Cape Breton Highlands National Park of Canada

Beaches and Swimming

Cape Breton Highlands National Park is home to a variety of superb beaches. Choose between salt or freshwater, or enjoy both!


Ingonish Beach

Ingonish Beach and Freshwater Lake

Beach Swimming Hiking
Playground Tennis Canteen
Washroom Picnic Area Accessible Washrooms

Salt water and freshwater. A sandy ocean beach is washed away each winter and re-deposited here each spring by the action of the waves. Over thousands of years, large cobblestones on the beach are worn round and smooth from being ground against one another by the action of the waves. A barachois composed of beach cobbles blocked off a cove centuries ago, cutting it off from the salty Atlantic Ocean. Cross the barachois to take a dip in warm Freshwater Lake.

Services: washrooms and change houses, a playground, a picnic area, tennis courts and a canteen during July and August. Surf guards are on duty at the saltwater beach during July and August.  Dogs are not permitted in the supervised area of the beach.



North Bay Day Use Area

North Bay Beach

Beach Swimming Washroom
Picnic Area

Salt water.  For those seeking a quieter, more secluded beach experience, this long expanse of sand beach is very inviting. Please do not walk on the dune grasses behind the beach; dune vegetation is extremely delicate and is the only thing that holds the sand in place. It is also habitat for many species of birds.

Services: washrooms and change rooms at North Bay Operations Office and a picnic area. No surf guards on duty.



Broad Cove Beach

Broad Cove Beach

Beach Swimming Washroom 

Salt water and freshwater.  Dip into the Atlantic and rinse off in the neighbouring brook.  This hidden gem of a sandy beach can be found at the far end of the Broad Cove Campground.

Services: washrooms within Broad Cove Campground. No surf guards on duty.



Warren Lake Beach

Warren Lake

Beach Swimming Hiking
Pit Privy Picnic Area

Freshwater.  Our largest lake with resident loons and incredible mountain scenery warms up quickly in the summer to provide an enjoyable beach adventure for the whole family.

Services: pit privies and a picnic area. No surf guards on duty.



Black Brook Beach

Black Brook Beach

Beach Swimming Washroom
Playground Picnic Area Kitchen Shelter

Salt water and freshwater.  Take in the ocean views at one of our most popular beaches, bordered by a gentle waterfall on one end and intersected by a freshwater brook.  Over the course of the year, the sandspit at the mouth of the brook shifts continuously, dependent on the tides and currents.

Services: washrooms, change rooms, a kitchen shelter, a playground and a picnic area. No surf guards on duty.



La Bloc Beach

La Bloc Beach

Beach Swimming Pit Privy
Picnic Area 

Salt water.  The wharf reaching into the warm gulf waters reminds us of the Acadians who once lived near this pebbly beach on the west coast of the park.  Enjoy a walk along the coast, refreshing dip and spectacular sunsets.

Services: pit privies and a picnic area. No surf guards on duty.



Undertow and rip current warning symbols
Undertow and rip currents can be very dangerous. Please exercise caution while swimming at any ocean beach, especially in turbulent waters or after a storm. Undertows at Black Brook, Broad Cove and Ingonish Beach can be particularly strong.