Rockville Notch, Kings County
N 44° 57.090 W 064° 53.607
20T E 350641 N 4979306
RIVER: Fales River
SIZE: 30', 1 5', 1 0'
RATING: excellent (***1 /2)
HIKING TIME: 20 min
NS Atlas Page: 56/W2
NS topo map: 021 A1 5 (Gaspereau Lake)
DIRECTIONS: from Kingston, take Exit 1 7E, southward onto
Bishop Mountain Rd, follow this road to its conclusion at HWY
#1 and turn right. Continue on this highway about 1 .2km, turning
left onto Kingston Village Rd. This connects to HWY #201 in
approximately 2km, where you will turn left, travelling nearly
750m to Tremont Mountain Rd. Turn left again onto this road,
following it 3km to Harmony Rd. Turn left onto Harmony Rd and
follow this 3.5km, to where it meets Rockville Notch Rd. Drive up
this a few hundred meter and park just beyond the guardrail on
the right hand side of the road.
Trail Description: climb over or walk around the guardrail. Follow
the path down to the mill site ruins and down the slope to the
rocky ledges surrounding the falls site.
The site of McMasters Mills, which is slated to become an
historical site within Nova Scotia; this 7.18-acre property was
donated to the Municipality of the County of Kings by the
members of the McMaster family. This park will feature trails
leading down to the former sawmill site where there will be
interpretive panels outlining the mill history and the McMaster family history There will also be a
pedestrian walkway leading down into the gorge for views of the original penstock; as well as
public seating areas to view the dam and the waterfalls. For now it remains in its half wild glory.
Emerging from the weeds are the ruins of the mill buildings and miscellanious mill parts strewn
nearby. The descent into the lower gorge is very difficult, and would require walking downstream
to find a safer egress or climbing gear. The upper sets of falls are very approachable, and the
large exposures of bedrock at the sides of the falls makes for a perfect place to sit and admire
The story of this site begins in the 1830’s, when brothers, James, Robert, and Thomas McMaster left
their home in Kirkoswald, Scotland and immigrated to Nova Scotia. These brothers and their
sons began buying land and obtaining the water rights in 1837, seeing the potential for industry
on the Fales River. They founded the Rockville Company. The watermill and dam they built here
spanned across the river, just below the bridge, with a grist mill also built farther downriver.
In 1912, Robert McMaster sold the new mill to Edward McMaster and in 1923, Edward’s two
sons, Clifford and Clayton joined the business and it became known as ER McMaster & Sons.
They built a newer, more modern mill at the site of the gristmill and tore down The Rockville
Company Mill nearer to the bridge.
They expanded the business to include a sawmill, finishing mill, blacksmith shop, cooper shop,
dry house, a cookhouse with sleeping quarters, a gristmill, smokehouse, barns for livestock,
orchards and gardens. By 1954, ER McMaster & Sons relocated to Kingston to facilitate
expansion and benefit from the use of electric power.