Second Fork Falls

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DSC08454 There are hardly more difficult waterfalls to reach in Nova Scotia than Second Fork Falls.  Located amidst the beautiful Cape Breton Highlands of the northern Margaree area, Second Fork Falls slide over 90 metres down to the pool below.  Second Fork Brook flows into the Margaree River.  The area around Second Fork Brook is an Eco Reserve and in that area the Margaree River is also a designated Wilderness Area. (No fishing is permitted).  The view from the top of the falls is beautiful and reflects protected status.  From the top, you can see rocky cliff faces that line steep valley surrounding the area.

The ‘way’ to the falls is rough. Due to the amount of river crossings, I would not suggest this trip during high water levels. On our recent trip, most of it was bushwacking as any trail has grown over or deteriorated.  There is a distinctive trail for the first half hour of travel.  From the Maccallum’s, follow the path until the crown survey marker.  Cross the Margaree River at the spot where the ‘island’ appears in the river. Follow a primitive often overgrown trail on the west bank of the river.  Just before the second brook, there is a bend in the river.  Despite the tendancy to cross the river, stay on the west bank until you see the distinct opening and the cliff face off to the east.  Cross here, and follow the brook for 45 minutes until you reach the falls.  The going is very tough and is mostly bushwacking through small maple trees.  Long pants are recommended for this part.  In reaching the falls, you will have many crossings of the brook deciding along the way which sections are most easily passable.  Total trip time is 5 hours return.

To get there: From Hwy 105 near Baddeck take the Cabot Trail to the turn off for Margaree Valley.  Follow the signs north to Big Intervale and Kingross.  Take the east Big Intervale (dirt) Road for 10.5 kilometres.  Keep straight when you see the turn-off to the bridge and the fish hatchery.  At the end of the dirt road, park at the roundabout.  As a courtesy to the land owner, check in with Don Mccallum (white and red house). The total drive is 47 kilometres from the Big (red) Barn near Baddeck.

One thought on “Second Fork Falls

  1. Our second and recent attempt at finding these falls has yet again resulted in failure. The first year we came to the first fork and took a right. Not the right way. This year we took a left but when we came upon the second fork we continued left along it. The group quickly got tired and around hour 3 of the hike we we forced to turn around. On the way back however we did see signs on a waterfall (a path cut down the side of the mountain) but this year being the most dry we have had on record for awhile there were no falls. Looking forward to next year as we make a third and final attempt to find it. It might be a good idea to recommend that hikers bring along bear spray or protection as we saw signs of bear (and moose) most of the way up the river. Thanks for the info!

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