Parks Canada



Issue 10 | February 2018

Winter magic at the Park La Magie de l’hiver à la Rigouèche is happening February 3 from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. at Cape Breton Highlands National Park. This is a day of family February fun for everyone including a treasure hunt, games, food and music. If there’s snow, there will also be snowman building and snow art. Then join us at 7 p.m. under the full moon for a walk or snowshoe hike, followed by music with Sylvia LeLièvre!  Parks Canada is pleased to collaborate with La Société Saint-Pierre, ÉcolesPlus and Hike NS for this very magical event.

Second Annual Ice Skating Party Postponed to February 4 The second annual ice skating party scheduled for January 28, 2018 at the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site has been postponed to February 4. We invite you to join us on from 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. for an afternoon of family fun. Enjoy free Heritage™ hot chocolate and marshmallows by the fire. Dress warm and don’t forget to bring a helmet (mandatory for 12 and under) along with your skates. Call 902-733-3552 the day of the event to confirm that weather conditions are suitable.

Free admission for 17 and under Starting January 1, 2018, admission to Parks Canada places for youth 17 and under is free! That includes all national parks, national historic sites, and national marine conservation areas operated by Parks Canada. There’s no better time to create lasting memories with the whole family. Parks Canada is inviting Canadian families and their children, and youth and school groups to learn more about our history and nature around us. From lighthouses to battlefields, historic neighbours to contributions and traditions of Indigenous Peoples, there is an amazing array of places and stories to discover. Regular fees still apply for other experiences and services, such as camping, backcountry and other accommodations, guided tours and hikes and programs not usually included with admission, as well as some special event fees.

Calling all students! Are you someone who enjoys working in a job where you make a difference? Have you ever thought of a career in support of one of Canada’s iconic places? Then, Parks Canada is the place for you. The work you will do with Parks Canada will have an impact on the experience of Canadians and visitors from all over the world. We offer a variety of jobs and are looking for students with a wide range of interests and skills. Check out student jobs here as well as the Federal Student Work Experience Program and apply to work with us.

Planning your camping trip Camping reservations are now open at Cape Breton Highlands National Park! It’s never too early to plan your next camping experience. Camping is available from May 18 to October 28, 2018. There are five front country campgrounds and one back country campground, each unique in its own way. Visitors who camp for seven or more consecutive nights receive a 15% discount. Cape Breton Highlands National Park now offers 20 oTENTiks between the Chéticamp, Ingonish Beach and Broad Cove campgrounds. Part tent, part cabin, the oTENTik allows you to enjoy all the excitement of camping outdoors, while providing a soft bed and a cozy roof over your head. Chéticamp campground and Ingonish Beach campground also offer five reservable equipped campsites each. Call 1-877-RESERVE (1-877-737-3783) between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. or reserve your space online.

Winter activities to keep you busy –   Skating at Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site. We’re extending the life of the skating surface this year so regular visitors can use the facility while they explore the snow covered fortress! We recommend you call ahead (902-733-3552) to ensure the conditions are suitable for use of the rink before you make the trip. –   Check out Take the roof off winter on Facebook for a list of upcoming winter activities in your area. –

Did you know it’s FREE to walk the trails in the Cape Breton Highlands National Park in the winter? Although the trails aren’t maintained during the winter months, many visitors choose this time of year to walk, ski or snowshoe in nature. Be safe and enjoy the outdoors. –        Hike Nova Scotia is organizing several guided snowshoe hikes throughout Cape Breton, including a free hike in Cape Breton Highlands National Park. Join us at Warren Lake on March 17 at 10 a.m.

Beinn Bhreagh and Mabel Bell receive national historic designation! On January 12, 2018, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, Catherine McKenna, announced the designation of 17 new national significant persons, places and events that helped define Canada’s history. Two of these designations are Mabel Hubbard Bell (1857-1923) as a national historic person and Beinn Bhreagh Hall as a national historic place. Mabel Hubbard Bell made important contributions to the work of her husband, inventor Alexander Graham Bell, and was a community leader on Cape Breton Island. An active partner of her husband, she provided business and financial guidance to his work as an inventor and scientist, personally financing the Aerial Experiment Association (AEA). In addition, she coped with deafness from childhood and became successfully integrated into North American society, ably demonstrating the effectiveness of the oral method of educating the deaf, as advocated by her father and husband. Beinn Bhreagh Hall was the summer residence, estate and laboratory of inventor and scientist Alexander Graham Bell. It was an inspiration to Alexander Graham Bell during his late career, serving as both a private home and the nerve centre for innovative experiments with kites, tetrahedral construction, and hydrofoils, as well as sheep breeding.

Winter road maintenance Parks Canada’s top priority is safety and keeping winter roads as clear and safe as possible. Experienced crews work in very challenging conditions to keep roads in the national park as clear and safe as possible while covering about 100 km of challenging mountainous terrain in Cape Breton Highlands National Park. Here’s what we do to maintain roads in winter:

·        We start salting at the beginning of a storm, during and after as required. We salt to achieve a bare centre line.

·        Plowing often starts as soon as there is enough snow on the ground to plow, but our accumulation standard for plowing is 15 cm of snow.

·        At the end of a shift, road supervisors consult road conditions, monitoring stations and weather forecasts to determine if extended coverage is required. If 15 cm or more of snow is expected after the regularly scheduled shifts, crews will remain on the roads.

·        Crews are regularly scheduled seven days a week during critical winter months with supervisors patrolling roads and on call 24/7.

For the latest on road conditions, call 511 or visit