New Park Entry Permit Fees, Hours and Discounts

Cape North, Cape Breton

June 13, 2009

Two Park initiatives will facilitate longer visitor stays in the area in and around the Cape Breton Highlands National Park in 2009.

  • Entry permits to the Park, will now expire at 4 P.M. on the day following the purchase of the permit.
  • “Early Bird Sale” of Season-long entry permits will continue until June 30, 2009.

During consultative sessions held during the off-season, representatives from the Top of the Island region and Park staff discussed ways to better accommodate visitors wishing to fully explore the environmental and cultural attractions existing in and north of the National Park.

Extended hours and reduced Park entry fees were high on the list of visitor-friendly suggestions.

The National Park offers a wide range of scenic viewing areas and self-guided hiking trails, and the region north of the Park (The Top of The Island) offers significant opportunities for guided hiking, kayaking, whale watching and cycling, all activities that compliment Park offerings.

While the entry permits apply only to use of Park facilities and are not necessary in the northern regions outside the Park, the new extended permit hours now make it far easier to plan an itinerary made up of a combination of in-Park and non-Park activities.

Another high priority noted was the availability of multiple-day discounted passes. To address this issue the annual “Early Bird Sale” of season-long permits will continue until June 30, 2009.   Under the Early Bird program, the Park’s Year-Long Pass can be purchased for the equivalent of only two-and-one-half times the cost of a single-day permit. The purchase of the Season’s Pass in advance of one’s arrival represents a significant savings opportunity for visitors intending to remain in the region for more than two days.

Dennis Doyon, manager of Sea Spray Outdoor Adventures, a Top of the Island operator that provides multi-day outdoor adventure opportunities in the region north of the Park, likes the new Park policies:

“These extended hours and discounted purchase opportunities fit well with our attempts to meet the needs of visitors planning to explore the beauty of the entire northern Cape Breton region over a number of days. Now our clients can more easily mix our guided activities with the self-guided Park experiences we suggest to them, and they can do so over four or five days at a reduced cost. We heartily suggest visitors make use of the Early Bird Season Pass opportunity, since a pass purchased at a discount in June can be used for the entire year!

David Rasmussen, co-chair of the North Highlands Museum in Cape North, agrees:

“Visitors to the museum are often surprised by the extent and variety of our indoor and outdoor exhibits, our evening speaker series and our annual performances. The new National Park permit policies will allow visitors to leisurely visit our museum without feeling rushed to get through the Park early in the day and it will also help those visitors who base themselves at The Top of the Island for a number of days to enjoy the wide variety of activities in our area.”

Daily Park entry permits may be purchased at Park entry kiosks in Cheticamp and Ingonish, and at selected private outlets north of the Park, such as:

  • The Whale Interpretive Center, Pleasant Bay
  • Arts North Gallery, Cape North
  • Celtic Touch Deli, Dingwall

Early Bird Season’s Passes may be purchased in advance by phoning Park headquarters at 902-334-2306, Monday through Friday from 9:A.M. to 4 P.M Atlantic time.

Additional information may be found on the Park web site,

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