This post was originally published on the Cape Breton Island website.
Cape Breton is filled with incredible natural places. It’s home to meandering rivers, rolling hills, cascading waterfalls, and scenic lakes. These locations are beautiful in every season but they really shine in the fall. Fall is when Cape Breton shows its true colours. The landscape is covered with vibrant hues of red, orange, and yellow. Trust us, you will not be disappointed by checking these off your bucket list this fall!
1. Meat Cove
Meat Cove is an area that everyone needs to experience. Many people travel there to camp or hike, however, you can also enjoy the beauty from the comfort of your car. This is a must see location. Get on the road for a side of Cape Breton that shouldn’t be missed. Witness the incredible views, camp out at the Meat Cove campground, or hike to Lowlands cove. There is so much to do and so much to see.
2. Margaree River
The Margaree River is one of the most beautiful rivers in all of Cape Breton. The northeast branch of the river flows from the Cape Breton Highlands, while the Southwest Margaree flows northeast from Lake Ainslie. It is known as one of the best salmon fishing rivers in all of Canada and home to over 50 salmon pools. Fly fishers call the Margaree the crown jewel of salmon rivers for its beauty and sport fishing.
3. Egypt Falls
Not far from Lake Ainslie, lies Egypt Falls. Egypt Falls is a short yet, adventurous hike. It might only be 15 minutes but to make your way down safely you need the help of the ropes that are provided for people visiting this incredible place. It might be quite the journey getting there, but the payoff is worth it. You will arrive at one of the most beautiful waterfalls in all of Cape Breton and its beauty is multiplied when it’s surrounded in beautiful fall colours.
4. Clyburn Valley
The Clyburn Valley is the unsung hero of the hike up Franey Mountain. While Franey Mountain is a great hike, what makes it really special is the view of the Clyburn Valley below. The valley reaches from the Atlantic Ocean and extends deep into the Cape Breton Highlands. The valley is home to a wide variety of wildlife like moose and beaver but it’s the deciduous forest in the valley that really makes it extraordinary in the fall.
5. Aspy Fault
The Aspy Fault is known as a ‘strike-slip’ fault and runs through the Cape Breton Highlands. It’s best viewed by air or by the look off found on North Mountain on the Cabot Trail. The fault is home to amazing old growth Acadian forests and the whole valley turns yellow during peak fall colours. Be sure to hike the Aspy Trail and visit Beulach Ban Falls.
6. The Bras d’Or Lake
The Bras d’Or Lake is a designated UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and is found in the centre of Cape Breton. The Bras d’Or Lake, is home to multiple Mi’kmaq communities along it’s shore, including We‘koqmaq (Whycocomagh), Wagmatcook, Eskasoni, and Potlotek. The Bras d’Or was a source of food and was used as a waterway to travel to other locations in Cape Breton. The lake, often referred to as an inland sea is one of Cape Breton’s most important geographic features.
7. St. Ann's Bay
St. Ann's Bay is home to so much than the Artisan Loop of the Cabot Trail. It is home to rich Gaelic history, Nova Scotia’s tallest waterfall (North River Falls), incredible fishing, and extraordinary scenery. If you drive around the Bay, you can stop at the Gaelic College to learn how the Gaelic settlers adapted to live in the New World, stop for a picnic at North River Provincial Park, or even tour the Bay by kayak with North River Kayak Tours.