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Destination Cape Breton encourages people to go chasing waterfalls

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Cape Breton is world-renowned for its foot-stomping ceilidhs and stunning views along the Cabot Trail.

What may have been lesser known, until now, is that for a relatively small island, Cape Breton also boasts its fair share of waterfalls -- more than 300, according to Nova Scotia waterfall expert and author Benoit Lalonde.

“Cape Breton Island is the Shangri-La of waterfalls in Atlantic Canada," said Lalonde.

Lalonde quite literally wrote the book on waterfalls in Nova Scotia, and then authored a second book on Cape Breton’s cascades alone. 

On Wednesday, he was in Sydney to help Destination Cape Breton launch what it is calling its first-ever “waterfall season,” as a new tourism incentive post-pandemic.

"It's a time when our rivers, brooks and streams are full of water,” said Destination Cape Breton CEO Terry Smith, when explaining why spring was chosen as the right time to promote the Island’s waterfalls.

He says the idea is to draw more shoulder-season visitors to see an aspect of the Island’s raw beauty that has been more unheralded over the years. Smith adds there’s a contest element too, which will see hikers and adventurers check off a “waterfall bucket list” of sorts with a chance to win prizes -- including a Cape Breton getaway.

"Our 12 feature waterfalls across Cape Breton Island, there will be posts there with signs with a QR code,” Smith explained.

“We'll be launching an app. Download the app from our website, you go around, and you take pictures."

Lalonde has said for years that Nova Scotia could be a waterfall destination. Now, as the idea goes from concept to reality, he says the possibilities for outdoor enthusiasts -- or even just people looking for pretty pictures and selfies for social media -- are as limitless as the falls themselves.

"You could just start today, and never end”, Lalonde said.

The official spring waterfall season is set to run from mid-May to the end of June, but tourism officials note Cape Breton’s many waterfalls are worth the trip any time of year -- and offer a unique experience depending on the season.

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