A 950-square-km (366-square-mile) wilderness of wooded valleys, barren plateaus, and steep cliffs, Cape Breton Highlands National Park stretches across northern Cape Breton from the gulf shore to the Atlantic.
High-altitude bogs here are home to wild orchids and other unique flora. For animal lovers there's much to see as well, including moose, eagles, deer, bears, foxes, bobcats, and coyotes. Your chances of spotting wildlife naturally improve if you venture off the main road and hike one of the trails at dusk or dawn. Be advised, though, that it's illegal to feed or approach any animal in the park, and all should be observed from a safe distance.
Within the park, there are 26 hiking trails, ranging from a few yards to a lookout point to 12-km (7½-mile) treks to salmon pools or to a remote cove. Guided hikes are among various activities on offer in the park. For your safety, never hike isolated trails alone. Even motorists must remain alert, particularly when driving in
moose zones, which are marked by highway signs. Moose sometimes claim the road as their own, and things won't end well if you hit an animal weighing 1,200 pounds.
A permit or pass is required for entering sections of the Cabot Trail within the national park and for use of the facilities such as exhibits, hiking trails, and picnic areas; there are additional fees for camping, fishing, and golf. Full details are available at the gateway information centers.