Take A Trip To This National Park For Beautiful Views Of The Canadian Coastline

Cape Breton Highlands National Park has famously been nicknamed "where the mountains meet the sea." Located on the coast of Cape Breton Island in northern Nova Scotia, the name sums up the landscape. One of Nova Scotia's most famous natural features is the park's coastal mountain range — Cape Breton Highlands. These towering peaks soar into the sky directly beside the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of St. Lawrence, creating dramatic coastal cliffs and an unbeatable view of Canada's coastline.

The highlands flatten out to a vast plateau crisscrossed by plunging river canyons and covered in a diverse variety of Acadian, boreal, and taiga forests. As a whole, the park makes up about 20% of Cape Breton Island. The Cabot Trail circles the park, traveling through it and hugging the East and West Coasts for ocean views. Traversing the route will guarantee you get insane views of the park's stunning wilderness and rugged shoreline.

The Cabot Trail in Cape Breton Highlands National Park

The Cabot Trail is not only one of the top attractions at Cape Breton Highlands National Park but also in all of Canada. One of the most popular ways to see the whole 186 miles of the trail is by car.

Note that if you follow the route going clockwise you will be hugging the side of the road away from the ledge. If you choose to go counter-clockwise, you will be on the outermost edge of the road. The latter will have you cruise along steep drops and will likely be unenjoyable for anyone scared of heights. Without stopping, following this popular road trip route will take around 5 hours.

However, there are a variety of worthwhile stops to make along the way. For passengers not driving, make a stop at Big Spruce Brewing for a taste of the region's local beer. If you're looking for a sweet treat, be sure to grab a cinnamon roll at Aucoin Bakery.

While driving is a common way to see this beautiful stretch of scenery, the Cabot Trail is also a world-famous cycling route. Serious and skilled cyclists will discover one of the most stunning multi-day routes on the parameters of this national park.

Swimming and hiking in Cape Breton Highlands National Park

Cabot Trail definitely wins for the most well-known view in Cape Breton Highlands National Park. However, with a handful of other amazing scenic coastal destinations, this layout of land is really the gift that keeps on giving. Take a break from the trail's aerial view of the island shores and sink your toes into the sand at Black Brook Beach. Here, visitors delight in swimming, sunbathing, and other seaside activities from May to October, all while gazing at the stunning waterfall-adorned beach.

To get access to especially awe-inspiring lookouts, get on your feet, put on your boots, and go hiking. Make your way to the Skyline Trail, located at the top of French Mountain just off the Cabot Trail. This scenic Canadian trail is a 5.1-mile loop for moderate to beginner-level hikers. Along the way, you'll get an unbelievable lookout over the trail's headland cliff. For a more difficult, expert-level hike, give Franey Trail a go. At its peak, you'll find a panoramic view of the Clyburn Brook Canyon and the expansive Atlantic coast.