Thursday, 9 August 2012

Benjamins Mill, Hants County
44N53.833  64W19.443
20T E0395458 N4972385

RIVER: Southwest Branch Avon River
CLASS: chute and slide
SIZE: 15'
RATING: excellent (***)

TRAIL: none
HIKING TIME: 2 hours
CONDITIONS: strenuous


NS Atlas Page: 57/W2
NS topo map: 021A16 (Windsor)

DRIVING DIRECTIONS: from Windsor, take EXIT7 off HWY101 to Falmouth. At the end of the connector, turn right onto HWY1 then immediately trend left in 150m onto Falmouth Back Road at the Y-intersection. Drive 2km and then keep left again to remain on Falmouth Back Road, then continue another 4.5km to Mines Road. Turn right onto this road and follow it along 10.2km, watching for an old logging road on your lift hand side that angles gently downslope.

Follow this road as far as you feel comfortable. I was able to get the Jeep into the very end of the road in the spring but there were some pretty soupy spots. All in all it is not a bad road to hike so if you park sooner rather than later, just make sure you have water left for the hike back up the hill to your vehicle.

Trail Description: if you park sooner, follow the logging road to its conclusion. This road runs about 1.8km from Mines Road, so adjust from there your hiking distance. At the end of the road, follow the haulage road across the clearcut to your left, down dowards the river. If you have the cookie crumbs feature on your GPSr, I'd strongly suggest using it for this hike. Hike generally SSE along and down the trail until you reach its conclusion at the woods, about 400m along. From here its a straight bushwhack down to the river, about 150m away.

When you reach the river, head upstream along the edge of the river. This is a very wild looking river with massive boulders alongside and along the watercourse itself. There are several nice sized cascades on the way up towards Baker Falls.

Hike to the right hand side of the deep, still pool you encounter, and continue upstream to Baker Falls. This chute and slide fall, only perhaps 15feet in total drop, is still very picturesque, especially during the spring run. The hike in is moderately long and hard, featuring a lot of bushwhacking and rockhopping, but the end reward is the experience of a small part of Nova Scotia that remains breathtakingly wild.

(looking down the chute)

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