Victoria County
6km Return
Coast, History, River, Swimming, Woodland

Cape Dauphin

Also known as Fairy Hole or Glooscap’s Caves

Glooscap was a hero sent by the Great Spirit to be a friend and helper to his people the Mi’kmaq. Supposedly Glooscap lived at Cape Dauphin with a woman he referred to as “Grandmother”. Legend has it that one day, when returning to his home, two native women yelled to Glooscap, taunting him from the shore. Glooscap leaped from his canoe breaking it into two pieces. These pieces are still visible from the cove today, they are known as the Bird Islands. The two women laughed at Glooscap, and he turned them to stone. These women are said to be the stone pillars which guard Glooscap’s Cave.

The trail to Cape Dauphin, also known as “The Fairy Hole”, is not a difficult one if taken cautiously. There are some spots where you have to step over, or crawl under windfalls or shimmy your way down embankments. The trail is clearly marked until you get to the river; there is no more trail from there. Follow the river down to the shore where you will find a quaint little beach, perfect for a hotdog roast, or a nice cool dip.

If you look to your right, about five kilometres out, you will see the Bird Islands. Directly to your right you will see Glooscap’s Cave.

The cave is difficult to get into, if not nearly impossible. Someone has taken the liberty to hook up a labyrinth of ropes to help you along the slippery rocks, but I do not advise you go this way unless you are part mountain goat. I have been in the cave and usually get in through the lagoon directly in front of the cave. You can gain access to this lagoon through a small whole in the rocks that is fully visible at low tide. Once in the lagoon it is just a matter of getting a boost up the rock face to the cave opening, or working extra hard to get yourself in.

I must warn you that the cave can be very claustrophobic and disorienting at times. I do not advise you go inside, but I know this will not stop you if you are the adventurous type, as I am. Even if you do not choose to explore the cave, Cape Dauphin is a great place to spend a few hours. At the end of the trail you have a wonderful view, a great cobblestone beach, and I do advise you try swimming in the lagoon; it is usually a few degrees warmer than the open water.

CAUTION: The cave can be very dangerous. If you insist on exploring the cave, please bring a flashlight and tell someone where you are going.
MapFrom the Locals
From the Locals
From Sydney take the 125 bypass to the Trans-Canada Highway; continue through to the base of Kelly’s Mountain. At the base of Kelly’s you will find a hairpin turn. Turn off there toward New Campbellton. After about 18 km the road ends. Park your car to the side and the trail is directly ahead of you.
Photos by: Peter Wuttge

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