East Moose River Gorge

East Moose River Gorge near Parrsboro, NS


This trail was given a rating of 5 out of 5 stars This trail was given a rating of 5 out of 5 stars This trail was given a rating of 5 out of 5 stars This trail was given a rating of 5 out of 5 stars This trail was given a rating of 5 out of 5 stars
4 kms
2hours
extreme
Hiking
Spring, Fall, Summer
Parrsboro, NS
User Benlalonde

I will try to explain how to get to a massive waterfall and rock cliffs on the East Branch Moose River (not the West Branch). I think this might be the tallest falls in NS apart from the North River Falls in Cape Breton Island. Unfortunately I did this hike pre-GPS so I do not have a track to share with you. The naming of some of the branches of the Moose River changes depending on the version of the 1:50000maps. The fall I describe is located at (45.441° N 64.177° W).

After finding some flagging tape by the side of the road in the vicinity I thought the falls would be I exited my car and followed this tape through an area which had been logged in the recent past and was now overwhelmed by small evergreen packed close to each other. Keep following this tape or at least head into a direction to the mature forest you see growing in the back of the area that has been cut. Once you have entered the forest, the walking becomes very easy. The forest is mature and has minimal amount of shrubs growing since the canopy is complete and very high. You ill walk on a descending slope to the edge of the ravine created by the East Branch Moose River. The walk done the ravine is very steep at times but not too bad since there are a lot of trees that you can use to slow down your descent.

I reached the stream and I immediately turned upstream towards the noise and bright sunshine. The area around the falls is big and open. On the opposite side of the ravine which I came down is a massive rock wall that could be used for climbing depending on the strength of the rock. The fall is quite tall. I would estimate in the 100 foot range at least. From some maps I have seen, there are one or two more falls above this one but I did not know this at the time so I will have to go back. Maybe I will bring my GPS that time around so I can post tracks.

Directions:

Highway 2 to Moose River and turn on dirt road once you have crossed a bridge over the East branch Moose River. Drive up the Cobequid mountain for about 4.4km and turn right on the dirt road. The road continues kind of straight for a while and then turns right at the base of a small sugarloaf covered by evergreen. Continue past the sugarloaf and do not take the road that turns left pass the sugarloaf instead continue in a straight direction. After a few hundred meters look for flagging tape on your left. The road continues for a while afterwards but finishes in a cul-de-sac.


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By barrenessPosted By: barreness  - Mon Aug 08 14:32:08 UTC 2016 This trail was given a rating of 5 out of 5 stars This trail was given a rating of 5 out of 5 stars This trail was given a rating of 5 out of 5 stars This trail was given a rating of 5 out of 5 stars This trail was given a rating of 5 out of 5 stars Upside Relatively easy to find using these directions and the most recent backroads atlas with topographic lines. Someone else describes in their directions a "sugarloaf" - that hill is a reasonable landmark to keep an eye out for. You will pass it on your way to the flagged path. We parked at a fire pit campsite that is now in the 'cul-de-sac' area.

The path itself is currently still clearly flagged, and now other paths on both sides of the river are also clearly flagged. A footpath is worn in along the flagged routes which is relatively easy to follow if you can't see the next tape ahead.
Downside Be aware of a large population of poison ivy - located right of the scree slope that is right from the most downstream (largest) of the falls. (ie. first one you encounter if you strictly follow these directions). Otherwise there are small isolated occurrences of it downstream in rocky areas but none upstream. It is easy to avoid in any case but folks who plan to go up the scree should be aware of it.


Comment Pack in a garbage bag if at all possible. It seems that a lot of litter is accumulating around informal campsites and swimming spots around the falls which is a shame. I wished that we had been able to pack out some of that trash but we didn't have a bag in hand.

2WD with good tires and high ground clearance is ok when the roads are dry. Be aware of your tires around piles of large gravel (sharp rocks) in areas where they have infilled wash-outs.

Because this is an actively logged area, new roads have appeared and old roads are growing in. Clearcuts are growing in with dense early successional stuff but the path through is beaten down enough it's great to follow. The directions are still clear enough but don't count on things staying the same.

By hgoddardPosted By: hgoddard  - Tue Oct 15 16:37:55 UTC 2013 Not Rated Comment We managed to get to the GPS co-ordinates mentioned by bushwacking through the woods from a logging road. The directions for getting there don't really work anymore since it's been a few years since this was posted. There are a lot of raspberry patches and thornbushes. A local warned us before starting that there were a lot of bear in the area but we didn't see any signs of them. We'd like to go back and follow the trail that seemed to lead above the falls and farther along the river but didn't have time this trip.
By TrevorPPosted By: TrevorP  - Sat Oct 23 00:34:24 UTC 2010 This trail was given a rating of 5 out of 5 stars This trail was given a rating of 5 out of 5 stars This trail was given a rating of 5 out of 5 stars This trail was given a rating of 5 out of 5 stars This trail was given a rating of 5 out of 5 stars Comment Amazing hike! Started at the first falls and went up to the top passing about 10 different falls. Was there twice and got so carried away that we lost count both times. Got back to the car by walking a logging road. Four hours the first time and five hours last week because we stopped for so many pictures and had a very long lunch at one of the best falls. Good idea to take a rope. Moderate climbing or creative bushwacking is required. Did I mention it was amazing?
By The Big XPosted By: The Big X  - Sat Jun 12 23:31:37 UTC 2010 This trail was given a rating of 5 out of 5 stars This trail was given a rating of 5 out of 5 stars This trail was given a rating of 5 out of 5 stars This trail was given a rating of 5 out of 5 stars This trail was given a rating of 5 out of 5 stars Upside HUGE waterfall - 'nuff said Downside treacherous areas that are difficult to pass and if you take my route (up the river as opposed to down from the top of the gorge's gentler yet steep western slope, as per Lalonde's description here) the necessity of getting your feet (and legs) completely soaked over and over Comment I finally did it! I made it to these falls! This has been on my wish list for quite some time and I finally made it. A word to the wise: I hiked the length of the river (from the main road in the south to the location of the large falls, northward) and although it was an enjoyable route you will get plenty wet if you follow it. I saw several (7) people in and around the area when I was there and they all (for the exception of the 2 guys at the top of the falls who I could not speak to) said they got there via the steep descent down the western slope of the gorge, accessible by way of a logging road (as per Lalonde's description here). I tried to find that entry point during my last attempt but couldn't find the right place to hit the woods and the steep slope beyond.

This location is everything it promises to be! A back country bush-wacking adventure! Just use extreme caution and plan accordingly - this is not for the unfit or casual walker. This place takes effort and sweat to reach, but it is most definitely worth it!


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