Note: Due to COVID-19, the visitor experience at Parks Canada places will be different than it has been in the past. The health and safety of visitors, employees and all Canadians is of the utmost importance.
Parks Canada is asking visitors to comply with recommendations from Nova Scotia public health authorities by wearing a mask in indoor public spaces, and by respecting recommended social distancing measures at all times.
Parks Canadas network of protected places is large and diverse. Visitor access, services, and even opening dates may vary across Cape Breton Island and Canso depending on local circumstances. Please visit pc.gc.ca/ns and follow Parks Canadas social media channels for information and updates on the status of all Parks Canada places.
Easily swim in both the ocean and a lake.
Enjoy the scenic landscape of rolling highlands and open ocean.
Jump from ocean saltwater at Ingonish Beach to Freshwater Lake with just a few steps! This welcoming day use area is packed with family-friendly activities. After a refreshing swim, enjoy the playground, tennis courts, soccer field and picnic area. Connect with nature on Freshwater Lake trail, popular with cyclists in the summer and perfect for snowshoeing in the winter.
Intense wave action and tidal patterns shift sand and cobblestone along the shore of Ingonish Beach throughout the spring and summer. Plan for both and be aware of strong currents while enjoying water activities. Lifeguards are not on duty. Dogs on leash are permitted for walking.
Pit privies and temporary washroom facilities will be available in 2021 while the construction of new facilities is ongoing.
Cape Breton Highlands National Park’s operating season is from mid-May to mid-October, with full services in July and August. The Cabot Trail is open year-round. A park pass is required for use of all services and facilities in the national park, including beaches. Revenues are used to maintain and improve park services.
For more swimming adventures, visit our website.
Please be responsible and join with us in caring for our environment. Take your garbage with you, keep wildlife at a safe distance, and stay on designated trails to protect fragile plant life.
Nature, other visitors, and future generations will be thankful for your stewardship.