Cape Breton Highlands National Park is known for its spectacular highlands and ocean scenery. The Cape Breton Highlands are the most striking feature of northern Cape Breton. Steep cliffs and deep river canyons carve into a forested plateau bordering the Atlantic Ocean. One third of the Cabot trail, a world-famous scenic highway, runs through the national park along the coasts and over the highlands.
Established in 1936, the National Park covers 950 square kilometres, protecting about 20% of northern Cape Breton. It is the largest protected wilderness area in Nova Scotia and is one of a system of national parks protecting outstanding Canadian landscapes.
The cool maritime climate and rugged landscape of the park permit a unique blend of Acadian, Boreal and Taiga habitats, plants and animals. This special mix of northern and southern species is not found anywhere else in Canada. Within the park, several dozen species of rare or threatened plants and animals can be found, as well as old growth forests of international importance. Small populations of arctic-alpine plants left over from the last ice age can also be found here.