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River Denys Mountain


Length: 9 km (5.6 mi) return
Hiking Time: 2+hrs
Type of Trail: compacted earth
Uses (no snow): walking, biking, horseback riding, ATVs
Uses (snow): snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling
Facilities: none
Dog Use: off-leash permitted

Gov’t Topo Map: 11F14 (Whycocomagh)
Rating (1-5): 2

Trailhead GPS Reference: N 46 50’ 04.1” W 61 18’ 43.8”

Access Information: From the Canso Causeway, drive 24 km (15 mi) toward Sydney on Highway 105. Turn left onto River Deny Mountain Road (dirt). Follow for 800m/yd to wide intersection; park without blocking either road.

Introduction: Dozens of former settlement roads still climb onto the various highland plateaus of Cape Breton. The communities they once led to are mostly abandoned, but many of the roads continue to be used by loggers and recreationalists. Nearly all these routes remain crown rights-of-way, and even though some have completely grown over with vegetation, they are listed under the category of “K-roads.”

The River Denys Mountain Road has been extensively used by snowmobilers and cross-country skiers for many years, as well as by loggers and hunters, and remains driveable, though rough, for most vehicles. The section that parallels MacColls Brook, and leads to St. Margarets of Scotland Church, makes a pleasant walk, particularly in the fall when the hardwoods of the ravine create a rich tapestry of colour.

Cautionary Notes: Wildlife. Hunting permitted. Motorized vehicles.

Ratings are designated from 1 to 5 indicating suitability for all fitness and experience levels, with 5 being suitable only for experienced and very fit outdoor people. Novices should only choose level 1 and 2 hikes, and work their way up. Level 4 and 5 hikes have indicators associated with their ratings.

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