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Top 3 Cape Breton Waterfalls

I have a bias towards waterfalls, spectacular trail-side views of water and old growth forests. Here are my top three choices of must-see waterfalls:

#1 Indian Brook Falls 

# 2 North River Falls

#3 Black Brook Falls & Mary Ann Falls

It may be winter, but I am thinking of these waterfalls during all kinds of weather…

1. Indian Brook Falls Hike (Challenging | 4-5 hours)

Indian Brook Great Falls

 

The Cabot Trail goes along the coast on the east (Atlantic) side of Cape Breton Island. Take the Cabot Trail to our community of Indian Brook. A landmark to look for to begin this trail is the bridge over Indian Brook. The Indian Brook waterfall trail starts on the northwest side.

As you follow the brook there are great swimming holes and wild strawberries along the sides. Some folks canoe or kayak until the water gets too shallow and the rocks too slippery even to portage. Some swim part of the way! At Church Pond (a small lake fed by the Indian Brook and located at Cabot Shores) you will see eagles flying, often with fish in their mouths for their young. Duration is 4-5 hours round trip depending on how often you stop for wild strawberries, swims or the occasional photo.

indianbrookedgefalls

 

 

2. North River Falls (Moderate but long | 16km round trip)

 

View of North River Falls
North River Falls

South and West on the Cabot Trail is the North River Wilderness, which is actually part of the protected lands of Cape Breton Highlands National Park. Turn off the Cabot Trail onto Oregon Road and there is a clearly marked entrance to the North River Falls trail. There is a handy placard and map of the area, and local maps that you can take for free available at tourist centres and Cabot Shores.

Be sure to wear good boots and be ready for a swim anytime between May and mid-October (if you are a hardy hiker). The trail goes through an exquisite forest and winds around through beautiful land, some privately owned but mostly Crown land. The Trail has been re-routed in recent years but is well marked and easy to follow.

The hike takes you above a raging brook that has some beautiful spots for resting, picnicking and even sunning yourself (dare I say taking a nap?)

Once you arrive at the North River Falls you will be ready for a swim. Like Indian Brook Falls, the water is almost black but refreshing and clean. Bring your camera, the hike is long but breathtaking. Duration 3.5-5 hours and moderate in difficulty.

3. Black Brook Beach Falls & Mary Ann Falls (Easy)

Mary Ann Falls
Mary Ann Falls

 

Black Brook Beach is a Cape Breton Highlands National Park location on the Atlantic with a waterfall feeding into it. The walk is short and it is mostly along the beach with pic nic area, bathrooms and benches to sit and enjoy the views. You can swim in the salty ocean and then shower in a small freshwater waterfall! Near the entrance to the Coastal Trail and Jack Pine Trail.

Not far away is Mary Ann Falls (a short drive from Black Brook Beach), where you can climb down from one set of falls to another. These hikes are easy and take about fifteen to twenty minutes to reach each viewing location. Once you arrive at the falls, it is worth lingering around and exploring around the rocks. More tourists here, but a nice spot to experience the fresh air, the huge rocks and the relaxing sounds of the waterfalls.



Good
Based on 290 reviews
Seahorselife Shannon (Seahorselife_Canada)
Seahorselife Shannon (Seahorselife_Canada)
October 17, 2023.
My boyfriend and I came here on a whim for lunch while in the area. What a pleasant surprise! Loved the unique atmosphere and amazing, friendly people. Could have very well have been the best salmon I have ever eaten. Everything was cooked to perfection. Fresh and tasty. Hats off to the chef. We also had the mussels... huge portion and delicious. We took a walk about the property, one of a kind cabins/domes to stay in.. most of which, if not all had their own hot tub. Even a sauna by the water. We would definitely highly recommend eating here at the bistro even if you are not staying over night. Everyone is lovely.. they even offered to email us the salmon recipe because we loved it so much. My only suggestion to owners would be to get better signage on the roadway, so visitors can find you easier. We passed the place twice before actually finding it. I think if there were two more signs a little up the rd on either side, more people may be able to come visit this hidden little gem. Thanks so much for a great lunch and top-notch service.
Jasmine Rahmel
Jasmine Rahmel
October 17, 2023.
Loved the location and the amenities. What a unique resort. The upgrade to the chalet was wonderful. Above and beyond.
Malcolm
Malcolm
October 16, 2023.
Stayed at Cabot shores from October 7th-13th was an unforgettable experience. Stayed in a yurt and very spacious and comfortable. The location along the sea was gorgeous and could hop over to the beach whenever. Kayaked two of those days and could see beaver domes while doing so. Would highly try the food as well very accommodating to all dietary requirements. Recommend the chickpea massala very nice meal! Friendly staff and good accommodation. 5/5
Vishnu Vardhana
Vishnu Vardhana
October 15, 2023.
Amazing experience in the yurt and dome. Friendly staff and beautiful views!
Trevor B
Trevor B
September 13, 2023.
Stopped for lunch and ordered the spaghetti bolognese. Very hearty and lots of meat. A nice satisfying meal. One surprise was to see a mandatory 10% gratuity when paying the bill. Who does this for a party of less than 5?

Good
Based on 51 reviews
Lukas
Lukas
September 21, 2022.
Verified
Very nice people and a place full of joy ! Stayed 2 nights in the „Eagle dome“ which was really comfy and clean!Had really delicous dinner at the main lodge where paul played some music just for us and had nice conversations whith him and the other staffmembers.Also booked the hot tub at our dome for our last night from where we had a great view on the campfire.Lovely place where you see how much effort they put in every detail.
Nicole
Nicole
August 22, 2022.
Verified
Amazing adventure! Lots of fun sleeping underneath the stars!
Ryan
Ryan
August 14, 2022.
Verified
Relaxing
Nigel
Nigel
July 25, 2022.
Verified
Beautiful place and very friendly staff. Perfect location if you’re travelling along the Cabot Trail, I highly recommend checking this place out! Would definitely stay here again. Thanks for a fantastic experience.
Anooj
Anooj
October 25, 2021.
Verified
This was our first time staying in the Eagle Dome and we absolutely fell in love with this beautiful place. Super clean place to stay!
Redwan
Redwan
October 17, 2021.
Verified
Very nice place to spend a couple of nights in the nature! My wife and I enjoyed our stay.It might be a good idea to install a heater in the dome as it can get chilly at night.
Brooke
Brooke
October 1, 2021.
Verified
Beautiful, quaint place to stay! So unique and off grid. We loved staying at the dome!
Madison
Madison
September 9, 2021.
Verified
We had a great stay in the Eagle Dome! We loved watching the sunset and sunrise, and being able to hear the waves from the ocean. Next time we would stay a few more days and prepare a bit better - we weren’t packed for off grid but we made it work. Outhouse was a few steps away, shower and toilet a short walk. We didn’t get the hot tub or use the sauna/other amenities but would certainly consider it next time.

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