Tuesday, 31 July 2012
HARDING BROOK FALLS
Melanson, Kings County
N 45° 04.144 W 064° 18.935
20T E 0396436 N 4991 463
RIVER: Harding Brook
CLASS: staircase (steep)
RATING: average (**1 /2)
DISTANCE: 1 50m
HIKING TIME: 20min
NS Atlas Page: 47/W3
NS topo map: 021 H01 (Wolfville)
DIRECTIONS: from Kentville, follow HWY #101 eastwards, towards Wolfville. Take Exit10, south, and turn right onto Ridge Road. Continue 4km to its conclusion, turning left onto Martin Cross Road.Folow this to its conclusion, about 1 .5km. Turn left onto Melanson Road, folooing the hill down and across the bridge. When you get to the other side of the bridge, continue straight on Melanson Road, up the mountain. Parking is not easily evident here, there is a pullin halfway along the big field on your right hand side as you ascend the mountain, and there is a rural delivery mailbox approximately 500m further along uphill. There is very little room to pull off along side the road.
Trail Description: from the postal box, make your way into the woods and down the steep hill to Harding Brook. Follow this brook downstream, there are several deep spots in the stream, and multiple stream crossings will be necessary. The falls are approximately 500m downstream, on the right hands side,
feeding directly into the stream.
Also called "Ethereal Castle Falls" the beauty of this location is much reduced by the garbage and derelict vehicle which covers the middle tier of these wonderful falls. In high water, these falls are quite spectacular, and the only reason the rating given is low is due to the litter.
Just downstream of these falls, along the main stream, is a beautiful series of zig-zag canyons, with high shale cliffs and fossils. Nearby this site, where Harding Brook meets the Gaspereau River, was the site of an early Acadian village called Melanson; there is also much evidence of a lithic factory site of the Mi'kmaq during the Early Maritime Woodland Period (ca. 2400bp--ca.1050bp), as well as hearths that may have been used in sweat lodges and cooking.