Dan and Hannah Hike to the Waterfalls of the Macintosh Brook Trail in Cape Breton

After hiking to the cliffs above the Gulf of St Lawrence on the Skyline Trail in the Cape Breton Highlands Provincial National Park earlier in the morning, midday we take to the park road reminiscing of biking adventures past on the Cabot Trail.  How five years ago we barely pedaled up MacKenzie Mountain and later had to walk our hybrid bikes up the final half mile of the granddaddy of them all, North Mountain.


Cape Breton Highlands National Park – Five years we spent our first night in Cheticamp, our second night in Cape North, and our third night in St. Ann’s.

MacKenzie was a four kilometre climb at an 11% grade that five years ago had Hannah and me in our lowest gear pedaling successfully to the summit.  Enjoy the excerpt and pictures from our bike climb that day.

I don’t sleep well.  With the serious mountains of the Cape Breton Highlands National Park looming, Hannah and I wake before five AM as dawn streams in around the shades this third of June.  Uncertainty lies before us.  We have no idea what to expect and have little choice but to pedal on into the mountains as our Hyundai Elantra is 60 miles back in Baddeck.  We like to think we are resourceful in the face of such physical challenges.  Well, let’s just see if we can walk the walk?

Sky CT along the cliffs

Sky H biking up

Sky D at steep signs

Sky H with panniers

Today, after passing the marina at Pleasant Bay, we remember the unrelenting climb to North Mountain, our personal Waterloo.  After a kilometre of effort, we said no mas and could bike no more.  Dismounting but not defeated, we pushed our bikes to the mountaintop knowing that successfully biking up two out of three these bad boy mountains ain’t bad (homage to Meatloaf).

Midday, we have no such drama as our perky Prius takes the mountains as you might expect a car would do on paved road!  After lunching at a picnic table at the trailhead of the Macintosh Brook trail, we enter the forest for the second of our three hikes this day.

Mac B brook itself


Mac B D on trail by brookA mere twenty minutes to the falls, the level trail along the brook is rocky and rooted, but not challenging in the least.  Tree-covered the entire way, the wide path takes us to a waterfalls fifty feet away.  Our grandsons Owen and Max would romp to these falls in half the time.  Enjoy the video.

Mac B H at falls

Though modest, the trail gives us forty minutes of exercise and a few thousand more steps on our Fitbits.  We are living the vacation hikers dream on this island paradise that seems within sight of Greenland (a much coveted land mass these days).

Click here for the Day 2 blog of our biking the Cabot Trail.