This the multi-page printable view of this section. Click here to print.

Return to the regular view of this page.

Folly River

Rural creek with a slide
Class: III,V Length: ~5km
Location: Debert, NS Character: Remote, Creek, Waterfalls
Gauge: Water Guage Contributor: Kelsey Thompson

Nova Scotia has several North Rivers but New Germany’s North river takes the prise…for sweetest North river I guess. When all of the creeks in the Cobequid Mountains run dry many river running and creeking enthusiasts set their sights on the North. This short but quality run has it all, big water, a great slide, creek lines, and some nice beat down potential at high water. The various forks and channels make for a “choose your own adventure” style run that is sure to please.


The folly river is not run very often due to it’s rainy-season only good water levels, and higher technical level required for the run. As such there may be unexpected trees / wood in the river as it may have been more than a year since anyone has run the river.

Beyond normal hazards the remoteness of the river can make hospital access, or rescue more complicated. This river should be run by experienced paddlers with sufficient knowledge and gear to comfortably paddle Class IV/V rapids.


From Halifax– Take Highway 102 North to Truro. From there take Highway 104 West towards New Brunswick. Take the Folly Lake exit, turn left towards Ski Wentworth. You’ll pass a Cemetery on your right, this is the take out. Park on the shoulder of the road on the far side of the Cemetery to set up a shuttle. Just before you get to Folly Lake, turn right at the bottom of the hill. You’ll soon come to a bridge that goes over the river. This is the first put-in. For the second (more popular) put-in take a right just after the bridge down a road that follows the river. Park where the road forks and the better route turns 90 degrees away from the river and goes up hill.

From New Brunswick– Take Highway 104 East to Nova Scotia. Take the Wentworth Valley Scenic Loop exit. Turn Left towards Ski Wentworth. Pass Folly Lake and take a left to the put-in just after the lake before going up a large hill. (To get to the take out continue on the main road until you see a Cemetery on your left. Park on the other side of the road just before you get to the Cemetery.) You’ll soon come to a bridge that goes over the river. This is the first put-in. For the second (more popular) put-in take a right just after the bridge down a road that follows the river. Park where the road forks and the better route turns 90 degrees away from the river and goes up hill.

Named Rapids

The Folly River is a class III-V creek located 30 minutes from Truro. The Folly’s easy access, straight forward lines, continuous white water and option to walk any drop are quickly making the river a classic run. There are two put-ins for the Folly, the first is directly below Folly Lake at the bridge that goes over the river and the second is just above the first major drop Grandfather Clock. The take out is the same for both of these. Most people choose to use the second put in because there is only one drop above it and a lot of wood that forces you to get in and out of your boat a lot. To get to the second put-in follow the road until you reach a culvert going under it. Then follow the small brook down the hill to the river where there is a mossy area perfect for getting in you boat.

Kelsey running Grandfather Clock on the Folly

Grandfather Clock

A short walk down to the river and the action immediately begins. The first drop, Grandfather Clock, is the perfect warm up and one of the nicest drops on the river. An s-bend with a few small ledges brings you to a 15 foot drop at the end with a deep pool. It’s possible to scout this drop before putting on. This drop is followed by a mellow but continuous section of white water where all of the drops are easily boat scouted and quite fun.

Ian running Toblerone – Folly River


The next significant drop is Toblerone, an almost pure balls drop that is rarely run. The river drops close to 25 feet with an angled rock wall coming down one side that leaves little room to get by. All the water at the bottom pushes into a cave below that would make for a very unpleasant swim. When you see a big horizon line and some mist you’ll know it’s this drop. Get out and scout on river left. To portage carry down over the rock ledge beside the drop. This is where the river gets really good! The rest of the run is super continuous and leaves your heart pumping and teeth showing. Boat scout this section, there are lots of eddies to catch, although it’s really tempting to bomb it. Once you come to a horizon line where you can’t see much you’ve arrived at S-Turn. Paddle this drop from right to left. The current hit’s a reactionary which turns you to line you un for the exit.

Kelsey passing the can opener – Folly River

Can Opener

The next horizon line has a large rooster tail sticking up in the center. This is Can Opener, scout on river left. This can be portaged around if desired. You can run this drop right or left of the rooster tail. From the bottom of Can Opener you can see the final drop, Face Plant.

Kelsey Faceplant – Folly River

Face Plant

Eddy out on river right to scout this drop. At lower water you can portage down the rocks beside the drop but at higher levels go down in-between two trees at the edge of the tree line. This drop turns 90 degrees at the top followed by a two tier slide that drops around 20 feet. Below Face Plant the river widens out and slow moving current brings you to the take out, an old bridge abutment. Take out on river right and follow the four wheeler trail back to the main road where you should have left you car.


The closest hydro data is in Great Village River Scribble Hill, this isn’t directly linked to the Folly but is in the area and usually a good indication. Anywhere above 1.3 is run able but not ideal, 1.4 and higher is perfect. This is monitored hourly by @WhitewaterNS