Cape Breton Highlands National Park

cabot_trail

In northern Nova Scotia, on North America’s bustling Atlantic coast, lies one of the most strangely remote and beautiful areas in all the world. Cape Breton Highlands National Park, on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, held the title in 2006 and 2007 as being voted the most beautiful part of North America. Recognized by the United Nations as a natural preserve and by the Government of Canada as a National Park, Cape Breton Highlands is truly the jewel in Atlantic Canada’s crown.

The region was given National Park status in 1936, and although the roads are well-maintained and telecommunications pass through this sprawling 950 square kilometers of pristine wilderness. Consisting of several plateaus that reach more than 500 feet above sea level before plunging to the ocean in a series of dramatic mountains, the park is filled with foliage, wildlife, lakes, rivers and fish. Camping and amenities are readily available for tourists, and more than 400 miles of hiking trails snake their way around the park.

The rock itself is part of the Apalachian Mountain chain, which stretches to the southern United States and up to Cape Breton. Ancient fossils of dinosaurs and gorges cut out of the rock by retreating glaciers are all found in the park.

cbh map

The Cabot Trail, the main road that cuts through the Highlands, is a well-maintained road with breathtaking views.

The Cabot Trail, the main road that cuts through the Highlands, is a well-maintained road with breathtaking views.

The high plateaus drop dramatically to the sea below.

The high plateaus drop dramatically to the sea below.

Winter in the Cape Breton Highlands are beautiful.

Winter in the Cape Breton Highlands are beautiful.

The Atlantic is famous for its vicious storms, and sometimes roads through the park can be swamped, especially during hurricane season.

The Atlantic is famous for its vicious storms, and sometimes roads through the park can be swamped, especially during hurricane season.

The Cape Breton Highlands in all their natural glory.

The Cape Breton Highlands in all their natural glory.

The Highlands are also home to the second biggest moose population in North America. After nearly being hunted to extinction in the 1930's, moose were reintroduced to the park in the 70's and the population has made a huge comeback.

The Highlands are also home to the second biggest moose population in North America. After nearly being hunted to extinction in the 1930’s, moose were reintroduced to the park in the 70’s and the population has made a huge comeback.

Beautiful sandy beaches and pristine camp grounds welcome visitors from all over the world.

Beautiful sandy beaches and pristine camp grounds welcome visitors from all over the world.

Autumn in the Highlands. It was because of the colours of Cape Breton in the autumn that British explorers created the red maple leaf as Canada's symbol in the 18th Century.

Autumn in the Highlands. It was because of the colours of Cape Breton in the autumn that British explorers created the red maple leaf as Canada’s symbol in the 18th Century.

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