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 and Freshwater Lake
- North Bay Beach
- Broad Cove Beach
- Warren Lake
- Black Brook Beach
- La Bloc Beach
Ingonish Beach and Freshwater Lake
Salt water and freshwater. Over thousands of years, large cobblestones on the beach have been worn round and smooth from being ground against one another by the action of the waves. Centuries ago, a barachois composed of beach cobbles blocked off a cove, cutting it off from the salty Atlantic Ocean. Cross the barachois to take a dip in warm Freshwater Lake.
Services: Temporary public washrooms with accessible stalls, a picnic area, a playground, tennis courts, and a 1.7 km trail are available. A beach wheelchair and access mat are available to improve accessibility to the sand and water at Freshwater Lake. You can reserve the chair free of charge by contacting Parks Canada at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phoning 902-285-2535
Surf guards are on duty during July and August at Ingonish Beach. Dogs are not permitted in the supervised area of the beach.
North Bay Beach
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: pit privies and a picnic area.
Broad Cove Beach
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.
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: Accessible pit privies, a picnic area and a 4.7 km trail. No surf guards on duty. A beach wheelchair and access mat are available to improve accessibility to the sand and water at Warren Lake. You can reserve the chair free of charge by contacting Parks Canada at email@example.com or 902-285-2535.
Black Brook Beach
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
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.