REVIEW: Broad Cove Campground, Cape Breton Highlands National Park
Cape Breton Highlands National Park
Campground: Broad Cove
Site type: unserviced with fire pit
Distance to washroom: under 1 min walk
Distance to dishwashing station: under 1 min walk
Distance to water tap: under 1 min walk
Nearest Town: Ingonish 0.6km
Price per night: $28.00 (site price), $7.00pp (individual park pass)
Firewood Price: $7.90 (w/ tax, guaranteed dry - comes in bag)
Hikes in the area:
Hike within the campground that leads from one side of the campground, alongside Warren Brook and ends at the beautiful and sandy, Broad Cove Beach
Broad Cove Mountain
Mary Ann Falls
After a long drive heading from Halifax to Cape Breton (beginning counter-clockwise on the Cabot Trail), we finally arrive at our first campground, Broad Cove within Cape Breton Highlands National Park. Upon driving up to the kiosk, we were greeted by the friendliest attendant! We checked in, bought some wood and then she realized something. She advised me that the campsite that we had booked did not have a fire pit. Boooooo. She offered us to switch campsites, but to go take a drive around and find one first.
We were already so tired by this point, so we wanted to find the most private campsite that had a fire pit. Campsite 133 and 126 were the first two that caught our eye. Upon returning to the kiosk, 133 was taken that night so 126 it was! There were lots of open amenities, lots of private campsites, several day use areas (which were also wi-fi hubs) and even an outdoor theatre!
Campsite 126 is wooded on 3 sides and open to the road. There is a large concrete picnic table on the far right of the campsite, a raised fire pit in the middle and a tent area to the left. Further left of the tent space, there is a small open space between the trees where it was a perfect, private spot to hang the hammock. On the ‘back side’ of the campsite, there are some trees but open/visible to the neighbouring campsite, which had a camper trailer there.
As the front of the campsite is very open, we parked the car horizontally across the opening to give a little bit of privacy to the site. We immediately started setting up camp. We hadn’t thought to check the ground when looking for sites on the drive through and somehow picked the campsite with the tent space, complete rock.
On this trip, we camped with the Marmot Mantis 2P Plus tent, which relies on tension to stand up. There is one pole that goes in the front, and the rest of the tent stands up, relying on the tension of the pegs in the ground. After struggling to get the pegs to stay in the ground, I began moving the tent back further into the trees (to get that good good soil). AT LAST, the tent is standing - I’ll spare you the 27 minute video of me trying to get the tent up (It usually takes me 5). So, if your tent RELIES on getting the pegs in the ground, I would avoid site 126. If we had a different tent, this site would be perfect.
After getting the campsite set up, it was time for dinner. I had been waiting for this all day. Before we left home, I had cooked frozen Pizza Delight Garlic Fingers and they stayed cool on the drive in the cooler. We had also bought a large Caesar Salad from Costco, which was going to be delicious with our garlic fingers. With no oven or microwave to heat up the garlic fingers, I put a little bit of olive oil in a pan and put a metal plate over top, to try to keep the heat in to melt the cheese on top. It worked a little, but the garlic fingers would have been delicious regardless. I mean come on. Garlic fingers & camping?! Hell yeah. We sat in our camping chairs and watched squirrels run around the campsite, obviously exciting the dog.
We had a few visitors while at the campsite... LOTS of squirrels and chipmunks, and a few Blue Jays. I’ve added a short video below of a squirrel crawling on our camp stove. Though the squirrels were cute, they left poop, EVERYWHERE. So much so, that I set my phone down in it and got squirrel poop all over my hands, how fun!
After cleaning up from dinner, and cleaning up some squirrel poop...we took Ned for a walk and came across the Campground’s hike. As mentioned above, the trail winds along the Warren Brook and opens up to Broad Cove Beach. For a campground hike, it was absolutely incredible. We couldn’t actually visit Broad Cove Beach because unfortunately, it is not dog friendly! We exited the beach via the parking lot for day use. We stood at the gated fence overlooking the cliffs and the vast Atlantic Ocean.
We walked back to our campsite
through the campground.
When we returned, we started a fire
The next morning, after coffee and a breakfast of fruit and homemade banana bread, we set off to our next stop in Cape Breton, Meat Cove.