Sunday, 11 January 2015

Cape Dauphin, Victoria County
N 46° 20.621 W 060° 26.092 
UTM: 20T E 698451 N 5102411

RIVER: Big Brook
CLASS: plunge
SIZE: 15 ft   

PITCH: 90 deg
RATING: excellent (*****)

PK: 46 N 20.514  60 W 25.200 
TRAIL: established woods trail
HIKING TIME: 1.5 hours
CONDITIONS: moderate to challenging

Geocache: GCVTW7

NS Atlas Page: 10/V4
NS topo map: 011K08 (Bras D'Or)

DRIVING DIRECTIONS: from Sydney, follow HWY125 west and north 19km to its conclusion at North Sydney, then take EXIT1W onto HWY105 (TCH) towards Baddeck/Canso Causeway. Follow the highway 23.6km, just over the big green bridge and turn right onto New Campbellton Rd at the base of Kelly's Mountain, right where the hairpin turn is located. Follow this road 13km to its absolute conclusion. Park in the areas provided and PLEASE pay strict adherence to the  NO PARKING AREAS that are posted. 

TRAIL DESCRIPTION: Fairy Hole Falls are located at the base of Big Brook as it meets the ocean over a small cobbled beach. This is also the location of the famous "Fairy Cave" also known as "Glooscaps Hole", a sacred spot in Mi'kmaq culture. The cave entrance is to the immediate east of the falls, around an outcropping. 

The trail is well worn, as generations of feet have trod along it. There are a few deadfalls along the way, and generally a secondary trail has become established around them. Staying on the main trail will lead you a steep descent into the canyon that holds Big Brook. There is a rope present to assist one's descent (and eventual ascent) into this rocky gorge. 

When you reach the stream level, rocky cliffs soar above you and a boulder strewn stream that can be quite turbulent is followed down, around a twisting gorge, to the falls and "pocket beach". This is a very popular spot, and the graffiti here changes with the seasons, and while the Fairy Hole Cave here is really the main attraction, these sweet little falls often get overlooked. They are perfect sized for a COLD shower in the spring thaw. 

(the view east towards the cave, this is at high tide, normally one can skirt along the base of the cliff, then up and over the outcropping and into the cave. BE CAUTIOUS HERE.)