GRAND RIVER FALLS
Grand River Falls, Richmond County
N 45° 42.605 W 060° 37.541
20T E 684805 N 5064578
RIVER: Grand River
WATERSHED: Loch Lomond
SIZE: 40 feet
TRAIL: woods road
DISTANCE: 1 .5 km
HIKING TIME: 1 hour
NS Atlas Page: 34/Y1
NS topo map: 011F10 (St. Peters)
DRIVING DIRECTIONS: from ST. PETER'S: drive east from the village along HWY4, passing thru the Chapel Island (Potlotek) Mi 'kmaq reserve, turning right just past the village onto Lewis Cove Rd. Take this bumpy, winding secondary highway to Grand River, turning left onto the bridge past the old general store, onto the Fleur de Lys Trail.
Cross the bridge and drive to the top of the hill, turning left onto the gravel road there, Loch Lomond Rd. Drive 8km, to a dirt road on your left at N 45 42.91 7 W 060 36.825. Take your first left on this road, about 100m in, and proceed down this road as far as you can. The road rapidly deteriorates, and only high clearance vehicles should attempt to drive all the way down to the falls. The best parking is near the large fallen evergreen on your right hand side.
photo: Amanda MacLoed (2013)
photo: Amanda MacLoed (2013)
TRAIL DESCRIPTION: Walk down the dirt road to the falls. When you get to the bottom, cross the steel grating over the salmon ladder pool and follow the dirt path (less than 50m) to the side of the falls. Prepare for a leg-burner on the hike back up to your vehicle.
photo Ian MacDougall (2008)
The Grand River Falls is a significant historical site in Nova Scotia, as it still maintains the salmon ladder erected in the 1880s. It falls down a total vertical distance of 26 feet in three fairly indistingiushable cascades of 16, 4 and 6 feet respectively. The fish ladder runs alongside the falls on the left hand side and if you time it right, in the early summer, they are usually full of young salmon heading out for Atlantic Ocean, which the Grand River empties into. It is possible to walk along the retaining wall between the falls and ladder to sit on the limestone 'flowerpots' and view the falls rushing below you.
(this spot is the center of my universe, so to speak. i have spent many afternoons on that flat rock, watching the eagles fish the salmon ladder below me, my back up against the tree, the roar of the falls behind my back. if there is a heaven, for me, this is it)
In 1873, the residents of Loch Lomond petitioned the Department of Marines and Fisheries in Ottawa for the funds to remove the falls, for the salmon and alewives to be permitted to travel upstream into the Loch Lomond watershed. It was agreed to build a fish ladder at the place rather than destroy the falls using dynamite, the construction of which, after much wrangling in parliament, cost $1000. The falls are located on the lands originally granted to Dougal McNab, whose lands also contain Barren Hill Falls nearby.
The Grand River is fished mainly along the lower stretches during the spring-summer run of salmon. There are also minor tributaries that, if timed right, will offer smaller runs of Atlantic salmon.