Information for Visitors

Backcountry camping requires a permit approved by Parks Canada

Pre-trip planning and being prepared are essential for travel in the backcountry. Backcountry camping in non-designated areas also requires a permit approved by Parks Canada.

For a permit, please contact 902-224-2306 or pc.cbinfo.pc@canada.ca. Please allow up to two weeks for a response.


Cape Breton Highlands National Park is a special place to enjoy a backcountry experience. Pre-trip planning and being prepared are essential for travel in the backcountry. A permit is required for any camping in the national park. Cape Breton Highlands National Park has one designated backcountry camping area. It is also possible to camp in non-designated areas in the vast interior plateau of the national park with proper knowledge, planning and permits. A permit system allows Parks Canada to keep track of who is camping within Cape Breton Highlands National Park's backcountry, and to follow up to make sure you have made it back safely.

Planning and safety

When planning a trip into the backcountry of Cape Breton Highlands National Park, it is important to be prepared. Higher elevations of the interior plateau create harsh weather that can test your gear and equipment. Hiking in the backcountry can be an exciting and fulfilling experience but plan, prepare and expect very challenging conditions. Your safety is important to us.

  • Obtain a backcountry camping permit from Parks Canada
  • Know your physical limits
  • Familiarize yourself with the trip you have selected by using guidebooks and topographic maps
  • Inform friends or family of your itinerary
  • Ensure that you have adequate food, water, clothing and equipment for your trip
  • Be prepared to be self-sufficient in all weather conditions and emergency situations, and for at least one day more than your planned trip
  • Ensure one person in your party has experience in wilderness first aid, and advanced map and compass skills
  • Check the local weather forecast before you leave, but be prepared for anything
  • Before starting your trip, check with Parks Canada for trail conditions, important updates or restrictions

Low-impact camping

Low-impact camping is permitted providing you adhere the following rules/regulations:

  • No open fires
  • Pack out garbage – if you pack it in, pack it out
  • Follow safe food storage procedures to avoid attracting bears, coyotes and other wildlife
  • Keep pets on leash at all times
  • Take only photos – collecting or damaging plants, trees, animals, rocks, fossils or cultural artefacts is strictly prohibited

Please follow all Nova Scotia COVID-19 guidelines. Please note that camping in the backcountry is not an acceptable way to quarantine.


Contact us

For more information or for a permit, please contact 902-224-2306 or pc.cbinfo.pc@canada.ca. Please note that the phone and e-mail are monitored but there may be delays in response due to COVID-19, so allow up to two weeks for a response.

Undesignated Camping Area Map

Undesignated Camping in Cape Breton Highlands National Park - Map