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Cape Breton Highlands National Park

Activities

Special Events

Special Events 2016

June

June 9-12
Chéticamp
June 18
Ingonish Beach soccer field
June 18
Bicycle Rodeo
(rain date: June 19)
La Rigouèche day use area
June 26
Ingonish


July

July 1
Ingonish & Chéticamp
July 2-9
Various locations
July 5
Chéticamp Visitor Centre
July 12
Chéticamp Visitor Centre
July 16
Ingonish Beach soccer field
July 16-17
Ingonish Beach Campground
July 19
Chéticamp Visitor Centre
July 20
Clyburn Brook estuary
July 21
Chéticamp River estuary
July 26
Chéticamp Visitor Centre


August

August 2
Chéticamp Visitor Centre
August 3-7
Chéticamp
August 4
Chéticamp Visitor Centre
August 8-12
Black Brook Beach
August 9
Chéticamp Visitor Centre
August 12
Black Brook Beach
August 13
La Bloc
August 16
Chéticamp Visitor Centre
August 18
Neils Brook estuary
August 19
Chéticamp River estuary
August 23
Chéticamp Visitor Centre
August 30
Chéticamp Visitor Centre


September

September 9-18
Various locations
September 21


October

October 9
La Rigouèche
October 9
Broad Cove Campground
October 10
Corney Brook
October 11
Acadian trail
October 12
Mica Hill trail
October 13
Franey trail
October 14
Warren Lake
October 13-16
Ingonish


Roots to Boots Festival

June 9-12

The second annual Roots to Boots Festival is taking place in the communities of Chéticamp and Louisbourg.  It offers a unique blend of walks, storytelling, food experiences, tree planting, local flavour concerts and late night square dances.

rootstobootsfestival.ca, 902-224-2642

Thursday, June 9:
10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. — Hike a Trail. Plant a Tree. Save a Forest! Tree planting on the Skyline trail
7:00 p.m. — La Bloc Party Lobster Boil - tickets sold in advance

Friday, June 10:
7:00 p.m. — Sunset guided hike on the Skyline trail with a twist (and a "step")

Saturday, June 11:
1:00 p.m. — Guided hike on Le vieux chemin du Cap-Rouge

Sunday, June 12:
1:00 p.m. — Guided hike on Le Buttereau trail
9:00 p.m. — Campfire with live music at Robert Brook Campground


Hike a Trail. Plant a Tree. Save a Forest!

June 9

Have a green thumb? Want to get (a little) dirty? Like unique volunteer opportunities?
If your answer is yes, then come hike a trail, plant a tree, and save the forest!

Parks Canada is hosting this tree-planting event in Cape Breton Highlands National Park to give visitors, schools, community groups and organizations the opportunity to join us in planting trees to help restore our boreal forest.

Are you up for it?

If you are interested in planting a tree to help save a forest in Cape Breton Highlands National Park, please contact us at 902-224-2306 or email us for more information. Or drop by the Skyline trail!


"Forest Keepers" Geocache Series Launch

June 18

Our new Conservation and Restoration Cache Series takes flight today! You can discover what we are doing to maintain forest health as you tour the Cabot Trail and earn a new geocoin, unique to this cache series. A bonus debut is also in the works for Cape Breton Highlands' second earth cache. On your marks, get set, get geocaching!


Bicycle Rodeo

June 18
Rain date: June 19

La Rigouèche, Chéticamp

Bring the family for bicycle inspection, safe riding tips, and a barbecue!


Ingonish Triathlon

June 26

The Ingonish Triathlon is a unique sporting event that occurs in northern Cape Breton, one of the most beautiful regions of Canada, if not the world. It has a swimming leg in pristine Freshwater Lake adjacent to the ocean, a cycling route that follows the world-famous Cabot Trail, and a running route that climbs to the cliffs with beautiful views.  For more information, email ingonishtriathlon.gmail.com or call 902-285-0377.


Canada Day

July 1

Enjoy FREE entry to all Parks Canada places

Chéticamp: 2:00 - 4:00 p.m., Chéticamp Visitor Centre area
Live music, family activities and cake. Hosted collaboratively by La Société Saint-Pierre and Cape Breton Highlands National Park.

Ingonish Beach: 8 a.m. until dark, Ingonish Beach Day Use Area (soccer field), Keltic Lodge and community locations
Cake, music and games for the whole family!


KitchenFest! Féis a' Chidsin!

July 4-7

Parks Canada is partnering with the Gaelic College for its third annual festival celebrating the vibrant Gaelic culture of the area through food and music, the heart of the traditional kitchen ceilidh.  Live performances of song and dance are scheduled all over Cape Breton, including several in the national park.  For more information, visit the KitchenFest! website.

Monday, July 4:
1:00 - 3:00 p.m. — Skyline Square Dance
That's right! A square dance on the famous Skyline trail. Swing your partner 400 m above sea level, to the toe-tapping sounds of local Cape Breton music.

Tuesday, July 5:
7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. — Campground Ceilidh - Broad Cove Campground
Enjoy a lively ceilidh in our campground at Broad Cove! 

Wednesday, July 6:
1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. — Piper at Lone Shieling
Visit the lone piper at the Lone Shieling to honour and celebrate Cape Breton's Gaelic roots.

Thursday, July 7:
7:00 - 9:00 p.m. — Gaelic Song and Storytelling
Gaelic speakers share stories and songs around a campfire at MacIntosh Brook

Be on the look-out for "pop-up ceilidhs" around the park on Monday and Tuesday (July 4 and 5).


Live! At the Park

July 5 - Maxim Cormier & Douglas Cameron
July 12 - Evan Googoo
July 19 - Donny LeBlanc
July 26 - Jeremy Pike
August 2 - Maxim Cormier & Douglas Cameron
August 9 - Chrissy Crowley
August 16 - Nicole LeBlanc
August 23 - Evan Googoo
August 30 - Adam Young

The Chéticamp Visitor Centre comes to life with a variety of special guests from around the island. Drawing on the many talents and cultures of Cape Breton, each week will be a new experience, from fiddles and pipes to dancers and drums.


Parks Day Teddy Bears' Picnic

July 16

If you go down to the park today you’re in for a big surprise… Because today is the day the teddy bears have their picnic! Pack a picnic and bring your favourite teddy bear on an adventure to celebrate Parks Day. Join Parka at Ingonish Beach soccer field for fun, games and maybe even a puppet show!


Three Peaks Challenge

July 16

Teams of four members hike three peaks in one day! This year’s climbs are Franey Trail, Roberts Mountain and Acadian Trail. Registration: hikethehighlandsfestival.com.


Learn to Camp

July 16-17

New to camping? Cape Breton Highlands National Park is hosting a special learn-to-camp event in partnership with Mountain Equipment Co-op. It's going to be a tenting-good-time! Learn new skills and discover (or rediscover) the great Canadian tradition of camping! Tents, supper, and breakfast provided. Bring your sense of outdoor adventure for a night under the stars in Cape Breton Highlands National Park.

Registration required: 902-562-5616.


Coastal Life Discovery Program

July 20
11:00 a.m.
Clyburn Brook Estuary (Meet at North Bay beach parking lot)

July 21, August 19
11:00 a.m.
Chéticamp River estuary (Meet at Chéticamp Visitor Centre. Participants will follow guide to beach in their own vehicles.)

August 18
11:00 a.m.
Neils Brook estuary (Meet at Coastal trailhead parking lot)

Ever wonder what types of creatures live in our coastal waters? Come find out! Help Parks Canada staff do important research and uncover the things that live in an estuary – a special environment where rivers mix with salt water from the ocean. Help haul in a net and find creatures such as green crabs, nine-spined stickleback, silversides, northern pipefish, and more. Dress for the weather and don’t forget your rubber boots or water shoes. Visitors of all ages welcome.


Le Festival de l'Escaouette

August 3-7

There is something for everyone at this five-day celebration of Acadian culture and historical tradition in the region of Chéticamp. Be delighted by musicals and comedies, soul-felt Acadian music from local performers, and local markets of crafts and delicious foods.

cheticamp.ca, 902-224-2642


Acadian Milling Frolic

August 4
7:30 p.m.
Chéticamp Visitor Centre

You can't beat our milling frolic! Wait – yes, you can. Beat the wool to the rhythm of traditional Acadian songs in the setting sun. Join in around the table or simply sing along, while we take you back in time for an hour or two. Hosted collaboratively by La Société Saint-Pierre and Cape Breton Highlands National Park.


Junior Naturalist Day Camp

August 8-12
10 a.m. to noon, Black Brook Beach
Join us for five fun-filled days of nature exploration and adventures, rain or shine. Search for animal signs, explore a jack pine forest, and play awesome games.
Ages 6-12. Space is limited. Pre-register by calling 902-285-3004.


Nikani Awtiken Mi'kmaq Youth Camp

August 8-15

Mi'kmaq students travel to Cape Breton Highlands National Park as part of Nikani Awtiken event. This week-long summer camp focuses on reconnecting with nature and learning about traditional Mi'kmaq values and practices.


Star-gazing and Meteor Showers

August 12
8:00 p.m.
Black Brook Beach

August 13
8:00 p.m.
La Bloc Beach

Discover the basics of astronomy and the stories behind the stars while you watch for the Perseid meteor shower. Bring binoculars and telescopes if you have them and settle in for an evening of star-gazing. For your comfort, wear warm layers and bring blankets, chairs, insect repellent, and a flashlight.


Seedling Saturdays: Hike a Trail. Plant a Tree. Save a Forest!

September 3
September 10
September 17
September 24

Have a green thumb? Want to get (a little) dirty? Like unique volunteer opportunities?
If your answer is yes, then come hike a trail, plant a tree, and save the forest!

This September, Parks Canada will host tree-planting events in Cape Breton Highlands National Park to give visitors, schools, community groups and organizations the opportunity to join us in planting trees to help restore our boreal forest.

Are you up for it?

If you are interested in planting a tree to help save a forest in Cape Breton Highlands National Park, please contact us at 902-224-2306 or email us for more information. Or drop by the Skyline trail for Seedling Saturday!


Hike the Highlands Festival

September 9-18

Join us for the 13th annual Hike the Highlands Festival, featuring guided hikes within and near the park, evening activities and presentations, the hiker distance award and a photo contest. Fee applicable. Registration: hikethehighlandsfestival.com.


National Tree Day

September 21


Celtic Colours International Festival

October 7-15

Cape Breton Island is alive with music, energy and excitement during this nine-day festival. Communities around the island host concerts and events at a time when the fall leaves are at their most brilliant. www.celtic-colours.com

Celtic Colours Hikes
Hike through a vibrant panorama of autumn leaves as fiddle music resonates within you. Join park staff for a guided hike associated with Celtic Colours International Festival concerts in Chéticamp, Aspy Bay and Ingonish.

10:30 a.m.
October 10: Corney Brook trail
October 11: Acadian trail
October 12: Mica Hill trail
October 13: Franey trail
October 14: Warren Lake trail

For hike details, email us or call 902-224-2306


Celtic Colours Pumpkin Carving

October 9
10:00 a.m.
La Rigouèche (Chéticamp Campground) and Broad Cove Campground

Join park staff at one of two popular day use areas to engage in a seasonal favourite – pumpkin carving! Try your hand at creating a Celtic Colours or Parks Canada themed jack-o-lantern, or stick to traditional favourites for your inspiration. Pumpkins and carving tools provided—just bring your imagination and creativity.


Huckle Buckle Festival

October 13-16

A full roster of fun activities in and outside the park will leave memories that cling to your heart just like the “hook and buckle” burrs of the common burdock – for which the festival is named – cling to our garments after autumn outings. www.hucklebuckle.ca