Monday, 30 July 2012


HELL GATE FALLS
Kings County
N 45° 02.673 W 064° 24.547
20T E 389026 N 4988865


RIVER: Black River
CLASS: multiple falls
SIZE: 20',20',1 5'
RATING: excellent (****)

TRAIL: old woods road
DISTANCE: 250m
HIKING TIME: 1 hour
CONDITIONS: strenuous

Geocache: none

NS Atlas Page: 47/V5
NS topo map: 21H01 (Wolfville)

photo by Chris SHeppherd (FundyRocks) 2014

DIRECTIONS: ***due to access issues, and trespass and littering on private property as well as some hikers disrespectful attitudes, the owners of the property described previously are no longer valid. i will update the directions to the falls soon, but for now, use the directions provided below by a wonderful user in the comments section. and hey, litterbugs and jerkfaces.. shame on you.

Trail Description: THESE FALLS ARE LOCATED NEXT TO PRIVATE PROPERTY! Please respect the use of this site and obey the signs at the falls. Keep them clean! Follow the secondary access described in the comments section. DO NOT access these falls by crossing private property, and PLEASE practice GARBAGE IN_GARBAGE OUT. bring along an extra garbage bag and help clean the mess left behind by less considerate hairless apes. this is an iconic and HUGELY popular site in kings county, and falls have had access denied by DNR and the RCMP (Drysdale Falls in Colchester County) and it would be an absolute shame if Hell Gate (AKA Three Pools) were to be closed to public use.

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When you arrive at the falls, there are numerous large boulders in front of a deep pool with a
charming 1 5' steep cascade feeding into it, sheer cliff walls ascend behind them, and the
glimpse of the middle plunge is enough to tantalize you across the rocks to the other side of the
river.



A path leads up to the high ridge above the falls, or you can pick your way nearer the edge along
the rocks. A rope swing awaits the brave (or foolhardy) on a large tree that overhangs the lower
falls pool.



The middle plunge is about 1 5' high, and quite vigorous. A Nova Scotia Power sign reminds
people that the pool here is not deep and discourages diving here. A notch in the high rock wall
ahead of you leads the adventurous to the top falls at this site, which is a beautiful 20' cascade
that fans out over the rtock face into another pool before it races into a narrow channel between
the slabs of stone and down towards the middle plunge. The sunlight doesnt reach in here as
much, and as such, lends an air of enchantment to something named so sinisterly.



The 70-foot high cliffs that tower over the top falls is a popular spot for the VERY brave to jump
off, into the pool below. I f you search online, at YouTube under "Three Pools" (the other name for
this popular location), you will be treated to the bravest (or craziest) of us all, taking what is
essentially, a massive leap of faith into the pools below you that you cannot even see.





21 comments:

  1. If I were to hike in a take a few pics would I run into any coyotes?

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  2. theres the possibility of meeting a coyote on ANY trail ANYWHERE in the province. the trick with them is to always have yuir walking stick on hand, and to make yuirself seem as large as possible, as noisy and annoying to them as possible. it is rare though,to come across them while you are hiking. generally they will get yuir scent and scamper long before you even know they are there. the few attacks that we have experienced here in nova scotia are the aberration, not the norm. id be more afraid of the KILLER BUNNIES on the trails. :D

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    1. yes will take a stick thanks for replying.Is there any scent I could wear that would be picked up easy and repel them?
      Bruce Kentville

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  3. Hi, heading there this weekend...is it 1 hour round trip or 2 hours total?
    Thanks for all the info! :)

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  4. Hey there, I was following your directions today, and a small point - it's left on White Rock road from Deep Hollow, not left! Otherwise, thanks for the great directions to some nice swimming!

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  5. Too bad there's graffiti on these rocks.

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  6. Awesome blog!!! I've been to 3 Pools many times, even got the courage to jump off the cliff once. Great little spot in the summer.

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  7. We followed these directions and it indeed took us to the small cemetery where we parked, but after 2.5 hours hiking and exhausted, we found ourselves going nowhere. A few times the wooded path did lead us to point where we could see the pools, but we definitely didn't find the falls. Every time we kept asking people from across the gorge, who were swimming and wearing bikinis & flip-flops (clearly hadn't hiked as arduously as we did), they would all say they hiked from the 'other' side, whichever way you get to the 'other' side is still a complete mystery wrapped in an enigma to us. We are not familiar with the area, as we live in the city, so the above directions we found were hopeless. Unless you're willing to hike for hours and go in loops. The forest is a dense one and can be very disorientating. Here's an alternative set of directions one may also want to consider (Taken from the 'Salt scapes' blog) . I have no idea if they are accurate, as we didn't try this other apparent way, but I recommend if you're not a local to not do the above directions, unless you are equipped with a compass, (good) hiking shoes/boots, water and a cell phone (in case you get disorientated and lost).

    here's the directions from 'Salt Scapes':

    From Wolfville go west on Main Street past the stoplights at Exit 11. Continue through Greenwich for a few kilometres until you see Deep Hollow Road on the left. Follow Deep Hollow Road past the flashing stop at White Rock Road. Drive down a hill, over a bridge and up a hill. Near the top of this hill are two houses that flank a gated lane. There is enough room near the road to park a few cars, so leave the car there and walk for about 10 minutes until you reach the base of the tall water towers at Hell's Gate Station. From here you should be able to see the exposed curved surface of a large partially submerged pipe. Walk along the pipe for about a minute until you see a number of paths leading off to the left into the woods. None of these paths has any official marking, but you may spot a ribbon or two left by other adventurers. Once you have chosen a path, follow the sounds of running water.

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    1. A reason you may have had such difficulty is because that is private property that requests to trespassing. It's not a public location. You're correct, it's best to access via White Rock.

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  8. Please realize that Three Pools is on both Power Corporation Land and on Private property! The space at the cemetery is for cemetery parking only. Take note of Private property signs on the land owner's side of Three Pools. Dogs need to be on a leash and clean up the area if you visit.

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  9. 3-pools is a very beautiful & dangerous hike. If you visit,
    go prepared & don't leave your things behind. Nothing ruins a nice nature hike quite like seeing trash, old diapers, broken beer bottles, shoes & towels that people have left behind. Also, if visiting, do no park or enter by the cemetery. As that is private property, & the "trail" goes through farm land & private property.
    As long as we all respect other's property & do not trespass, it's a great visit.

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  10. Check yourself for ticks after visiting & beware of the bear(s).

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  11. Please note: these directions should not be posted for public entry! These are directions to PRIVATE property. There are numerous signs indicating no trespassing! Owners vehicles WILL be towed at their expense.
    Again these directions should NOT be posted as its like posting directions to someone's home. Private property!! NO trespassing.
    People can access the three pools from the white Rock side, NOT the Black River side.

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  12. Also to answer someone question: yes there are coyotes and black bears!

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  13. That's correct! In order to access 3 pools, people are trespassing. Either over NSPower property of over private local land owners property. I've heard vehicles have been towed...

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  14. Which cliff was the 75 foot one? I jumped off the tallest cliff where the main waterfall was, and my friends and I thought it was only 45+ feet, but it seems to be around the same height as my 6-storey apartment building...

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  15. Think this one might be a bit beyond my hiking abilities. Thanks for the virtual visit. Sybil

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  16. Gotta weigh in on this one. Four of us visited Three Pools this past Saturday. We drove down from the city and had all been in the area before, but we had not updated ourselves on recent developments with the access - our fault for sure on that one, but to be fair, we had all been before and so we just went with our instincts when we found blocked access.

    So we approach Hellcat Road, as marked in google maps https://www.google.ca/maps/place/Hellsgate+Rd,+Wolfville,+NS+B4P+2R1/@45.0484666,-64.412389,16z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x4b585380b6a231f9:0xc9e605240af42b16!8m2!3d45.048027!4d-64.4064452 and see the blockages on the road bed as well as the no parking signs along the side of the road. We also spied signs saying '3 Pools this way' accompanied by arrows, and so we took off in that direction trying to find the correct way in, and so we did not have to impact anyone's expectation of keeping their land private - we're all homeowners and we do understand how issues can arise around something like this.

    We went so far as to travel back down the Black River road to try and follow these signs. They appeared, tall of us through two separate checks, to end at the ballfield whose name I can't recall, but it's just past the intersection of Gaspereau River Road and Black River Road. Anyway, as I said, the signs indicating '3 Pools this way' were no longer present just before our arrival at the ballfield, and we went so far as to drive up to White Rock rd to check further.

    So, thinking that we were thinking, we parked here and looked for a trail. We found one along the riverbank and followed it all the way to the Hell's Gate powerhouse and then on to the falls. We enjoyed the falls but decided, being a little tired, to simply walk up the Hell's Gate road and follow pavement back to our rig. Along the way we saw signs cautioning against ticks in the tall grass painted in similar theme to the direction signs, and some no trespassing signs on the field's edge - respecting these we did not cross into the field.

    Approaching the top of the hill and the pavement, we saw a vehicle and man waiting for us. He proceeded to tear into us for ignoring no trespassing signs. I explained that we were under the impression that parking was not wanted at the top of the hill, and access to the road was blocked. I explained that we had simply followed the signage present and had even gone so far as to drive past the ballfields to check for more. He tells me that the ballfield is private (we saw no signs and did a thorough check after) and that our vehicle could be towed. At this point he was being pretty ignorant in tone and body language, three of four of us were talking away.

    OK, so I don't want an argument and I don't deliberately try to piss people off, no hiker gets anywhere doing that. I said that none of us would ever do something like this maliciously, that we really thought we were doing the right thing. I don't get warm and fuzzy thinking he believed me, but by this point I was turning to walk away as well, because I don't care how right you are about something, being a dick is not cool.

    We drove the whole area again looking for the "correct" access area and never saw another direction sign.

    To the locals: if you don't want folks making the same very innocent mistake we did then please fix the signage issue. Simple. I have boatloads of respect for private property and all, but as stated above, we really feel we went above and beyond to avoid crossing private property. There were no private property signs at the ballfield.

    And don't be nasty. This guy was pretty amped up and wasn't going to listen to any explanation. That's not cool.

    Other than that, nice spot.


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  17. https://www.novascotia.ca/natr/enforcement/pdf/trespass_2.pdf

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  18. THIS IS ALL PRIVATE PROPERTY. Between landowners and NS Power- ALL SURROUNDING area is privately owned.
    No after how you access the pools IT IS TRESPASSING.
    Signs and barriers are plentiful and all owners have been in contact with RCMP, who will be monitoring the areas far more frequently now after being explained of the littering and trespassing.
    Vehicles have and will continue to be towed at owners' expense!!!!!!!

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  19. Too bad it's private property...sounds like it would be a nice spot

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