Fall is the best time for hiking in Cape Breton. This fall I will be visiting many of our wonderful hiking trails with my family and writing about them for WGO. My hope is that I will inspire you to go out and enjoy our wonderful trails as well. Cape Breton has a lot to offer – scenic coastal trails, difficult but rewarding climbs and wonderful forest walks. I will present you with as many options as possible and will also provide tips on how to prepare for hikes and hiking safety.
I can think of no better place to start than the wonderful Provincial Park in the middle of the island – Uisge Ban. This is an amazing trail that travels through beautiful hardwood forest alongside rivers and to the ultimate prize – the wonderful waterfall for which the park is named. But I don’t want to talk about the majestic falls or the amazing array of fall colours you will find here. I prefer instead to keep my head down and entice you to this trail in a strange way – through mushrooms!
Fall is the best time to view mushrooms in Cape Breton’s forests. I visited Uisge Ban last weekend with the family and my 18 month old daughter was smitten with the amazing variety of mushrooms on the trail. We spent most of our two hour hike looking down, searching for mushrooms. They came in every shape and size. Some are so small and camouflaged that they are easy to miss. Others are so bright and bold that they scream out in colour from the forest floor. We slowly made our way along the trail, stopping to admire the red, orange, yellow, white, brown and black fungus among us. Bailey, my daughter, would “oohhh” with each one she saw. She was amazed. So were we and our imaginations were spurred. We spent our time coming up with creative names for the mushrooms and spotting aliens, ears, umbrellas and various other shapes in their structures. Uisge Ban will amaze you with its beautiful, peaceful, magical forest. It will awe you with its sublime rivers and waterfalls. Don’t forget to look down and spend some time looking for smurf houses along the forest floor. There are so many little ways to turn a beautiful hike into an imaginative adventure.
Directions to and information about Uisge Ban Falls: http://cbadventuretrails.blogspot.com/2005/09/uisge-ban-falls.html
The hike is just outside the village of Baddeck. Take a drive into the village for a meal afterwards. There are many places to choose from. For Baddeck info:http://www.baddeck.com/