Cliff jumping in Cape Breton’s Mary Ann Falls

One of the most enjoyable things about Cape Breton National Park in Nova Scotia is that there are a wide variety of hiking options available. Some trails are many miles and hours long while others can be done in a few minutes from the nearest parking lot. Mary Ann Falls certainly fits in the latter category, making it a great place to visit quickly after hitting up some of the other, more significant bits of the park (or other activities in the region). Oh, and you can go cliff jumping there, too.


The falls are accessible via a dirt road that runs several kilometers up into the park off the main Cape Breton Trail. From the parking area it is only a 10-15 minute walk down to the foot of the falls. The pool at the bottom is swimmable, assuming you can get over the chilly water temperatures. And from the edge of the rock formation one can make a leap into the pool. It isn’t quite so elegant as to be considered proper cliff diving, but it is definitely possible.


After our morning spent kayaking out of Dingwall we had a delicious lunch in Neil’s Harbor before making the drive up to the falls. When we got to the pool we saw some other folks making what appeared to be rather ridiculous leaps into the water.


As ridiculous as the jumps may have appeared, the folks making them survived repeatedly, suggesting that it was probably safe. Before I knew what was happening Linnea had climbed up and was leaping off. After watching her survive the jump I set up my camera and headed over to perform my own jump into the water. Needless to say, it is not the most elegant of moves I’ve ever made. Still, I didn’t flop nor did I injure myself, so I’ll take it.

Easy to get to and lots of fun once you’re there. What more can you ask for??

Read more of our Maritimes adventures here!

Never miss another post: Sign up for email alerts and get only the content you want direct to your inbox.

Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.