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History and Formation of the Cape Breton Highlands National Park

It wasn't until 1936 that the Cape Breton Highlands National Park was created, 950 sq. km (366 sq. mi.). Conserving and protecting the majestic highlands and coastal wilderness stretching across the northern tip of Cape Breton Island between the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the Atlantic Ocean. It was the first national park in the Atlantic Provinces. By 1940 the Cabot Trail was reconstructed along the French Mountain.1948 saw a new road between Ingonish and Neil's Harbour. In 1951/52 construction on the North Mountain to Pleasant Bay included guard rails. By 1961 the paving of the Cabot Trail was achieved. Today the Cape Breton Highlands Park has 6 campgrounds, 27 hiking trails and a number of informational look offs.

Although the Cape Breton Highlands National Park is a very important part of the Cabot Trail, one must not forget the communities that are within and border the National Park, from Pleasant Bay to Neil's Harbour. Here is where you find the culture and warmth of the people in the Highlands.

There are two Information Centres, at both ends of the park, Cheticamp and Ingonish, where you buy permits for vehicle entry, camping, touring and You must pay for a permit to enjoy what the park has to offer, a small price to protect and enjoy this EDEN!
licenses for fishing.

Entering the park from Cheticamp

The entrance in Cheticamp embarks you on a 105 Km (60 miles) journey through the western edge of the park which borders the Gulf of St. Lawrence. This is a jagged coastline with few harbours or beaches. Mountains plunge up to 300 metres into the gulf below. Swells endlessly hammer these cliffs, eating away the weaker material. The more enduring rocks prevail, creating headlands and secluded sea stacks. Visit the Park's Information Centre in Cheticamp, view a 10 minute slide presentation about the parks attractions. This is a excellent site for lunch stops; there are several tidy washrooms, shelters, pic-nic tables, telephones and easy parking. You can purchase fishing licenses here including the Park Entry Permit which is required to use any of the park facilities like campgrounds and for touring of the Cabot Trail. Located within the Information Centre is the orientation exhibit just to the right of the information counter and straight ahead is the bookstore which sells a wide range of maps, field guides, souvenirs and books about the National Park and Cabot Trail. The bilingual staff will only be too happy to assist you, open year-round: 1-902-224-2306 for more information.

As you drive form here to Ingonish on the Cabot Trail, you will examine fertile hardwood valleys, arctic-like barrens and some of the most beautiful coastal landscape found anywhere in the world

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review by . January 25, 2010
One of the most picturesque places on earth.
"I have travelled around the globe.  I have seen the Canadian and American Rockies, The Andes, the Alps and the Highlands of Scotland;  but for simple beauty Cape Breton outrivals them all."   --Alexander Graham Bell    Inventor of the Telephone      Over the years my wife and I have had the great good fortune to visit Canada on a number of occasions.  Since we prefer cooler temperatures we always seem to head to Northern …
Quick Tip by . January 23, 2010
When God invented coastal driving trips, Americans think of Carmel and Monterey, but Canadians think Cape Breton.
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