Thursday, 14 May 2015

DUNCANS FALLS
Glengarry, Inverness County
46° N 02.451 061° W 27.100
UTM:  20T  E 619802 N 5099752



RIVER: Isabellas Brook
CLASS: steep cascades
SIZE: 5', 6', 20', 6'
RATING: average (***)

TRAIL: improved trail, bushwhacking
DISTANCE: 3.75km
HIKING TIME: 1hr
CONDITIONS: moderate

GEOCACHE: none

NS Atlas Page: 12/V5
NS topo map: 011K03 (Lake Ainslie)




DRIVING DIRECTIONS: From the Canso Causeway, take the exit for HWY19 off the roundabout. Follow this highway north for 56.1km, approaching the village of Mabou. Turn left onto Little Mabou Rd. and pull into the parking area for the Celtic Shores Trail (part of the Trans Canada Trail) 40m on your right. 




TRAIL DESCRIPTION: cross the road and hike along the Celtic Shores Coastal Trail for approximately 3.5km, to a small bridge over Isabelles Brook, a seasonal stream. Head upstream about 350m to the falls. This hike will take you long the shores of the Southwest Mabou River, which rises in the Creignish Hills to the east of Judique. A popular eagle nesting area, keep your eyes out for these and other predatory birds along your hike, as well as the seasonal flocks of Canada geese that nest near Nicholson Island, at the mouth of the river.


There are numerous cascades in this small ravine, and with higher water, and a cloudy day, be a photographers dream. The main falls, the main section pictured above, are quite beautiful, the brook cascading down the actively eroding shale until it reaches the more resistant stone below, sliding across its mossy surface. 

Found just off the Celtic Shores Coastal Trail, a portion of the Trans Canada Trail, which starts in Port Hastings and follows the abandoned, and improved, rail line to Inverness. This multi-use trail covers 92km along the western shore of Cape Breton Island. This section of trail runs between Port Hood and Little Mabou Rd. More info on this wonderfully kept hiking area can be found at http://www.celticshores.ca/

Located on the lands originally granted to Donald McDonald, in 1804. In 1818 his widow, Isabella applied for the grant title of these lands, for whom I've designated the brook's name. She was born in Invernessshire, Scotland and immigrated to Nova Scotia with her children in 1807. 

I've given them the name Duncans Falls in honour of my neighbour, whose lands the brook runs across presently. Duncan was born on this property, has lived his entire life here, and resides here still. So please practice a "pack it in pack it out" attitude here.