Saturday, 22 September 2012

Ardness, Pictou County
45N40.643 62W13.174
20T E560784 N5058499

photo Benoit Lalonde

RIVER: Vameys Brook
CLASS: plunge/cascade/plunge
SIZE: 30', 20', 30'
RATING: average (***1 /2)

TRAIL: bushwhacking/upstream
HIKING TIME: 1.5 hours
CONDITIONS: moderate

Geocache: GC16GBW

NS Atlas Page: 31/X2
NS topo map: 011E09

photo Benoit Lalonde

DRIVING DIRECTIONS: from Antigonish,  follow HWY245 north from town 35.7km to Knoydart. Turn left on New Road and drive 2.3km to its conclusion and turn right onto Baileys Brook Ardness Road. Continue on this road approximately 1.7km to a dirt road on your left just before the bridge over Vameys Brook. Follow this road to 45N40.933 62W14.257 and park just before the turn in the road.

TRAIL DESCRIPTION: head into the woods on your right and remain along the same contour line as long as you can. The trail here is mostly overgrown and nearly nonexistent, but clears up about 150m along. Follow this trail to where it begins to disappear again and head down the slope to the brook below. When you reach the brook, head upstream to the first falls, a beautiful two-tiered plunge with high cliffs along the right hand side of the ravine. Use the rope here to ascend next to the falls and continue upstream another 200m to a boulder cascades and the main falls (referrenced by the coordinates above) which are slightly taller than the first ones, with another large cliff alongside them.

photo Benoit Lalonde

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Wentworth Valley, Cumberland County
45N32.874 63W33.540
20T E456364 N5043970

photo Sylvia Fisher

RIVER: Dicks Meadow Brook
CLASS: multiple falls
SIZE: 10', 20', 20', 25', 25'
RATING: excellent (***1 /2)

TRAIL: none
HIKING TIME: 45 minutes
CONDITIONS: moderate

Geocache: none

NS Atlas Page: 28/Z4-5
NS topo map: 11E12 (Oxford)

photo Benoit Lalonde

DRIVING DIRECTIONS: from Oxford, follow HWY104 (TCH) east 8km to exit7. Take this exit onto HWY4 towards Wentworth and continue 31.5km and turn left onto Lafage Lane. Follow this road approximately 250m and park off to the side by the underpass.

photo Sylvia Fisher

TRAIL DESCRIPTION: follow the railway tracks until you cross the first stream. Head upstream along Dicks Meadow Brook. Almost immediately you will encounter a 20' boulder cascade. The next set of falls, the largest along this brook is further upstream, approximately 225m. The third set of falls is another 225m along, the fourth another 80m beyond them. The final set of falls along this brook, which are represented by the coordinates above, is approximately 125m beyond the fourth set of falls.

photo Benoit Lalonde 

photo Benoit Lalonde 

photo Sylvia Fisher

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Kinsmans Corner, Kings County
45N07.732 64W40.319
20T E368517 N4998625

photo jbtech

RIVER: Killam Brook
CLASS: plunge/steep cascade
SIZE: 35'
RATING: excellent (***1 /2)

TRAIL: improved trails
CONDITIONS: moderate

Geocache: GCWDAE

NS Atlas Page: 46/Y3
NS topo map: 021H02 (Berwick)

photo Benoit Lalonde

DRIVING DIRECTIONS: from Kentville, follow Cornwallis St (HWY359) north from town 6.9km to Centreville and turn left (west) onto HWY221. Continue 11km to Kinsmans Corner and turn right (north) onto Bligh Road. Follow this road 2.1km and turn right just after a 90-degree left turn in the road to remain on Bligh Road and follow it another 700m to its end and a Woodville Trail sign. Park here. 

photo by Melanie Haverstock (2014)

TRAIL DESCRIPTION: located along the Woodville Hiking Trail, this tiered fall is on a short side trail off Rhodes Trail. The hike is in the more rugged region of the trails, terrain wise, but other trails here feature panoramic views along the Look-Off Trail south over the Annapolis Valley dotted with farms and apple orchards, and the Lower Trail follows the base of the North Mountain through fields and old apple orchards. 

The Woodville Hiking Trails area a maintained set of recreational trails that cover some 10km of interconnecting trails. Maintained by the Annapolis Valley Mountain Bike Assosciation these trails also feature protected trails where use of ATVs and dirtbikes is not permitted, the Indian Trail which climbs the North Mountain as well as the Look-Off Trail. More information on the Woodville Trails and other maintained hiking trails in Kings County can be found at:

cascades along Indian Trail

cascades along Indian Trail

cascades along the Indian Trail

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Belle Marche, Inverness County
46N36.306 60W58.646
20T E654894 N5163268

photo Robert Pierrynowski

RIVER: Aucoin Brook
CLASS: cascade
SIZE: 30'
RATING: average (***)

TRAIL: ATV trail
CONDITIONS: moderate

Geocache: GC136R4K

NS Atlas Page: 6?V3
NS topo map: 011K10 (Cheticamp River)

DRIVING DIRECTIONS: from Cheticamp, drive inland along Plateau Rd 1.5km and turn left onto the hairpin turn onto Cheticamp Back Rd. Follow this road 170m and turn right onto Deveaux Rd. Drive 750m and continue to the right onto Platin Road. Follow this road to its conclusion approximately 1.5km along and park. (46N36.327 60W58.925)

TRAIL DESCRIPTION: continue along the old road, up the hill and then take the center ATV trail to the stream. Hike a short distance upstream to the falls.

photo Robert Pierrynowski

Watch for the old colonial Acadian building foundations along the route as well as the remains of an old timber dam at the top of the falls.

Three Mile Plains, Hants County
44N57.328  64W05.510
20T E413880 N4978583

RIVER: Maple Brook

CLASS: stepped
SIZE: 6'
RATING: average (**1/2)

TRAIL: dirt road/bushwhacking
HIKING TIME: 45 minutes
CONDITIONS: moderate


NS Atlas Page: 57/Z1
NS topo map: 021A16 (Windsor)

DRIVING DIRECTIONS: from Windsor, take EXIT5 off HWY101 west towards Three Mile Plains. Proceed along HWY14 approximately 1km and turn left at the Irving gas station to remain on HWY1. Continue 1.7km to the Three Mile Plains Elementary. Park here.

TRAIL DESCRIPTION: turn back up HWY1 approximately 100m to the former Windsor/Hantsport railbed. Cross the road at the tracks and turn left onto them. Follow the tracks approximately 600m to a bridge over Maple Brook. Walk just past the bridge and cross over to the field on your left. Turn to the right and hike down on the old grass covered road to its conclusion about 500m along. Turn left on the dirt road and keep to the left at the fork in the road about 100m on. Follow this road below the quarry another 150m and follow the stream into the ravine. Hike upstream 400m to the falls.

These small falls drop over six steps of varynig height over a 5m run of the brook. Nestled in a quiet, undisturbed ravine, surrounded by moss draped deadfall and exposed bedrock, these small falls are quite picturesque. Ive given them the name Breicher Falls for the original grantee of the lands they are on, as Maple Brook has another set of falls, a ten foot plunge, much further upstream.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012


Morristown, Kings County
44N55.873 64W46.189
20T E360344 N4976833

photo Benoit Lalonde

RIVER: South River
CLASS: cascade
SIZE: 20'
RATING: excellent (***1 /2)

TRAIL: woods road
DISTANCE: 1km (summer)
                     4.5km (winter)
HIKING TIME: 45 min-2.5hours
CONDITIONS: moderate

Geocache: GC10MJ8

NS Atlas Page: 56/X2
NS topo map: 021A15 (Gaspereau Lake)

photo jbtech

DRIVING DIRECTIONS: from Kentville, follow HWY101 west 17km to EXIT15, and turn left onto HWY360. Drive south 2.7km and turn right onto HWY1 and continue 6.3km. Turn left on Aylesford Rd and drive 11km to a service road on your right. During the winter, park here, just off road, out of the way of snowmobilers. In the summer, proceed down this road 4km to a dirt road towards Burnt Dam Flowage on your left and park there.

photo Dennis Rycroft

TRAIL DESCRIPTION: follow the service road to the falls. Easy hiking, you will hear the falls long before you approach them. Elevation change is minimal, and a trail from the top of the falls to the base is easily navigated. During winter, this is an excellent snowshoe or cross country ski trail.

photo falach fead

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Margaree Valley, Inverness County
46N23.036 60W53.427
20T E662212 N5138868

photo Benoit Lalonde

RIVER: Martha Brook
CLASS: plunge
SIZE: 80'
RATING: excellent (****)

TRAIL: bushwhacking


NS Atlas Page: 9/W3
NS topo map: 011K07 (St. Anns Harbour)

photo Robert Pierrynowski

DRIVING DIRECTIONS: from Baddeck,  head SW along the Trans Canada Highway (HWY105) about 9km and turn right onto HWY19 (the Cabot Trail). Drive 31.8km to North East Margaree and turn right onto East Big Intervale Road. Drive north along this road 4.2km and turn left onto Fielding Road at the village of Margaree Valley. Follow this road 8.8km and turn left onto Caribou Road. Turn left again about 300m along, and continue down this road approximately 500m, parking anywhere on the side of the road.

photo Geoscotians

TRAIL DESCRIPTION: bushwhack down to the brook below the falls and hike upstream to the falls. Easier said than done, though. The descent into the ravine here is very steep, at times approaching 75-80 degrees, so extreme caution will be necessary, and one should NEVER attempt these falls on yuir own. The slope is covered in beech and maple trees and a deep carpet of moss which covers the large boulders and can disguise holes in which ankles can be caught into very easily.

photo Geoscotians

Stunning, and quite unforgettable, you will remember these falls both for the sheer size of the plunge, but also for the treacherous descent (and eventual ascent) to the base of the falls. Coming at these falls from above the plunge is possible but dangerous. If you have rope, bring it, use it. 

looking over the precipice
photo Robert Pierrynowski

Forest Glen, Inverness County
46N29.147  60W52.707
20T E662831 N5150210

photo Robert Pierrynowski

RIVER: Second Fork Brook
CLASS: cascade (steep)
SIZE: 90'
RATING: excellent (***1 /2)

TRAIL: woods trail/bushwhacking
HIKING TIME: 2.5hours
CONDITIONS: difficult


NS Atlas Page: 9/W1
NS topo map: 011K07 (St. Anns Harbour)

photo Geoscotians

DRIVING DIRECTIONS: from Baddeck, head SW along the Trans Canada Highway (HWY105) about 9km and turn right onto HWY19 (the Cabot Trail). Drive 31.8km to North East Margaree and turn right onto East Big Intervale Road. Drive north along this road 5.7km and turn left onto Hatchery Road. Follow this road 4.1km to Portree and turn right onto West Big Intervale Road. Drive 8.5km and then keep right at the fork to remain on this road, continuing another 1.2km to its conclusion. Park here.

TRAIL DESCRIPTION: Follow the marked trail upstream along the Northeast Margaree River, keeping right at the first fork you come to. Continue along the trail to the river and begin hiking upstream. The trail remains easy to follow for the first kilometer after which it becomes somewhat grown over. Continue hiking upstream to Second Fork Brook, about 1.5km along, and then hike up this wide tributary to the falls.

photo Robert Pierrynowski

There will be several river crossings involved getting to these falls, and this can be very treacherous during times of high water. When you reach the falls you will be rewarded with stunning views of pristine wilderness, as this location falls within the Margaree River Wilderness Area, which designates it as a protected space. They slide down a sheer rock face about 90 feet into a deep pool below. Surrounding the site, high cliffs are visible closing the valley in.
Easily one of the most difficult and remote waterfalls in the province, make sure you go prepared for an arduous hike as much of the last half of the hike is bushwhacking, river crossings and rock hopping.

photo Robert Pierrynowski

Centre Rawdon, Hants County
45N03.304 63W50.242
20T E434067 N4989409

RIVER: unnamed tributary of Little River
CLASS: steep cascade
SIZE: 10'
RATING: average (***)

TRAIL: woods trail
HIKING TIME: 45 minutes
CONDITIONS: moderate


NS Atlas Page: 48/W4
NS topo map: 011E04 (Kennetcook)

DRIVING DIRECTIONS:  from Windsor, take Exit 5 off HWY 101, headed west towards Brooklyn along HWY 14. When you reach this small village, 8.6km along, turn left at the war memorial in the middle of the road, continuing straight past the Petro Canada gas station at the top of the hill onto HWY 215. Continue on this road 15.9km and turn left onto HWY202. Drive north along this road about 100m, and park in the logging pull-off on the right just past where the brook passes under the road.

TRAIL DESCRIPTION: walk back down the highway about 30m to a trail on the same side of the road and follow this to its conclusion, keeping to the left when you reach the fork in the trail. Continue upstream to the falls. The trail is easy to follow, and the stream is fairly narrow making crossing the stream fairly simple.

Approximately 450along the trail, turning right at the fork in the trail, you will reach the former location of Rawdon Gold Mine. It is presently a bat cave, and I would ask that you respect the signage there, informing the public about White Nose Syndrome, which has killed off a large percentage of Atlantic Canada's bat population, and not enter the old mine. It is closed off and experiments and monitoring is going on presently (September, 2012) The mine adit is located at 45N03.361 63W50.392.