Victoria County
6km Partial Loop
River, Waterfall, Woodland

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 undergoing a strong revival in Cape Breton, and traditional Gaelic place names can now be found on road signs across much of the island. Gaelic singers, musicians, and speakers continue to add a vibrant melody to the Cape Breton way of life.

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.

MapFrom the Locals
From the Locals
Travel the Trans-Canada Highway (route 105), take Exit 9, and turn towards Baddeck-Forks (a right turn at the top of the exit ramp). After 10.3km (and crossing ONE single lane bridge) you should come to North Branch road on your left. Take North Branch ~4km to the park’s parking lot (Occasional signs may direct you from the Highway)
Photos by: Nancy Cormier & Beth Boudreau
  1. Eric September 16, 2016 at 1:56 pm

    The name is Gaelic for “White Whiskey” not “water”…

  2. srolls October 3, 2016 at 6:52 pm

    Ah yes Eric, I have heard that. Uisge, “Whiskey” or “Water of Life”, some would say.

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