header image via @juliaellenbaak
From time to time it’s nice to be able to escape the hustle and bustle of city life, and the Halifax region so has much to offer in terms of outdoor adventure. Visiting the many waterfalls in the surrounding area is a great way to experience the Halifax region and inject a little adventure into your daily life! Here are my top five waterfall walks in the Halifax region:
1. Phantom Falls
If you’re feeling up for a weekend hike and a little adventure, Phantom Falls is waiting for you. Location: Upper Musquodoboit – Musquodoboit Valley River: South Branch Musquodoboit River Drive time from downtown Halifax: 75 minutes Hiking time: 1 hour Phantom Falls is one of the larger waterfalls in the Halifax region with a few smaller falls downstream. Although the hiking time is about an hour, it’s considered an easy to moderate hike. The trail is marked with a sign reading “Phantom Falls” which will lead you to the top of the falls where you’ll find yourself looking down the 10-foot slope. For more information and directions, visit Trail Peak.
2. Miller Lake Falls
Miller Lake Falls is another larger size waterfall in the Halifax region. Located on the north end of Miller Lake, the falls are close to the former site of the Rutherford Inn. Miller Lake Falls is often mistaken for the falls that gave the community of Fall River its name, which is not the case. Those falls formerly existed on the stream that flowed out from Miller Lake to Lake Thomas, which supplied waterpower for several mills during the 19th century, as well as a local electrical utility plant during the early 20th century. The waterfall was demolished in the late 1950s as a result of the construction of the Bicentennial Highway leading to Halifax. Location: Fall River, Halifax River: Tillmann Brook Drive time from downtown Halifax: 30 minutes Hiking time: 10 minutes How to get there: Follow Guysborough Road, which eventually becomes Perrin Drive, for 2km and park before the bridge over Tillmann Brook. Follow the trail on the left-hand side of the road down to the base of the falls.
3. Golden Brook Falls
The great thing about Golden Brook Falls is that it can be seen from the comfort of your own car, making this waterfall accessible to all. The falls are about four feet in height and flow under the road and into Shubenacadie Grand Lake. Location: Wellington Station, Halifax River: Golden Brook Drive time from downtown Halifax: 35 minutes Hiking time: 5 minutes How to get there: This waterfall is located in Fall River. As you turn down Church Street in the settlement of Wellington Station, turn left onto Kings Road and follow this dirt road for about 2km. The waterfall will be on the left-hand side of the road.
4. Slaughenwhites Cascades
This is a fun family stroll as opposed to an adventurous hike to get to Slaughenwhites Cascade falls. A short hike through the woods will bring you to East River where you’ll find four separate cascades versus a large waterfall. If you’re planning on taking photographs, this waterfall is best to visit on a cloudy day. Location: Upper Tantallon, Halifax River: East River Drive time from downtown Halifax: 30 minutes Hiking time: 10 minutes How to get there: As you turn left onto Peggys Cove Road from St. Margarets Bay Road (Highway 3), drive for about 850 meters and turn left onto Old School Road. Park alongside the dirt road approximately 150 meters in. It’s a short hike through the woods until you reach East River.
Rich in history, Pockwock River Falls is located on Camptown Road; in the 1800s, this road was constructed by the British and was once part of the Old Annapolis Road which was used to get from Halifax to Annapolis Royal and connected a number of mills and lumber camps. Today, remnants of its rich history can be found as you explore along the riverside. Location: Pockwock, Halifax River: Pockwock River Drive time from downtown Halifax: 35 minutes Hiking time: 45 minutes How to get there: Drive northwest along Hammonds Plains Road for 9km and turn right onto PockWock Road. Continue for another 6km and park at the corner of Camptown Road. Continue on foot down Camptown Road for 1km to the bridge over the Pockwock River. Head upstream from the bridge to see this stunning waterfall. Originally published 2017, updated 2021.
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