In a Nutshell
Cape Breton Island is located east of Halifax in the province of Nova Scotia, Canada. Cape Breton Highland National Park is north on the island and a great vacation spot.
What to Do/See
Driving. The Cabot Trail goes through all of the National Park. Follow this road for a few days as it twists and turns through amazing views, great rest stops, and hiking trails.
Hiking. My favorite trail was the Skyline hike. This trail is only about a 30 minute drive in if you start from the west side of the park [Cheticamp]. CLICK HERE for more information about each hiking trail.
Camping. Camping is rather expensive [about $24-30 per night for a tent]. Because of this, I slept in the car. I didn’t know how strict they would be about sleeping in the car within the park, so I drove outside of the park to sleep but I was told afterwards that it’s not a problem. Also, in order to camp, you need proof of purchase of your entrance fee.
The cost to enter the park is $7.80 [Canadian dollars – which is about $8.09 U.S. dollars] per person per day/night. This fee is to be able to park your car anywhere in the park while hiking, camping, taking pictures on overlooks, etc. It is stated that you also need this receipt of payment in order to do anything within the park that costs additional money such as camping, whale watching, kayaking, etc… However, my receipt was never checked. I even forgot to put it out on the dashboard a few times while hiking and never came back to a ticket on my windshield.
When driving into the park there are two lanes: a lane to pay this fee and a lane to bypass this payment. If I were to go again and I was planning on not camping within the park, I would use the lane to bypass the park fee. I talked to a few people that work in the park at the beaches and food stands and they told me that no one checks after 6pm and even if they check before 6pm, the most they ever do is give a “friendly reminder” to pay at one of the pay stations.