic Colours International Festival to go on despite Hurricane Fiona effects
Organizers of the Celtic Colours International Festival have been monitoring conditions and restoration efforts all week, as well as consulting with volunteers, community organizations, venues and municipal officials. Based on the feedback they’ve received, the progress they’ve seen, and the fact that the opening weekend is still a week away, the Festival will go ahead.

“We don’t want to interfere in any way with restoration and recovery efforts still going on and we’ve heard the same from those visitors planning to attend,” says Leanne Birmingham-Beddow, CEO of Celtic Colours International Festival. “However, we know that many communities from all over the Island rely on us for fundraising and municipal officials have told us that Celtic Colours is too important to Cape Breton’s local economy. Everyone has come together and said they will be ready to go ahead with Festival events starting next Friday, October 7.”

The full schedule of concerts and community events, and any updates, can be found at celtic-colours.com/schedule.

Advice for fall travellers
For visitors who have travel booked to come to Cape Breton Island this fall, Destination Cape Breton is encouraging travellers to keep those plans. Check ahead with accommodations providers to ensure they are open. If visitors need to find alternate accommodations, the Destination Cape Breton team is here to help and assist with travel planning.

“As is our nature, Cape Bretoners are ready to welcome visitors back to our Island with open arms and open hearts,” says Smith. “Please keep your travel plans – we promise you won’t be disappointed.”

Updates

Most of Cape Breton Island is open for business. Some communities or neighbourhoods are still dealing with the impact of Hurricane Fiona, but progress is being made every day.

Parks Canada

The Cabot Trail has been reopened.

Some campgrounds, trails and facilities in Cape Breton Highlands National Park will reopen on Tuesday, October 4, as follows:

    • Broad Cove Campground
    • Big Intervale Campground
    • Cheticamp campground
    • Fresh Water Lake Day Use Area & Playground
    • Ingonish Beach Day Use Area
    • La Grande Falaise Day Use Area
    • La Rigouèche Day Use Area & Playground
    • Acadian Trail
    • Bog Trail
    • Franey Trail
    • Freshwater Lake Trail
    • MacIntosh Brook Day Use Area/Trail
    • Middle Head Day Use Area/Trail
    • Skyline Trail
    • Warren Lake Trail
    • Most scenic look-offs on the Cabot Trail, with the exception of Lakies Head

The Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site, including all trails and facilities, is closed. Facilities and infrastructure have been significantly impacted and staff and contractors are working to mitigate safety concerns throughout the site. Anticipated reopening is projected for Monday, October 10.

Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site is now open for regular hours.

St. Peters Canal National Historic Site has reopened lockage services.

Nova Scotia Parks

The following provincial park campgrounds and day-use parks closed due to Hurricane Fiona have reopened:

  • Barrachois
  • Ben Eoin
  • Dalem Lake
  • Dominion Beach (washroom facility closed until further notice due to power outage)
  • Groves Point
  • Lake O’Law
  • Mabou
  • Whycocomagh
  • Battery
  • Irish Cove
  • Point Michaud
  • Pondville
  • Lennox Passage (picnic area open, trails closed until further notice due to downed trees)
  • MacCormack

Mira River Provincial Campground and Cape Smokey Provincial Park (NOTE: this is not to be confused with Destination Cape Smokey and the Atlantic Gondola) will remain closed for the remainder of the 2022 camping season.

Airports

Flights have resumed at JA Douglas McCurdy Sydney Airport and Halifax Stanfield International Airport. Travellers should check their airlines for flight status:

Ferries

Marine Atlantic has resumed scheduled sailings from Port-aux-Basques and Argentia to North Sydney.

Northumberland Ferries has resumed regular sailings from PEI to Nova Scotia.

Bay Ferries regular sailings are operating from Bar Harbor ME to Yarmouth NS and Saint John NB to Digby NS.

Tourism Operator Updates

The vast majority of operators have reopened, with few exceptions. If you have a booking, please contact the tourism operator/business to confirm that they are open.

Important Contact Information

Here are some useful links for updates:

Nova Scotia Emergency Management Office:
https://novascotia.ca/alerts/

Nova Scotia Road Conditions:
https://511.novascotia.ca/en/index.html
Call 511 within Nova Scotia
Call 1-888-780-4440 outside Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia Power Outage Centre:
https://www.nspower.ca/outages

Team Destination Cape Breton 3

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 on the pedestal it deserves!