Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Oregon, Victoria County
46N22.318  60W42.033
20T E677015 N5137768

RIVER: North River

CLASS: plunge
SIZE: 100'
RATING: amazing (*****)

TRAIL: established trails
HIKING TIME: 2 1/2 hours
CONDITIONS: moderate

Geocache: GC1V7Z1

NS Atlas Page: 9/X4
NS topo map: 011K07 (St. Anns Harbour)

photo Benoit Lalonde

DRIVING DIRECTIONS: from Baddeck, travel 18km north along HWY105(TCH) and turn left onto the Cabot Trail at St. Anns. (Next to the Lobster Gallery Restraunt, towards the Gaelic College. Follow this winding road 17.8km and turn left onto Oregon Road, just past the North River bridge. Follow this road to its conclusion, 3.7km, and park at the North River Provincial Park.

TRAIL DESCRIPTION: a 9km hike along trails used by generations of hikers and anglers along the North River to the highest waterfalls in Nova Scotia, at 104feet, the North River Falls are a spectacular destination.  Set within the boundries of the North River Wilderness Area, a protected area, this hike will take you up alongside the river, thru old growth hemlock forests with specimens as old as 250 years present. 

The trail is not as well maintained now as it once was, and once you reach the sign (about halfway along) for the "Old Forest" the going gets rougher, and requires crossing a few rockfields, 

photo NS Government

The salmon population along this river is considered to be one of the last remaining healthy and self-sustaining wild salmon runs left in Nova Scotia, owing to expansive gravel spawning runs and deep holding pools all along the river. The hike in is along easy to recognize trails, and you get your first view of the falls from quite a distance off and above, where they present a distinctive plume of white water surrounded by sheer cliffs and lush slopes. The plunge pool at its base is huge and deep, owing to the volume of water that descends from the eastern corner of the Cape Breton Plateau. 

Give yourself a whole day to tackle this one, as well as the series of smaller falls at the lower reaches of the river nearer the Park. You can also book a guided hike into the falls with North River Kayak at (902) 929-2628.