Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Ashdale, Hants County
45N01.487  63W52.554
20T E0430995  N4986077

RIVER: unnamed tributary of the Herbert River
CLASS: plunge/steep cascade
SIZE: 50'
RATING: excellent (****)

TRAIL: woods path/buyshwhacking
HIKING TIME: 1.5 hours
CONDITIONS: moderate/difficult

Geocache: none

NS Atlas Page: 48/W5
NS topo map: 11E04 (Kennetcook)

Driving Directions: from Windsor, take Exit5 off HWY101, east onto HWY14 towards Brooklyn (Newport). Drive 8km to the village, turning left onto HWY215 at the war memorial in the center of the road.  Drive up the hill, 1km, and keep right at the Y-intersection and continue 3.8km and turn right onto Ashdale Road. Drive 7.7km to an unmarked dirt road on your left. A high clearance vehicle can drive to the end of this road near a fenceline, otherwise pull off here and park.

photo by Andrew Paul (2014)

Trail Description: hike down this dirt road approximately 1km. It is clear, moderate walking with a few wet spots. When you get to the fence and a small copse of trees at the top of the hill, angle down the field to your left, watching for the trail on the far side of the clearcut. It is not marked, but the haulage road comes close to it. Follow the trail to the top of the falls, where you can see the notch the brook drops thru. Cross the brook and continue along the edge of the ravine until you are directly across from the falls and make your way down the steep slope to the base of the falls. 

Alternately, you can hike down to the bottom of the hill on the north side of the clearing, following the haulage road to a more evident trail that will lead you to the Herbert River, turn left and walk downriver until you come to the tributary on your left. Hike up the tributary 300m to the start of the canyon. This narrow canyon does have some hefty clogs of deadfall, especially in the last 50m to the falls. This canyon has beautiful moss draped sheer cliffs and are only perhaps fifteen feet wide. 

Approaching the falls from this route, when you disentangle yourself from the clog, are quite spectacular, the bottom 25 foot cascade dominating the scene directly in  front of you. If you climb halfway up the slope on the downstream side of the falls, facing them, you will have a view of the initial 25' plunge that comes thru a 4 foot notch in the cliff.

Theres something almost vertigo inducing when you look thru the notch and over the plunge. Be very careful if you decide to take in this overfall vantage, the rocks are slippery and the cliffs around you still reach tens of feet in the air.

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