Friday, 31 May 2013

Baxters Harbour, Kings County
N 45° 12.883 W 064° 32.477 
UTM: 20T E 378978 N 5007959

RIVER: Porcupine Brook
CLASS: plunge, multiple cascades
SIZE: 35', 15', 8', 6', 4'
RATING: average (****)

TRAIL: hiking path
HIKING TIME: 20 minutes
CONDITIONS: moderate 

Geocache: none

NS Atlas Page: 46/Z1

NS topo map: 021H02 (Berwick)

DRIVING DIRECTIONS: from Kentville, travel east on HWY101 to Exit12, turning north towards New Minas. Follow the New Minas Connector Rd (which eventually turns into Middle Dyke Rd) 8.5km, then turn left onto HWY341, driving less than 100m and turning right, back onto Middle Dyke Rd. Follow this road 2.4km and turn right onto HWY221 (signed for Baxter's Harbour) and drive 1km. Turn left onto Black Hole Rd (also signed as above) and drive 10.4km to its conclusion. Follow the road to the left onto Old Baxters Mill Rd (this corner is the parking area for Haunted Falls and Black Hole Falls, the trailhead to these leading off to the right.) Continue 200m and watch for a dirt lane on your right, with a small sign for Oceanview Drive. Follow this road past a number of summer cottages to its conclusion. 

*Please respect private property, and use the trail into the woods towards the brook to access these falls*

TRAIL DESCRIPTION: follow the easily discernable trail into the woods directly in front of the parking spot, to Porcupine Brook, about 50m. The main trail to the falls leads upstream alongside the brook. 

photo:Benoit Lalonde (2009)

A short side trail downstream leads to a very interesting fall. As Porcupine Brook meets the Bay of Fundy, it drops over a ten foot ledge into a narrow, mini canyon and then turns sharply to the right, meeting the salt water. I've marked these on the map as Lower Porcupine Brook Falls.

The main falls trail leads upstream and is quite easy to follow, with little bushwhacking, if any, required. Porcupine Brook first greets you with a white water face through the saplings along the stream edges. The trail leads in towards them from the right, giving you a delightful side view as the brook drops over a thirty foot ledge ont the rocks below, then turning to the right with a massive bedrock obstruction a few meters in front of the fall. 

The trail continues upstream, climbing over the escarpment on the left hand side of the falls, about twenty five meters away. Above these main falls are several more falls. They reduce in size the further you go upstream, but all of them are quite nice.

Upper Porcupine Brook Falls lies just above the main falls, approximately 50m upstream. They are about 15 feet in height with a healthy plunge into a frothy pool below.

Above these three falls, Porcupine Brook has several long and steep cascades that are worth the visit. Porcupine Brook IV, below, features a twin 8 foot cascade topped just upstream by twisting cascade of about 6 feet.

Further upstream, the cascades get much smaller, topping out at about 4 feet in height just before you reach the road level along Old Baxters Mill Road again. Make your way back downstream to the parking coordinates, an easy woodland hike.

photo:Benoit Lalonde (2009)

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