Uisge Ban Falls
The name “Uisge Ban” is Gaelic for “white water” and is pronounced by those of us without a Gaelic tongue as OOSH-KA-ban, or ISH-KA-ban. Gaelic is a slowly diminishing language on Cape Breton Island but is still heard in conversation amongst the older members of many small communities.
The Uisge Ban trail is maintained by the provincial park authorities and therefore the walking is fairly easy and the trail is well kept.
The trail is divided into two distinct paths. The woodland river trail and the falls trail. I suggest you try both trails; each has its own majestic qualities.
The River Trail
Coming to the fork in the trail you keep to the right on the river trail. It will lead you along the banks of the North Branch River, across wooden footbridges, and provide you with several benches and look offs for time to reflect on the beauty. This section of the trail has something for everyone, from bird watchers, to botanists, to simple nature lovers. The river trail is a loop trail and will lead you around depositing you back at a fork in the trail.
The Falls Trail
This time take the falls trail, which will escort you to the source of the “Uisge Ban” name. Closing in on the falls you will begin to hear the roar of the water. As you gain sight of the falls you will be ah struck by the sight of thousands of gallons of whitewater being thrown over fifty-some feet of rock. There is nothing like it, except for North River falls, but we’ll get to that later.