Chasing Waterfalls

You hear it before you see it. The steady roar and splash of tumbling water. It was Waterfalls of Nova Scotia: A Guide, and author Benoit Lalonde’s enthusiastic social media posts that inspired educator Chara LaRusic to spend a season chasing all the waterfalls she could find.

LaRusic, a schoolteacher trained in outdoor education, lives in Amherst with her son, and the two have visited waterfalls all along the North Shore. LaRusic’s partner Stacia Findlay, mom of two, and student at St. Francis Xavier University, joins hikes whenever possible. For this active couple, waterfall adventures have been a great way to connect.
“It’s great for our relationship,” says Findlay, “Sometimes we go without the kids and choose more challenging terrain. It’s something I might never have done without Chara there supporting me.”
Nova Scotia has waterfalls for every adventurer. “Start with something easy,”
advises Benoit Lalonde, “Once you’ve mastered that, choose a greater challenge,
and ease yourself in.” His book offers descriptions of each hike, location, difficulty, type, and distance, so you can make an educated choice.

Considerations

Safety
Your basic day-hike pack should contain:
• Water • Sunscreen • Compass (check online for compass tutorials)
• Snacks • Insect repellant • GPS unit or phone app
• Map • Cell phone • Small medical supplies (bandages, alcohol swabs)
Ticks
LaRusic and Findlay recommend insect repellant, hiking on wet days, and staying on trail, as ticks prefer long grass. Chara uses a lint roller on clothes and skin after hiking.
Finding Falls
Benoit Lalonde’s guidebook can be purchased online, but Lalonde recommends a trip to your local independent bookstore.

Easy Access – Family Friendly

Park Falls – Thorburn, NS
Directions: Off Highway 104, take Sutherlands River exit and Thorburn Rd. Turn left on Park Falls Rd. Beautiful,
three-tiered falls just off the road.
Challenge: Easy
Distance (one way): Roadside, short access trail to bottom pool.
Coordinates: 45°58’64.80”N, 62°49’82.51”W

Wentworth Falls – Wentworth, NS
Directions: On Highway 4, drive approximately 1 km from the intersection with Mountain View Lane. Park and walk to a dirt road on the west side with boulders blocking vehicle access.
Challenge: Easy
Distance (one way): 250 m
Coordinates:
Trailhead: 45°35’17.38”N, 63°33’39.66”W
Waterfall: 45°35’16.2”N, 63°33’52.2”W

A Bit of a Challenge

Fall Brook Falls – MacPherson’s Mills, NS
Directions: From Highway 104, take Highway 347. In MacPherson’s Mills, turn right onto Fraser Rd., and left on Fall Brook Rd. Drive about 700m to a culvert below the road. Head upstream for about 1.3 km to this 40-foot, slide-type waterfall.
Challenge: Moderate
Distance (one way): 3 km
Coordinates:
Trailhead: 45°21’37.78”N, 62°51’4.74”W
Waterfall: 45°21’02.7”N, 62°50’44.8”W

Hurlburt Brook Falls – Lochaber, NS
Directions: Take Highway 7 from Antigonish, toward Sherbrooke. In view of Lochaber Lake, take Middleton Rd., and go uphill until the road levels off. Park here.
A series of three falls are on the south side of the road, a short hike requiring some bushwacking and a steep descent to the bottom of the large waterfall.
Challenge: Moderate
Distance (one way): 200 m
Coordinates:
Trailhead: 45°26’34.96”N, 62°0’41.10”W
Waterfall: 45°26’36.66”N, 62°0’51.39”W

Hidden Gems

Cuties Hollow Falls – James River, NS
Directions: From Highway 104 near Marshy Hope, take Strathglass Rd., (becomes Brown’s Mountain Rd). Continue as it climbs and then descends. Park at
45° 37.509’N, 62° 9.967’W. Trailhead sign east of the road. Descent to the falls requires use of existing ropes.
Challenge: Moderate
Distance (one way): 1.75 km
Coordinates:
Trailhead: 45°37’28.34”N, 62°9’58.22”W
Waterfall: 45°37’33.0”N, 62°09’04.0”W

Annandale Falls – East Wentworth, NS
Directions: Take Highway 246 at Wentworth Station, drive about 5.75 km (45° 37.516’N, 63° 29.845’W). Take dirt road on the right. Pass the blueberry field on the left, park at the Y-intersection. Falls are ahead and to your right. Annandale is the highest waterfall near Wentworth Valley. Descent is steep and requires use of existing ropes.
Challenge: Difficult
Distance (one way): 200 m
Coordinates:
Trailhead: 45°37’10.48”N, 63°29’54.25”W
Waterfall: 45°37’7.82”N, 63°29’55.95”W

Information adapted from Waterfalls of Nova Scotia: A Guide, Benoit Lalonde, and trailpeak.com.

Online resources: trailpeak.com, connect.ca, hikenovascotia.ca, nstrails.com

Recommended gear for chasing waterfalls when it gets chilly.

  1. Footwear:
    Men’s Salomon XA Pro 3D GTX Hiking Shoes
    Women’s Salomon XA 3D GTX W Hiking Shoes

2. Jackets:
Men’s Arc’Teryx Zeta SL Jacket
Women’s Arc’Teryx Zeta SL Jacket

3. Headwear:
Buff Air Trek Cap
Buff Coolnet UV+ Headband

4. Socks:
Men’s Darn Tough Hiker Micro Crew Cushion Sock
Women’s Darn Tough Hiker No Show Light Cushion Sock

5. Bottoms:
Women’s Vidda Pro Trousers
Women’s Fjallraven Abisko Trekking Tights

6. Tops:
Men’s Icebreaker Quantum Long-Sleeve Zip Hood
Women’s Icebreaker Merino 200 Oasis Long-sleeve Half-Zip Sky Paths

7. Backpack:
Osprey Daylite Plus

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