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Freshwater Lake Trail - Cape Breton Highlands National Park

Starting next to the ocean, this short, level trail follows the shoreline of a small lake that was once an ocean bay. A side trail (1.6 km return) follows the cobble barrier beach which separates the lake from the Atlantic Ocean. Hear the unique song of the loon, or catch a glimpse of one from the viewing deck. Complete your stroll with a dip in the ocean or in Freshwater Lake. Bicycles are permitted on this trail but pedestrians have the right of way.

Trailhead: The Ingonish Beach Day Use Area parking lot Significant Feature: Atlantic coastline, lake, beaver pond Length: 1.7 km (1.1 mi) Hiking Time: 30 - 40 minutes Elevation: 0 - 15 m (0 - 50 ft) Level, wheelchair-accessible trail. Suitable for families with young children.

GPS Co-ordinates for Trailhead (in decimal degrees):

Lat: 46.650291 Long: -60.390789

Open from mid-May until mid-October. A park pass is required all year for hiking or use of other services in the park. Check in at the Parks Canada Visitor Centres in Ch├ęticamp (16 Visitor Centre Rd., situated on the west side of the park) or in Ingonish (37637 Cabot Trail, on the east side of the park) to obtain passes, information on visitor safety and any other information you may need, including a trail location map.

For your comfort and safety:

- Do not approach, disturb or feed wild animals.

- Take along appropriate clothing - rapid weather changes often occur on the plateau or along the coast.

- Carry water with you, especially for longer trails, climbs or open barrens.

- Bring insect repellent as black flies and mosquitoes are common all summer.

- Mountain bikes are permitted only where indicated, for public safety and protection of the environment.

- Stay on boardwalks to protect fragile vegetation.

- Do not throw food or scraps along the trails or roads.

- Read "Keep it Wild, Keep it Safe" brochure, available at park visitor centres.


Activities: Birding • Cycling • Hiking

Cell Service: Partial

Core Experience: Outdoor Adventure

Features: Wheelchair Accessible

Government Level: National

Pets Policy: Leashed

Trail Surface: Gravel

Trail Type: Wilderness

Other Info

Directions: Trailhead located at the Ingonish Beach day use area parking lot.

Related Links


Freshwater Lake Trail - Cape Breton Highlands National Park

37648 Cabot Trail
Cape Breton Highlands NP, NS

no maintenance in off-season.

Phone: 902-224-2306
Fax: 902-285-2866

Website: http://www.parkscanada.gc.ca/capebreton

Distance: 1.7
Duration: 0.5 hours