Saturday, 31 January 2015

WRECK POINT FALLS
Donkin, Cape Breton Regional Municipality
N 46° 10.754 W 59° 48.932
UTM: 21T E282695 N5117815


RIVER: unnamed brook
CLASS: plunge
SIZE: 35 ft
PITCH: 85 deg
RATING: average (***1/2)

PK: 46 N 10.665 /  59 W 50.767
TRAIL: coastal bluff trail
DISTANCE: 2km
HIKING TIME: 45min

CONDITIONS: moderate (steep sections along trail)

Geocache: 
GC3FM2Q
NS Atlas Page: 15/W2

NS topo map: 011J04 (Glace Bay)


DRIVING DIRECTIONS: from SYDNEY, follow HWY125 to its conclusion at the corner with the Mayflower Mall on your right (Canadian Tire, Home Depot and Walmart are straight ahead). Turn right onto Grand Lake Rd (HWY4) towards Glace Bay and continue 11.1km, then take the slight right onto Wilson Rd (signed for Pt. Morien/Donkin/Birch Grove) and continue 1 km. This road then becomes Dominion St. Continue straight ahead 3.1km. Turn right onto Brookside St (HWY 255S) and follow this road 6.1km to where HWY255 takes a hard right. Continue straight at this point onto Donkin Highway, driving 5.8km and turning left onto Donkin Mine Access Rd. Park well off the road to allow others to do the same, as this is a popular hiking trail at times. 

(looking over the verge)

TRAIL DESCRIPTION: follow the road across the washed-out area, and head towards the trail leading up the bluff. Follow this trail as it hugs the coastline past Schooner Pond Head to Wreck Point. These falls drain a boggy area on the high ground and may dry up during periods of low precipitation, but are a welcome sight as one rounds the corner to see them from a distance. 

Wreck Point is thus named to commemorate the wreck of the SS Watford in 1932. Cape Bretons Magazine featured an article about this in their June 1977 issue, which can be found online HERE. At the top of the falls a small memorial still stands, weathered by the years. A fine view of Flint Island and its lighthouse is another feature that makes this hike a memorable one.


(memorial cross near the falls)

(the view to Flint Island lighthouse)


Friday, 23 January 2015

MORRISON ROAD FALLS
Seaview, Richmond County
N 45° 41.499 W 060° 58.589
UTM: 20T E657553 N5061780


RIVER: tributary of East River Tillard
CLASS: cascades
SIZE: 8, 10 ft
PITCH: 45 deg average
RATING: average (***)

PK: 45 N 41.528 /  60 W 58.703
TRAIL: bushwhacking
DISTANCE: 100m
HIKING TIME: 10 minutes
CONDITIONS: moderate

Geocache: none
 

NS Atlas Page: 34/V2

NS topo map: 011F10 (St.Peter's)


DRIVING DIRECTIONS: from St. Peter's canal, drive 650m northwestward (thru the village) and turn left onto Pepperell St. Follow this street and take the third left (at about 700m) onto Oban Rd. Follow this dirt road for 8.1km until its terminus with Morrison Rd and turn left. Follow this road for 2km, parking off the side of the road where this unnamed brook flows beneath the road.


TRAIL DECRIPTION: a fairly easy hike down to a couple smaller cascades. No real trails to speak of, but the deadfall isnt overly strenuous. These are fairly gentle cascades, in the form that the run is much longer than the drop, and to get a really good photograph of them, youve gotta hang your butt just over the water and get down to stream level with your camera. 



Thursday, 22 January 2015

OBAN FALLS
Oban, Richmond County
N 45° 43.937 W 060° 54.895
UTM: 20T E662229 N5066417

(upper falls)

RIVER: tributary of Scotts River
CLASS: multiple falls
SIZE: 15, 25, 6, 8  ft
PITCH: varied
RATING: above average (****)

PK: 45 N 43.937 /  60 W 54.921
TRAIL: bushwhacking
DISTANCE: 100m
HIKING TIME: 10 minutes
CONDITIONS: some steep areas

Geocache: none
 

NS Atlas Page: 34/V1

NS topo map: 011F10 (St.Peter's)


DRIVING DIRECTIONS: from St. Peter's canal, drive 650m northwestward (thru the village) and turn left onto Pepperell St. Follow this street and take the third left (at about 700m) onto Oban Rd. Follow this dirt road for 8.1km until its terminus with Morrison Rd and take the slight right, uphill onto that road. Continue on another 1.3km, and park at the pullout on the road where the brook flows beneath the road.

(main falls)

TRAIL DESCRIPTION: a hidden gem, this site features multiple falls just off the road in Oban, Richmond County and is one of my favorites. The trail down from the road is short, but there are steep sections around each fall, naturally. The upper fall is about 12 feet high and has a strong diagonal right to left force in it. The overstorey is light here, and south facing, so sunny days are going to produce a lot of glare on these falls. The second falls along the brook are the main falls of this grouping, a nice three tiered cascade that goes from a gentle approach to a s pair of steep sections, dropping about 25 feet in total. The bedrock outcroppings on the left side of the falls (looking up from the base) is a mass of moss, and in these sorts of micro climates, will have a specialized, and often fragile ecosystem, and care should be taken to stick to the other side of the falls to prevent deterioration of that pristine little environment.


 (third oban falls)

Further downstream, there are two further smaller falls, of some unique beauty all their own. An 8 foot stepped cascade has easy navigation around, followed by a sleek S-turn in the brook, and a final cascade and chute before continuing down a rocky brook.




Tuesday, 20 January 2015

TERRA NOVA FALLS
Terra Nova, Cape Breton Regional Municipality
N 45° 50.443 W 060° 31.785
UTM: 20T E691824 N5079318


RIVER: Salmon River
CLASS: cascade
SIZE: 10 ft
PITCH: 50deg
RATING: above average (***1/2)

PK: 45 N 50.156 /  60 W 32.206
TRAIL: old logging road, bushwhacking
DISTANCE: 800m
HIKING TIME: 30 minutes
CONDITIONS: moderate 

Geocache: none
 

NS Atlas Page: 23/Z1

NS topo map: 011F15 (Grand Narrows)


DRIVING DIRECTIONS: from Sydney, follow HWY4 southwest 32.7km, to the village of Big Pond and turn left onto Loch Lomond Rd. Follow this dirt road a further 7.4km, watching for a clear and well used former logging road on your left hand side. Park here.

(looking over the verge)

TRAIL DESCRIPTION: walk down the old logging road to where Salmon River crosses beneath, about 500m along. Hike upstream a further 300m to these small but charming falls. The under-storey is fairly clear and the hike isnt very challenging.

These falls are formed by a prominent slab of bedrock jutting across the stream bed, finally depositing itself over the exposure in a cheerful fall of approximately ten feet. This site has excellent afternoon exposure, which warms the bedrock well enough to dry stream-soggified socks in a short time, but makes photography a bit more challenging than many of the gorge held falls in our province. 


Monday, 19 January 2015

MacINTOSH BROOK FALLS
Island View, Cape Breton Regional Municipality
N 45° 58.278 W 060° 31.002
UTM: 20T E692385 N5093857




RIVER: MacIntosh Brook
CLASS: steep cascades
SIZE: 35 ft
PITCH: 60 deg
RATING: excellent (*****)

PK: 45 N 57.933  60 W 31.217
TRAIL:brookslogging
DISTANCE: 950m
HIKING TIME: 1 hour
CONDITIONS: soggy

Geocache: 
GC4J5TN

NS Atlas Page: 25/Z1

NS topo map: 011F15 (Grand Narrows)


DRIVING DIRECTIONS: from Sydney, follow HWY4 southeast (towards Big Pond/St.Peter's) approximately 13km and turn right onto HWY 216E (signed for Eskasoni/Grand Narrows/Iona). Follow this highway for 15.3km, watching for a large turn-out on the right side of the road. Park here (there is room for several vehicles).


TRAIL DESCRIPTION: also known as Island View Falls, these falls were made popular by Michael Haynes book "Hiking Trails of Cape Breton", wherein it was titled "Up the Brook to MacIntosh Falls", the hike in is self-explanatory. During low water levels, the brook is easy walking with very few spots that are worse than calf-deep. A popular destination, there are several pools to sit in along these tiered falls, but quite often, is also quite a busy location. 



Sunday, 18 January 2015

MacCUISH'S BROOK FALLS
Salem Road, Cape Breton Regional Municipality
N 45° 49.153 W 060° 34.640
UTM: 20T E688201 N5076816



RIVER: MacCuishs Brook
CLASS: steep cascades
SIZE: 45ft
PITCH: 70 deg
RATING: excellent (*****)

PK: 45 N 48.581  60 W 34.482
TRAIL: logging trail, bushwhacking
DISTANCE: 750m
HIKING TIME: 1 hour
CONDITIONS: challenging spots 

Geocache: 
GC3K3NR

NS Atlas Page: 23/Z4

NS topo map: 011F15 (Grand Narrows)


DRIVING DIRECTIONS: from St. Peter's, follow HWY4 eastwards (towards Big Pond/Sydney) for 19.9km and turn right onto Hay Cove Road (signed for Loch Lomond). Follow this road a further 15.7km, watching for an overgrown lane on your left hand side next to an open field. High clearance vehicles can continue down this road a further hundred or so meters to where the logging clearances start. 


TRAIL DESCRIPTION: follow the skidder road up the hill to the power lines. Cross along this oftentimes soggy path to the other side of the power lines and then, turning right, follow the game trail alongside the woods to the base of the prominent stream valley ahead of you. When you reach MacCuishs Brook, begin hiking upstream. There are a few spots in which a stream crossing will be necessary, and a few spots where you will need to climb up and over an outcropping that juts out into the stream. A small chute-like cascade, about a hundred meters before the falls features a wonderfully split boulder the size of a house at its side that one can sit between and enjoy the sussuration of the water.

The main falls are truly magnificent, they thunder over a short plunge and then a high steep cascade, smashing off the exposed bedrock wall at their base before turning 90 degrees and flowing downstream. Worth the hike in. 



Saturday, 17 January 2015

UPPER MacISAACS BROOK FALLS
Glengarry Valley, Cape Breton Regional Municipality
N 45° 55.394 W 060° 24.296
UTM: 20T E701218 N5088793



RIVER: MacIsaacs Brook
CLASS: steep cascades
SIZE: 40ft
PITCH: 80 deg
RATING: excellent (*****)

PK: 45 N 55.213  60 W 23.966
TRAIL: former logging road. woods trail, upstream scramble
DISTANCE: 600m
HIKING TIME: 30 minutes
CONDITIONS: moderate

Geocache: none
NS Atlas Page: 24/W2
NS topo map: 011F16 (Mira River)


DRIVING DIRECTIONS: from Sydney, follow HWY4 south (towards St. Peter's) for 31.5  km to the community of Big Pond and turn left onto Glengarry Rd. The road is not well signed, keep an eye out for it at the base of the hill once you are within the 60km/h zone. Follow this road 900m and keep to the right to remain to Glengarry Road. A further 11.2km will bring you to the parking coordinates. This is a reasonably well maintained road, despite its length, but be aware that there is no cell service this far out.

(looking over the verge)

TRAIL DESCRIPTION: from the parking area, follow the old logging road that leads off to your left. This is easy walking on a course parallel to the brook below. When you cross below the power lines, watch for an established trail leading downhill on your right. Follow this to the brook and bushwhack (or brook-slog) your way up to these impressive falls. 

An 8ft plunge has carved out a rough pool which is immediately drained by an approximately 40 foot steep cascade towards the brook below. As you can see from the photo above, there is a nice little grassy area immediately below the falls that served as a nice little picnic spot. Along with its nearby partner, Middle MacIsaacs Brook Falls, this is a must see waterfall on the island of Cape Breton. 



Friday, 16 January 2015

MIDDLE MacISAACS BROOK FALLS
Glengarry Valley, Cape Breton Regional Municipality
N 45° 55.252 W 060° 23.858
UTM: 20T E701792 N5088549





RIVER: MacIsaacs Brook
CLASS: multiple stage steep cascades
SIZE: 5,15 30,8 ft
PITCH: 70 deg
RATING: excellent (*****)

PK: 45 N 55.213  60 W 23.966TRAIL: ATV-trail, bushwhack and downstream hike, some scrambling
DISTANCE: 150m
HIKING TIME: 10 minutes
CONDITIONS: ATV-trail, short bushwhack, steep sections 

Geocache: 
GC3W0BA (660m south) 

NS Atlas Page: 24/W2

NS topo map: 011F16 (Mira River)


DRIVING DIRECTIONS: from Sydney, follow HWY4 south (towards St. Peter's) for 31.5  km to the community of Big Pond and turn left onto Glengarry Rd. The road is not well signed, keep an eye out for it at the base of the hill once you are within the 60km/h zone. Follow this road 900m and keep to the right to remain to Glengarry Road. A further 11.2km will bring you to the parking coordinates. This is a reasonably well maintained road, despite its length, but be aware that there is no cell service this far out.


TRAIL DESCRIPTION: from the parking coordinates, continue hiking straight along the old road. The bridge over MacIsaacs Brook has long since been destroyed, but makes an easy clear descent towards the brook. Follow the stream down a short distance to where a frothy chute channels the brook into a narrow whitewater cauldron before tossing it over a twin fall of approximately 15 feet in height. You can navigate the left side of these falls easily in low water to get good photographs. This feature is immediately followed by a larger drop of nearly 30 feet into a shallow pool, and finally an 8 foot drop before the brook continues along. 

There are further falls downstream, GC4BGB2 (about 1km further along downstream) basically marks the end of the whole system with a reportedly 5 or 6 further falls along this brook, of shorter stature, and a few along the tributary stream, Mineral Springs Brook.



WHITESIDE FALLS
Whiteside, Richmond County
N 45° 36.487 W 061° 11.180
UTM: 20T E641424 N5052108


(fourth and fifth whiteside falls)


RIVER: Fall Brook
CLASS: multiple stage steep cascades
SIZE: 5, 10, 14, 20 and 30ft
PITCH: 70 deg
RATING: excellent (*****)

PK: 45 N 36.221  61 W 10.531
TRAIL: ATV-trail, bushwhack and downstream hike, some scrambling
DISTANCE: 1.4km
HIKING TIME: 1.5 hours
CONDITIONS: challenging spots 

Geocache: none

NS Atlas Page: 34/W2

NS topo map: 011F10 (St. Peter's)

(upper plunge abt 5ft high)

DRIVING DIRECTIONS: from the roundabout at the Canso Causeway in Port Hastings, drive SE along HWY4 thru the towns of Port Hastings and Port Hawkesbury, turning left at the end of the road, past the WalMart and Atlantic Superstore, and then turn right at the exit for HWY104 towards Isle Madame and St. Peter's. Drive along this highway 7.7km then turn right onto Evanston Road. This road curves to the left shortly thereafter and becomes Whiteside Road. Follow Whiteside Road 3.7km and turn left onto MacDonald Lane. You can park to the side of the road vt the war memorial about 50m along.

(second and third whiteside falls)

TRAIL DESCRIPTION: this hike starts out by following the visible old cart track across the road from the war memorial. It is fairly easy hiking, not too wet, and only a gradual uphill climb of approx 700m length. As you approach the height of land, the traffic noises from HWY104 become a bit of a distraction to the peace and quiet. When you reach the brook as it intersects the cart path, start heading downstream. I found it easier to follow the left side of the brook for most of the bushwhacking portion. The same can be said for descent near the falls, the easiest routes I found were generally on the left hand side of the falls as you faced downstream.

(second whiteside falls)
When you arrive at the top fall in this group of falls, you will be able to see the one that comes after it, and so on and so forth until you reach the largest lower falls which are about thirty feet high. The falls immediately preceding the lower falls are also visible from the base of the these, making for a spectacular sized fall in one of the places you might least expect it.

The return to the trail is easiest by continuing downstream a few hundred meters and picking a less elevated wall on your left side to climb to reach the canyon verge. I made the mistake of quickly scaling this, thinking I could make a quick straight bushwhack overland back to the trail I came in on and save myself some time, but faced a maze of small and densely packed evergreens that required a lot of repositioning oneself with the GPS receiver to finally break out on the trail again. Of course, Im the crazy one who actually ENJOYS that sort of terrain, so.....

(fourth whiteside falls, so wide and such a short distance to the the fifth falls below me, I had to use panorama mode on the camera to capture the whole fall)