Sunday, 26 April 2015

Grand River Falls, Richmond County
45° N 42.289 060° W 37.033
UTM:  20T  E 671136 N 5059386

RIVER: Barren Hill River
CLASS: slide/cascade
SIZE: 25'
RATING: average (***)

TRAIL: roadside 
CONDITIONS: moderate


NS Atlas Page: 34/Y2
NS topo map: 011F10 (St. Peter's)

DRIVING DIRECTIONS: from St. Peter's, travel easward along HWY4, 11.4km (through Potlotek First Nation) and turn right onto Soldier's Cove Road. Follow this fairly rough paved road 9.8km to the village of Grand River and turn left at the bridge, onto St.Peter's-Forchu Rd (the Fleur de Lis Trail). Drive 400m to the top of the hill and turn left again (at the graveyard) onto Loch Lomond Rd. Follow  this road for 7.9km, watching for the deep ravine on your left. Park off  the side of the road.

TRAIL DESCRIPTION:pick your way along the left side of the brook to the base of the falls. These are quite nice slide falls, the brook running over a singular sheet of bedrock, rippling as though it were lightly paved cobbles, over a drop of approximately twenty feet. At the base of the falls, the brook turns at an eighty degree angle, giving these falls a turbulent little cascade before the brook continues on to join the Grand River a few hundred meters downstream.

Barra Head, Richmond County
N 45° 40.014 W 060° 48.180 
UTM:  E671136 N5059386

DRIVING DIRECTIONS: from St. Peter's, at the Canal, drive eastwards along HWY4 (towards Sydney) for approximately 5.5km, watching for a pull-off on the left hand side of the road, just as you begin going uphill again after coming into the deep valley. Pull in here and park. 

Trail Description: hike across the clear-cut along the skidder track, towards the brook. When you reach the brook, hike upstream to the falls. The trees are fairly mature and there is little deadfall in the valley, so hiking isn't terribly taxing. These falls travel down a steep rockface into a small pool that empties into another short cascade. Draining a fairly small watershed, these falls can be dry, or nearly so, by summertime.  

Located on the lands originally granted to Donald McKinnon, for whom the brook is named, who "failed to meet conditions", thus in 1818 they were then granted to Dougal Buchanan McNab, 23 years old, and resident of Cape Breton from the age of 15, who named his lands "Arn Prior" and operated a mill on these lands.

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Well, the spring freshet is pretty much upon us here in Nova Scotia, and I wnat to wish everyone great hikes in the coming months. I have been working diligently on my book, and have nearly completed the manuscript for Richmond and Cape Breton Counties, featuring 50 plus falls in those two counties, arranged into their historic townships. I have also started up a Crowdsource funding sort of thingy, to work up the necessary funds needed for a first run printing of the book, as well as preparing to contact local businesses with the idea of placing some advertising in the book to also defray the costs of printing and distributing the book. I have most of the material needed, as well, to get started on a Hants/Kings County edition, although a few more days of deep back country hikes in those area will be needed. Anyhow, if you want to contribute, or just see how well we're doing getting towards that goal, please visit the site at:

In the meantime, here are the initial first generation maps for Richmond and Cape Breton Counties. Did I miss any?