Climate, lakes, rivers, surficial deposits and soils play important roles in the northern Cape Breton ecosystem. Marine regions outside the park are also important contributors to the ecosystem.

The climate of northern Cape Breton 
The Maritime Boreal climate of northern Cape Breton is characterized by its variable weather, warm summers, cold winters and moderate precipitation. Occasional severe tropical marine storms hit the park in the fall and snowfall can be very heavy in the winter.

The northern Cape Breton ecosystem
The northern Cape Breton ecosystem covers the northern tip of Cape Breton Island from Lake Ainslie to Cape St. Lawrence. It is made up of three regions: the Acadian forest, the Boreal forest, and the Taiga, which could be considered smaller ecosystems within the northern Cape Breton ecosystem.

Geology
The dominant feature of northern Cape Breton is the Cape Breton Plateau, averaging 350 metres at its edges but rising to more than 500 metres at its centre.