Cape Breton Highlands features rugged high country right next to rugged ocean coastline. Nowhere is that transition from high to low more dramatic than along the park’s western coastline near the Corney Brook Campground. The small campground sits just off the Cabot Trail on a ledge above the ocean—well, technically the Gulf of St. Lawrence. To the east, the hills rise nearly straight up for about 400 metres. To the west, there’s a small beach and then it’s sunset-perfect water as far as you can see.
Things to do: The Corney Brook Trail starts right across the road and takes you up through moose-filled forest to a nice waterfall. But if you’re looking for the ultimate view—possibly including whales—drive a short way to the Skyline Trail. The uphill drive takes care of the elevation gain, so it’s a flat walk to the spectacular lookout at the end. If you’d prefer to earn your view, the L’Acadien Trail climbs to another scenic high point. And the nearby Trous de Saumons Trail is good for running or mountain biking.
The best beach in the area is at Cabot Landing Provincial Park, where Mr. Cabot may or may not have first come ashore in North America.