For families looking to explore an area that is rich in beauty, culture, and fun, you can't beat taking your RV on a trip to Cape Breton Island's Mira River Provincial Park. Rated one of Canada's most desirable tourist destinations, Cape Breton, an island connected to mainland Nova Scotia by a causeway, is well-renowned for its rugged beauty and warm hospitality. Heavily influenced by the Gaelic culture, Cape Breton is an area with well-established Celtic roots which is reflected in everything from the area's music and style to its food and more.
Mira River Provincial Park is located in the small and quaint community of Albert Bridge which rests directly along the banks of the famous Mira River. The campground is removed from the hustle and bustle of city life found just 22 km (14 miles) away at the island's capital city of Sydney which offers many more urban attractions including world class restaurants, entertainment venues, shopping, and more for families to enjoy.
Cape Breton Island was once a bustling center for the coal and steel industries. Today, only one coal mine remains operational with all the other facilities having closed their doors in the early 1980's. The people are as rugged as the landscape, but they are also pleasant and inviting to visitors. The economy of the region has been deeply impacted by the loss of these two vital employers; however, in tribute to the true spirit of Cape Bretoners, the people have soldiered on and made their own way, finding a way to thrive in the midst of hardship. Today, tourism is one of the area's most vibrant industries.
The scenery is breathtaking with the landscape awe-inspiring and extremely diverse. The land is reminiscent of the rolling hills of Scotland and Ireland, countries whose settlers made the area their home in years gone by. The island's verdant, mountainous terrain rests along the shores of the Atlantic Ocean just outside the seafaring village of Louisbourg, an area which is home to the famous Fortress of Louisbourg, a national historic site which is explored by visitors from all over the world each year.
The living is fine at Mira River Provincial Park, and a visit here will leave you perfectly positioned to enjoy the finest attractions, food, and cultural events in Sydney, Louisbourg, and the surrounding areas. For an unforgettable vacation experience, bring your family for an RV stay at Mira River Provincial Park.
Getting to Mira River Provincial Park could not be simpler. Since the campground is found on an island connected to mainland Nova Scotia by the Canso Causeway, there is only one way to gain access to Cape Breton. Whether travelling from one of Nova Scotia's mainland cities such as Antigonish, New Glasgow, or Halifax or from another point already on the island itself, Highway 104 is the route you will need to take to get to this popular camping area. Highway 104 alternates between four lanes and two and often sees a lot of road construction during the summer months. Be prepared for lengthy delays and allow a lot of additional time to avoid a late arrival.
To get to Mira River Provincial Park from Highway 104, take the third exit in Sydney which will lead you to Highway 22. Highway 22 is precisely 22 km (14 miles) from the Mira River Provincial Park. This is a two lane highway that travels at a moderate speed through picturesque country villages that are quiet and eye-catching to behold. Though this section of the road sees little traffic or road construction, you may want to stop for snacks or gas or even to check out some of the unique shops found along the route.
Travelling to Mira River Provincial Park is half the fun! You will find the landscape, people, and culture quite charming and will want to stop often to take photos as a memento of your time in this idyllic island paradise. Most people who visit even once fall in love with the area and resolve to visit as often as they can.
Parking can be found at the main entrance to the campground. A camping permit is required to enter the facility.
Though regular city bus service transports people from North Sydney to Sydney proper, there is no public transportation other than taxis which travel to Mira River Provincial Park.
Mira River Campground is found within Mira River Provincial Park. There are four different camping areas labelled Loop A, B, C, and D which offer camping for RV's and trailers. There are also a few sites for those wishing to tent.
The property houses 156 campsites with some in open areas and others in the woods. Of the 156 sites, 97 are unserviced, and 59 offer both electric and water hookups. Since these spots go very quickly, reservations are highly recommended.
Generator use is permitted but only between the hours of 9 AM and 8 PM daily. Dogs are also welcome to join their families here; however, they must remain leashed at all times.
Mira River Campground is open seasonally from May 31st through October 31st. From September 5th through the 21st, visitors must use the self-registration check-in. An entry pass key must be obtained to gain entrance to the facility. There is a minimal charge for this, but the fee will be refunded when the key is turned in at checkout.
This campground is close to Cape Breton Island's premiere city as well as many other local attractions. Among the on-site amenities at the campground are hiking trails, beach access, a boat launch, Wifi, toilets, showers, a playground, a games area, a sewage disposal unit, fire grills, a changing room, wood, and ice.
There are many great activities here including boating, swimming, canoeing, hiking, fishing, and waterskiing.
At the time of reservations, the agent will inquire about the length of your RV to determine the campsite size you will require.
Coordinates: 60° 2' 14.60" W 46° 1' 33.62" N
For those who love a challenging hike, a visit to Coxheath Mountain is definitely in order. Located 30 km (19 miles) from Mira River Provincial Park, Coxheath Mountain is on outdoor paradise. There are several different sections you can take; all of which vary in intensity. Make no mistake; this is a difficult hiking experience, but the view from the top is well worth it.
The trails are exceptionally well-marked and all along each path you will find benches where you can rest to catch your breath. Though an area that is largely forest, there are some streams that run through the property. The scenery is magnificent and includes varied terrain, lots of vegetation, and an abundance of wildlife.
Bring along some drinking water and a light snack. There are no bathrooms on this property. Your dog is welcome to join you on your hike but must remain on a lead at all times.
For those who love nature and animals, it is worth a trip to visit Two Rivers Wildlife Park which also rests in the community of Mira. This natural wonderland is 27 km (17 miles) from Mira River Provincial Park.
There is a large parking lot directly out front of the admissions area. You can take several different paths which lead through forested areas to a large grouping of different animal enclosures. Among the animals you will see during your trip include deer, bears, wolves, exotic cats, rabbits, otters, cattle, foxes, and goats.
Two Rivers Wildlife Park also has a small canteen and ice cream shop where you can purchase some treats after your day of exploring. Occasionally, sleigh rides and horseback riding is available in season.
There is a small gift shop in the main building where the bathrooms are housed.
The Miner's Museum is located 36 km (22 miles) from Mira River Provincial Park in a the coal mining town of Glace Bay, Nova Scotia. A visit to the museum is a great way to spend a day during colder weather or on a rainy day.
The museum takes you through a guided tour of the history of the coal mining industry and the people affected by it in Cape Breton. This history gives you a deeper appreciation for those who make this area their home. It is quite moving.
Part of the tour includes a trip beneath the ocean floor into a simulated mine for a first hand glimpse into what life was like "down below." You can also visit some on site "company houses," the dwellings where mine workers and their families lived in financially challenging times. There is also an excellent restaurant on site that serves full course meals and delicious desserts.
Though in recent years the fishing industry has seen decreases due to the reduced numbers in certain species, sport fishing is still an extremely popular activity in the area. You can fish directly from the shores of Mira River Provincial Park or head out on the open water in your canoe, kayak, or pleasurecraft to try your hand at reeling in the catch of the day.
Among the fish species commonly found in Cape Breton waters are bass, haddock, cod, mackerel, smelt, speckled trout, and rainbow trout. Bring your treasures back to the campground where you can cook your bounty over an open fire for your family and friends to enjoy.
There is no fishing experience quite like a day spent "out on the Mira!"
The Highland Arts Theater is found in Sydney, NS, and is 22 km (14 miles) from Mira River Provincial Park. This entertainment venue hosts a variety of different events yearly including dinner theater, cabaret, plays, and concerts by local musicians. You will be treated to a sampling of local talent should you pick up some tickets for a show as this theater places a high emphasis on promoting artists from the region.
Located in the heart of Sydney's downtown core, you can stop in for supper or dessert at one of the area's leading cafes or restaurants. Shopping is plentiful downtown as well. There are many eclectic clothing shops and stores which feature Nova Scotia and Cape Breton memorabilia including the tartans for both of these areas.
Take a walk back in time to the 1700's and visit the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site. Situated 26 km (16 miles) from the Mira River Provincial Park, you will find the Fortress on an inlet in the charming seaside town of Louisbourg. The Fortress of Louisbourg replicates life in an early 18th century fortified French village. In season, battle re-enactments, social events, rum tastings, and even a small race are conducted on the grounds.
Visitors to the Fortress are greeted by community volunteers and summer staff dressed in "period" costumes. Snacks, drinks, and food are available, and there are even several shops who produce food in the same fashion the 18th century villagers would have enjoyed, complete with similar plates, earthenware, and utensils. It is an experience that is not to be missed!
To get to the Fortress, there are several parking lots where you can leave your car to board a bus which will take you directly to the entrance gates. Dogs are not permitted on the Fortress grounds.
The town of Louisbourg is quite picturesque as well. You can meander the charming streets and stop in for a bite to eat at one of the restaurants or cafes which offer local seafood and other delicious treats.