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WhitewaterNS

WhitewaterNS - a community resource for whitewater information

WhitewaterNS

A community created resource with information on Whitewater features and locations within Nova Scotia.

1 - Halifax Area

Halifax Regional Municipality, not including Musquodboit

Halifax/Dartmouth are the population centers for Nova Scotia, the major hospitals are located in this area as well as significant SAR/Coastguard resources. Most locations are surrounded by public property, so please be respectful when visiting, and park in such a way that you don’t imped the local residents or create a safety hazard.


Area Character Location Level/Gauge Info
Subdivision SE Point Break Seaforth Surf Forecast
Ranger Danger Tidal, Surfwave, Hole Grand Desert, NS Tidal Source
Sackville Low Volume, Gun range Sackville Water Gauge
Seaforth ESE Beach Break Seaforth Surf Forecast
Sambro Creek Short creek run, low volume Sambro Water Gauge
Lawrencetown S Point break, S beach break Lawrencetown Surf Forecast
Cow Bay River Tidal, Surf wave Cow Bay

1.1 - Cow Bay River

Park’n’Play surf wave
Class: II Length: Park’n’Play
Location: Cow Bay River Character: Surf

Hazards

Access

Gauge

Media

1.2 - Lawrencetown

S Point break, S Beach break
Class: SURF Length: Park’n’Play Gauge: Magic Seaweed
Location: Lawrencetown, NS Character: Surf Contributions: Karl Vollmer

Hazards

Lawrencetown’s point break has a few very nasty Riptides, especially on the ebb tide. If you find yourself caught in one of the rip tides swim, or paddle horizontally. I’ve personally been involved in the rescue of multiple people caught in these rips, so they should be taken very seriously. There are no sharp rocks, but at lower tide the waves can break against the rocks, which if you’ve flipped can result in some helmet/rock interaction.

Access

The best access for the point break is parking at what we call the “Stony Beach” parking lot, this is the parking lot before the hill to the Teahouse. This is not the parking lot with all of the buildings. At high tide you can put in right in front of the parking lot, at lower tides you may have to walk towards the point a bit.

Break Information

There are two primary breaks we surf, the best one is the point break, it’s also the bigger of the two. The point break lines up with the two windows at the top of the Tea House, which is the building on top of the bluff. There is another point break to surfers right if you position yourself about half-way out in relation to the second point this is where most of mid-sized waves break. The break-point changes based on surf conditions and directions. This break is best on a south swell.

Other Information

The point break is frequented by Board Surfers, we’ve so far maintained a very good relaitonship with them. Please maintain it, and follow the basic rules of surfing. If you run into trouble keep your cool and apologize, also explain how you catch waves, and figure out a way to not interfere with the surfers. Often I just start surfing the foam-pile, letting the surfers take the majority of the shoulder rides.

Media

1.3 - Ranger Danger

Small surfwave next to a causeway
Class: SURF Length: Park’n’Play
Location: Grand Desert, NS Character: Tidal Race, Salty, Hole/Wave
Optimal tidal variance: Any Tidal info: 2h20 before low tide

Hazards

This wave/hole is relatively safe, surfers right gets shallow and is slightly sticky, and you could hit your head if you were to capsize. The feature slowly becomes unsafe as it becomes shallow, the biggest risk is hitting the bottom.

Access

Please be respectful of the road, and the nearby residents. You can park at the intersection east of the bridge and walk to the wave see the Google Maps Min

Gauge

The feature starts forming around 2 hours and 20 min before low tide.

Media

1.4 - Sackville River

Low volume river run
Class: II/III+ Length: Wooded River Run
Location: Sackville NS Character: Low volume, wooded, gun range
Gauge: — Contributor: Karl Vollmer

Hazards

The Sackville river isn’t run very often, as such there’s limited beta on down wood and other obstructions. The river is also extremly flashy, and pushes lots of wood into, and across the river. It is strongly suggested all blind corners are scouted by foot, as there are often over ten trees across the river creating river wide hazards at any one time.

Access

Gauge

Media

1.5 - Sambro Creek

Short creeky run in flashy low volume stream
Class: III/IV Length: Park’n’Creek
Location: Sambro, NS Character: Short creeky, low volume

Hazards

This stream is very shallow, even when in full flood so there is a significant chance for rock contact if you capsize. It is only runnable during extreme rain events, as such it is very likely that wood and or debris have washed down and created strainers. There are also points along the run that often have rope tied between the shorelines, depending on the water level the rope may not be visible in a hole or wave. The entire run should be scouted before attempting.

Access

This very short run can be accessed via walking trail along the side of the road. There is enough space for two to three cars to park in a small gravel lot at the trailhead.

Gauge

This seems runable when the Sackville is at 1.75 or higher.

Media

1.6 - Seaforth

ESE Beach break surf spot
Class: SURF Length: Park’n’Play
Location: Seaforth, NS Character: Beach break
Optimal tidal variance: Any Surf info: Magic Seaweed

Hazards

This is a curved stony beach with a nice sheltered small break about 100ft offshore, there is a rip that can be used to get out. The biggest hazard here is surfers, as this is a popular location, and they use the wave differently than kayaks. Respect their rules, and be careful.

Access

This is a popular surfing spot, and as such parking might be complicated. Please avoid parking in anyones driveway or in an unsafe way along the road. Surfers have damaged individuals cars who park on private property, so please be careful, and be friendly.

Gauge

Media

1.7 - Subdivision

Halifax

Subdivision point break

Class: SURF Length: Park’n’Play
Location: Seaforth NS Character: Sheltered SE Point Break
Gauge: Surf Forecast Contributor: Karl Vollmer

Hazards

This is a remote point, that requires you to walk and then paddle out to. There is very limited visibility from the road / other houses, so if you do get in trouble it is unlikely that anyone will see you. In a short boat the swim can be 20-30min from the break back to shore. There are a few rips, and they change based on the wave direction, however the consistent one is surfers right of the point. This rip can extend quite a ways out, past the initial break.

Access

The point break can be accessed via a local trail along side the road. This is a narrow road, and there are houses along it so make sure that you park as far to the side as possible so that you don’t block the road. We currently have a good relationship with the locals, don’t spoil it.

Gauge

The secondary break at the point usually only goes off on larger swell days, it has good shelter from the west wind. Check here when the waves are at least 2m+ as reported at lawrencetown.

Media

2 - South Shore

From the border of Halifax Regional Municipality to Yarmouth

The south shore stretches from Lunenburg area down past Shelburne. There are hospitals in Shelburne, Lunenburg, Liverpool and Bridgewater. SAR resources may be further away but Coast Guard response should be similar to Halifax area.

Area Character Location Level/Gauge Info
Medway Remote, Pool drop Greenfield NS Water Gauge
Indian Falls 15ft Waterfall Indian Falls provincial park Water Gauge
Ovens Tidal Race Small Tidalrace Lunenburg, NS Flood tide
Cooks Falls Multiple Ledge Drop Bridgewater, NS Water Gauge
North River Creek, Slide New Germany, NS Water Gauge
North Branch LaHave Pool Drop New Germany, NS Water Guage
Gold Gorge Gorge, Creek Chester basin, NS Weather forecast
Roseway Urban River run Shelburn, NS Water Guage
Tom Tigney Creek Shelburn, NS Weather forecast
Argyle River Tiderace Gleenwood, NS Yarmouth Tides

2.1 - Argyle River

Tidal river, near yarmouth
Class: II Length: Park’n’Play
Location: Gleenwood, NS Character: Tidal feature
Gauge: Yarmouth Tides Contributor: Matt Delong

Hazards

As this feature is run on the ebb there is some risk of being flushed out into lobster bay, however there are numerous islands / locations to get off the water as you are flushed out. Proper group rescue skills and incident management should mitigate most if not all flushing risks. The feature only works as the water is starting to get shallow so there is some risk of hitting rocks near the eddy line on river left. If you paddle above the bridge pillars there is also potentially a significant risk of pinning especially in a sea kayak – due to it’s length. Care should be taken to avoid pin risks, and a pin kit should be available, and multiple group members should be comfortable with it’s use. Either eddy (especially river right) provides ample opportunity to exit the flow if swimming for experienced swimmers, but should not be depended upon.

Access

Eddy access to the feature is best from river right however the preferred parking location is on the west side at the end of old oak road. As always please be respectful of the location and make sure not to obstruct the road or damage the surrounding property.

Gauge

The feature forms during spring tides, the low tide level must be below 0.6m as measured from Yarmouth. The wave forms on the ebb ~3.5 hours after high tide in Yarmouth.

Media

2.2 - Cooks Falls

Multiple ledge drop river
Class: II/III Length: Park’n’Play
Location: Bridgewater, NS Character: Multiple ledge drop
Gauge: Water Gauge Contributor: Karl Vollmer

Hazards

Cooks falls is a series of Ledges in close proximity. The primary hazards are holes on each ledge, and fishing gear on River Left during the fishing season. This rapid is easily scouted by parking in the parking lot and walking up and down the shore. At the levels we’ve observed river right has always been a safe path down. At higher levels a large hole appears on river left that looks retentive, and should be avoided.

The primary risk in cooks falls are the rocks in the bottom, it’s often shallow and on river right the final drop is deep but a large shallow rock is a few feet downstream, so if possible being upside-down should be avoided.

Access

You can park your car in a parking lot across from Here. There is a slippery path down to the water there. There is a second area just above the falls that isn’t technically a parking lot, but you can drive up and drop the boats there to avoid the carry.

Gauge

use the Lehave River Gauge. Its runnable above 1.3m with some scraping.

Media

2.3 - Gold Gorge

Gold gorge
Class: II,IV Length: ~2km
Location: Chester Basin NS Character: Gorge, Constricted
Gauge: 40mm+ rainfall in New Ross Contributor: Karl Vollmer

Hazards

The top two rapids have very deep pools under them, which do technically have under-cuts, at high water levels they should be four to five feet below the water level, and less of a concern, but they do exist. There are also minimal places to rescue, or get out of the river after the top drop until the very end of the gorge – making for a very long and rough swim if you capsize early.

Access

Put-In

Beech Hill Rd. There is a small pull-off and a path down to the water here. This puts you in above all of the main rapids, you can paddle down and then eddy out right right to scout the gorge before running it.

Take-Out

Old bridge Rd. This road is easy to miss so slow down as you approach, there is room for 3-4 cars at the bottom in a small parking lot.

Gauge

The gold river doesn’t have a gauge, so levels have to be guessed from rainfall, and general moisture in the ground. The water-source for the gold is up in New Ross so rainfall amounts in Kentville/New Ross can be used as an estimate. Usually 24-48 hours after heavy rain in Kentville the gold gorge will be up.

Media

2.4 - Indian Falls

Indian Falls provincial park
Class: IV Length: Park’n’Huck
Location: Indian Falls provincial park Character: 15ft waterfall
Gauge: Water Gauge Contributor: Karl Vollmer

Hazards

The entire River middle to river left section of the falls has exposed rock, and an unfriendly ledge at the base. In addition to the unfriendly entry there is a small pocket that a kayaker could easily get trapped in at the base of the falls, during the summer at lower water swimmers get stuck in the pocket eddy. At high water it may be possible to exit without external aid. Shore safety including live bait is highly recommended when running this drop.

The drop should be run river right along the slide with some lateral momentum to avoid getting pushed into the small eddy pocket on river left

Access

During the open season you can park your car at the parking lot less than 200m from the falls and walk in. During the off season, when the levels are likely to be sufficient for running the falls the gate to the park will be closed, so you will have to carry your boat about 500m down the road to access the falls. There is limited parking in front of the gate, room enough for 2-3 vehicles at most.

Gauge

use the Lahave River Gauge. It is runnable above 2.1m

Media

2.5 - Medway River

Pool drop, and Park’n’Play in Greenfield NS
Class: I - IV- Length: 5km and Park’n’Play
Location: Greenfield NS Character: Remote, Pool Drop
Gauge: River Gauage Contributor(s): Karl Vollmer

Hazards

The Medway river is a series of pool drops with very few continuous rapids or hazards. The section normally paddled is between Greenfield Nova Scotia and Buggy Hole a few Km downstream. At Greenfield on river left there is significant concrete and re-bar from an old mill in the river. The suggested put-in is below this obstruction. You can put in under the bridge at Greenfield but should ensure that you do not approach river left.

Depending on the time of year there can be fishing gear in the river, wood eel weirs and fishing platforms have sometimes been left in the river creating strainers. Some of these features can take up most of the river. While you are often able to spot this hazards long before they become a problem, it’s advised on any blind rapids to scout ahead first to ensure new fishing gear hasn’t been placed in the river.

At Bangs Falls there is concrete and some wood on river left under the bridge. It’s advised to stay river right under the bridge. This hazard is easily identifiable from upstream, but care should be taken at higher water levels as a swim at Perfect wave above the bangs falls ledge drop could drift into this dangerous area.

Bear Falls is the next major hazard on the river, and one of the few higher classed rapids on the river. It has multiple lines during almost all water levels. Fishing equipment is sometimes placed in this area so it should always be scouted before running.

Access

PUT IN

Taking care to stay to river right you can put in at the bridge in Greenfield, there are also numerous land-owners who have graciously allowed paddlers to launch from their river-side property in the past. Please contact local paddlers for more information.

DO NOT park in anyone’s driveway, or along anyone’s road. There have been issues where a paddlers car has obstructed access for emergency vehicles. Please reach out to the local paddlers for more information, and safe parking locations.

TAKE OUT

1 Hour Run: For a very short river run you can take out on right at Bangs Falls just after the bridge.

2 Hour Run: For a medium run you can take out after Bear Falls on river left. Do NOT approach Bear falls on river left as there is a large dangerous hole from river centre to river left. For all but experienced paddlers it’s suggested you portage around the falls from river right, and then paddle back over to river left below the rapid. There is a campground on river right which provides an easy portage path.

3 Hour Run: For a long run you can continue on from Bear Falls down to Buggy Hole about one km downriver. The take out is on river left in the pool just after the rapid where the road abuts the river.

Gauge

CKNS and MetOcean are pleased to offer Nova Scotia paddlers real-time water levels of the beautiful Medway River. The Medway River is a 75 km river in Queen’s County, with a medium-volume stretch of class II/III whitewater between Greenfield and Buggy Hole. This section is home to popular play features such as Perfect Wave and Fisher’s Hole, and well-travelled rapids Bangs Falls, Bear Falls and Buggy Hole.

The river level is measured in real-time using a custom made gauge built for us by our friends at MetOcean. The gauge uses satellite communication and ultrasonic technology to send data to the CKNS website conveniently available to you on your computer or smartphone.

The gauge was built by MetOcean engineer and local paddler Leigh Woltman . The gauge installation was aided by the generous volunteer efforts of local paddlers Karl Vollmer and Dave Dunne. In other words this is a community project that was completed by paddlers for paddlers, with generous help from CKNS and MetOcean!

The gauge is available at http://whitewaterns.ca/gauge/

Named Rapids

Mountain Falls Class II+ @ Highwater

An easy class II rapid comprised of a series of wave-trains. This is the first rapid you meet after leaving Greenfield. Little to no manoeuvring is required. This rapid is formed where the river narrows and bends to the right. It’s suggested to stay River Middle as on occasion trees have been observed on the edges. There is one more unnamed section of Class II water after mountain falls. There are large pools in-between them allowing time to deal with any upsets.

Perfect Wave Class II-

This is a small ledge directly above the Bangs Falls ledge, within view of the Bangs Falls Rd. bridge. At all but the highest water levels this is only passable on river right. River left of this feature is a very large eddy. This feature is one of the three primary play-boating features on the river. At most levels this is a wave feature that can fit 3-5 play boats at one time with direct eddy service. The neighbouring eddy is very large and can easily hold 20+ paddlers unless the river is in flood.

This feature is not recommended for beginners as if you come out of your boat you will likely have to swim over Bangs Falls and then over another small ledge under the bridge. A swim here is not hazardous, but the nearest easily accessible eddy is about 30-40m downstream on river right.

Bangs Falls Class III-

This rapid is the ledge drop just above the Bangs Falls Rd Bridge. At any but very high water this feature is only passable on river right. Directly below this feature is a hazard on River left under the bridge, so even at high water this feature should be run on river right.

Bridge Wave Class II

This is a small ledge/constriction created by the bridge just below Bangs Falls. The wave can be dropped in on from above, or accessed from below by paddling up directly behind the centre bridge pillar. When approaching this from above care should be taken that you do not pass under the bridge to river left of the right-most pillar, as there is concrete/re-bar and other hazards on river left under or directly after the bridge.

This is the second common Play-boating spot, it’s easily accessible from above or below the bridge on either side. This feature is primarily a steep wave, but at some water levels you can get a small hole at the surfers left of the feature.

Fishers Hole Class II

About 75m downstream from the Bangs Falls bridge is another small ledge drop, with a small play feature in river centre. There is a wooden bridge leading out to the play spot, this bridge is not in the river and is not a safety concern, but allows you to easily access this rapid from river left.

This feature is a hole, at optimum water levels it is deep enough for loops and other advanced play-boating moves. Swimming here is low risk, there are small Class I/II waves directly below it before it settles out into a pool. There is a large eddy river left of the feature. If you do swim and fall below the eddy it’s easiest to take out on river left and walk back up, but it is sometimes possible to attain back up the river.

Bear Falls Class III/IV

The most significant safety hazard on the river Bear Falls should be approached with caution. There can be fishing platforms and gear placed directly below the falls so it should always be scouted by taking out on river right and walking through Bear Falls camp-ground.

The most common line is the Sneak Route located on river right between two small shrubs. This feature can safely be done by most any paddler it is very low risk and pushes you into the eddy on river right at the bottom. At lower water your boat can hit rock, so swimming could result in minor injury, but the entry for the line is very simple, and requires minimal manoeuvring.

There are multiple other lines between the Sneak Route and River centre that can be run depending on the water level. They should all be scouted and relevant safety should be set-up. River left should be avoided at almost every water level due to a strong and retentive hole extending from river centre all the way to the bank on river left. River centre’s holes can be retentive at some water levels so care should be taken when running the centre line.

Buggy Hole Class III

This feature is located a little less than a kilometre below Bear Falls where the river jogs to the right and then takes a hard left as it comes up against a large slab of rock that extends most of the way across the river. The easiest line on this rapid is to simply maintain a position river centre and punch through the various holes and wave-trains. None of these features are retentive, and it ends in a calm pool so even a swim down the centre of this rapid is nothing more than a roller-coaster ride. If you are off-centre to river right there are some large boulders which could be hazards, make sure if you are going to come in contact you lean towards the boulder to prevent any possibility of pinning. In past runs these boulders have had large pillows on them, but that may change depending on the water level.

There is a Class III ‘move’ that can be quite fun. As you approach the rapid charge river right aiming for the edge of the large rock forming the bend in the river. There is a small (4-5 boat) eddy behind this rock protected by a eddy fence that can be upwards of 2 feet tall. If done properly you will launch into the eddy dropping 3-4 feet. Exiting the eddy can be complicated as there is a large boulder directly below and it often has a very significant eddy fence. This move is so fun, often we portage back up to run it multiple times.

Media

2.6 - North Branch

rural river run, below Indian lake
Class: II+ Length: 8km
Location: New Germany/Barss Corner Character: Gentle, remote, river-run
Gauge: Water Guage Contributor: Karl Vollmer, Christopher Ball

Hazards

At lower water this is a friendly river with only one rapid requiring some maneuvering, however at flood levels the river flows into the trees, and there are often trees that fall across the river creating significant hazards. Extra Care should be taken if it hasn’t been run in a while, or right after, or during flood levels. Scouting of blind corners should always be done. This river is also relatively remote, as there are few cottages along it’s banks, limiting access to help.

Access

Put-In – Full Run

Cornwall Rd Put in at the bridge, there is no parking available here, the private land owner who owns the driveway doesn’t mind if you put your boat in, but do not leave your car here.

Put-In/Take Out

Half Run McKay Bridge. There is a larger shoulder here to park one vehicle, you can either put in or take out here

Take Out

Full Run McKeen Rd. There is plenty of room for 2-3 vehicles here. The take out is at a large tree with a rope swing.

Named Rapids

Salmon Chute

The first drop of note on this run and should always be scouted. It currently has some sweepers just around the corner after the drop so care should be taken if you swim, to swim away from the sweepers. You can usually eddy out river right if you’re quick. This all changes when the river is in flood. After Salmon Chute there are a series of Class I / II Rapids before you come to McKay Bridge.

Just before McKay Bridge the river flattens out and has multiple paths. The first ledge after McKay Bridge has some fun play features at non-flood levels. After the ledges at Mackay”s bridge, there is a slow moving section that leads into Cabin Drop

Cabin Drop

Cabin Drop (fancy’s pool), which should be scouted to make sure it is still clear of debris is a strait-forward rapid. It is a center river smooth drop with fun pools and play waves below. There is a sneak route on the right if you want to avoid the larger waves. After Cabin drop there are a few Class 0/1 rapids before coming to the next named one.

Black Rattle

This rapid is hard to scout due to the treeline and comes up rather quickly as you are coming around a bend to the right. You go first river right over the first drop, but then immediately get river left, then center for the last part of the run. This is definitely the most fun run on the river, and takes some skill to line up as you can’t just let the river take you or you’ll be over some big ledges. When the water is high, the standing waves at the bottom are big. There are several places you can eddy out and play, but the current is strong when the water is high.

After Black Rattle the remaining river is Class 0/1 all the way to the take out.

Gauge

Media

2.7 - North River

Rural creek with a slide
Class: III,IV Length: Park’n’Play
Location: New Germany, NS Character: Creek, Slide
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.

Hazards

The run starts off with a good sized rapid and a couple of nice holes to punch. Shortly afterward the river splits into two separate channels, the left more of a creek style slide and the right more of a river running scoot. Afterward the two channels reconnect before splitting again at the next drop. This time river right brings you to a tighter more technical section of small drops and boogie water while the left channel holds the runs crown jewel. On the left channel you’ll find one of the cleanest slides in the province that is good to go at almost all levels when run center left. The last rapid is a short ways downstream and has a hole in the middle that can dish out a mean beat down at high flows. Either than that is relatively straight forward. Take out after this rapid.

Low water– class III (Below 2.5) High water class III+-IV

Although more of a river than a creek the North requires solid river skills and the ability to read more difficult whitewater. All lines should be scouted, and care should be taken especially during high water.

Access

Put In

North River The put in requires a decent amount of walking along a dirt road, so allow time for the hike in.

Take Out

North River Rd.. Take out on river left just before the bridge over North River rd.

Gauge

Anything below 2.4 on the gauge is likely extremely bony, and lacks sufficient water for the slide. As the water level rises the mid-sections will become less bony, but the rapids will also get more intimidating. 2.45 is a good level for a intro creek run.

Media

2.8 - Ovens Tidal Race

Mid-bay small tidal race
Class: SURF Length: Park’n’Play
Location: Lunenburg NS Character: Small Tiderace
Gauge: Tidal Contributor: Karl Vollmer, Simon Barter

Tidal race next to Corkums Island is surfable in a longboat just south of Lunenburg on the way to the Ovens Natural Park. The wave forms about halfway through the tide, and works on mid to spring tides. The small wave can be surfed by sea kayaks on the south side of the rock that splits the channel indicated by the location. The Blue Arrow is the direction of the current on the flood and points to the location with small standing wave.

Hazards

This is a very low risk tidal race that happens on the flood tide. If you swim it flushes to calm water inland. In the tide race the water is shallow so a helmet is a must and a tough paddle is recommended as you may hit some rocks.

Access

PUT IN

Next to Garrets Cove where the water is right next to the road provides the best access to this feature.

Gauge

Shortly after the tide starts coming in the waves should start forming up.

Media

2.9 - Roseway River

Indian Falls provincial park
Class: SURF Length: Park’n’Play
Location: Seaforth NS Character: Sheltered SE Point Break
Gauge: Surf Forecast Contributor: Matt Delong, Karl Vollmer

Hazards

There are the remains of an old concrete structre just past Best Drop, especially at lower water levels, or when swimming these can present a hazard. Scouting is recommended.

After the cottage wave there is a Hydro dam that must be portaged around. make sure to give yourself ample time to exit the river before getting too close.

Below the powerline rapids there is often significant wood, and trees in the river so make sure to scout all blind corners before continuing.

Access

PUT IN

196 Bowers Rd make sure that you don’t block the small rural road with your vehicle, or park on someones lawn.

TAKE OUT

98 lighthouse rd

Named Rapids

Bowers Run II/III-

Just after the put in, this short rapid leads up to best drop, you can safely takes this on river right, with plenty of space for eddy turns, at higher water levels you can increase the complexity of this rapid by attempting to duck’n’weave through the larger boulders river center and river left.

Best Drop III-

Should be scouted, high water there’s a sneak route river left that becomes sketchy as water level drops. Main chute can be easily run strait center line or right a river-right lateral movement to jump into the eddy just below the falls.

Mill rapids II/III-

Nearly no consequence this small series of ledge drops of no more than a foot or two can be run almost any way river right of center, however above the last ledge you can practice a thread the needle by starting left, cliping the top wave and then catching the current towards river center / river right.

Cottage Wave II/III- (Park’n’Play)

This rapid is around a corner where the river drops over a smooth nearly river wide rock, it does create a small recirculation at the bottom of the rock, this has never proven to be highly retentive, but it can hold a boat for 1-2 seconds after capsize at lower levels, it’s easy to boof over, and at higher levels starts to turn into more of a wave and less of a hole.

Power line II

After Cottage wave you must take out before the NSPower Hydro dam, you can take out river left above it and walk around it. Putting in below it there is a small play wave river centre, it can be accessed via the eddy on river left via the very long seem, it can sometimes require a bit of practice to ride the seem all the way back to the centre of the river, this rapid continues until the Highway 103 Bridge. below the Dam the river will fork you want to take the far right channel first.

Stairway II

The rapids after the HW103 bridge, the river will fork just past the bridge, take the far left. There are sometimes small surfable waves with eddy access along this route, water level dependent, just keep your eye out and catch them as you can, none of them are road accessible and thus not listed as park’n’play, they are also primarily front-surfing only.

Harbour rapids II

Just before the Harbour the river will branch again into three sections, we take the centre branch as it has the most water, but there has at times been logs, or trees across this last section as it’s littered with rocks, so care should be taken and blind corners should be scouted especially after any flood events, or significant water level drops which may uncover previously submerged logs. This rapid is a series of wave trains, small drops and minor manoeuvring.

Gauge

Media

2.10 - Tom Tigney

Short park’n’run creeky river along the highway
Class: II,III Length: Park’n’Run
Location: Sable River, NS Character: Creek
Gauge: Weather forecast Contributor: Karl Vollmer

Hazards

This is a small creek run with minimal hazards, beyond those normally found in a class II/III environment.

Access

PUT IN

Park alongside the road and you can walk up to the top of the rapid via a trail running along river left.

Gauge

This is a very flashy river, and is usually only up after heavy rainful. Best caught when traveling to/from Shelburn for other reasons.

Media

3 - Eastern Shore

Musquodoboit to Cape Breton

The Eastern Shore lacks a large population centre meaning there is limited access to Hospitals or Coast Guard water resources.

Area Character Location Level/Gauge Info
East River
Musquodoboit Pool Drop / Park’n’Play Musqodoboit, NS Truro Rivers & Rainfall
Liscomb
Long Beach
St Mary’s River Water Gauge

3.1 - East River

Multiple Ledge Drop
Class: III,IV Length: 3km
Location: Sheet Harbour, NS Character: Creek, Drops
Gauge: Contributor:

3.2 - Liscomb River

Pool drop
Class: II/III Length: Park’n’Play
Location: Liscomb, NS Character: Pool drop
Gauge: Contributor:

This river does not have a road access put in for a majority of the rapids on the lower section, and includes a significant amount hiking in order to access the rapids upstream. Otherwise the river has a collection of Class II and at least one Class III drop with sections of flatwater between.

Hazards

There is a significant waterfall about 4km up the river from the highway, this at the level we have seen it appears unrunnable and if approached from upstream should be carried around.

Access

Put In Liscomb River Trailhead

Take Out Liscomb River Trailhead

Gauge

Media

3.3 - Long Beach

Rural point break
Class: SURF Length: Park’n’Play
Location: Chezzetcook, NS Character: Point break
Gauge: Contributor: Mike Malley

Waves were meeting in the middle like two sides of a zipper coming together creating a larger mohawk of a wave, very shallow so wasn’t surfed during initial scouting session.

Hazards

This is a remote point break, and has be reported to be very shallow.

Access

Put In

Take Out

Gauge

Media

3.4 - Musquodoboit

Urban river run and playboating
Class: III,IV Length: Park’n’Play
Location: Musquodoboit, NS Character: Gorge, Tidal features
Gauge: Truro rivers & rainfall Contributor: Karl Vollmer

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.

Hazards

The banks of the rivers are lined with trees, and can – especially at flood levels create significant, sweeper hazards. Complete scouting of the river should be done every time you run down it. There are plentiful eddies during all but the highest levels, so you should be able to progress down by stopping at eddies and scouting as needed.

In the Canyon on the lower part there is limited ability to exit the river should there be a need to due to the steep cliffs, and significant amount of private property. While some individuals do not mind us walking across their property I have been confronted on a few occasions when forced to take out in odd locations due to an incident on the river (unexpected swim).

Access

PUT IN

Public access to this run is available via one of the three bridges, or at the dry hydrant on HW357. DO NOT BLOCK THE DRY HYDRANT .

The canyon part of the run can be accessed by the Highway 7 bridge, please do not park on the far side near the auto company as it makes it unsafe / hard for them to pull in & out of their driveway.

The medium run (including the canyon) can be accessed via the Rails 2 Trails path that goes over the old railroad bridge off of Park Rd (HW357). It is a bit of a walk to the bridge, but not too far, it can be a bit of a scramble down to the river. river.

The full lower Run can be accessed via Bayers Mill Rd just off of HW 357. You can put in along Cabin Lane just across the bridge, please make sure you park in such a way that you do not block anyone driveway, or make it unsafe for them to enter/exit their driveway. This put in also gives you access to Blue Falls Pool, which has a park’n’play surf wave even at the lowest water levels on river right against the road. This location is perfect for intro whitewater kayaking courses.

TAKE OUT

The take outs can be at any of the bridges listed above. If you go all the way to the bottom of the river then there are a few locations where the harbour appraoches the road, and can be used to get off without crossing private property.

Gauge

There is no gauge for the Musquodobit river. You need to use the general water levels of eastern shore rivers. The water source for the river is around Truro so if there is a significant amount of rainfall up in Truro and the rivers are generally mid-level then the Musquodobit is runnable. It usually takes about 40mm in Truro to bring it up, and then an additional 10mm per day to keep it up.

Named Rapids

Jam Falls

The topmost rapid usually run this is a simple class II technical rapid, even at high water levels there are lots of exposed rocks and a relatively high chance of logs across the river in locations. The put in for this rapid is at the Dry Hydrant along HW 357, make sure to never park there encase the Fire Department needs access to it. At the bottom of these falls on river right, next to the road there can be a small single boat surfable wave at mid-high water levels.

Blue Falls

Another technical Class II rapid that even at high water levels often has lots of exposed rocks, and a high chance of wood / sweepers. At the bottom of this rapid there is often an excellent surf wave at all water levels, This spot is also an excellent place for current work as there are large calm eddies on both sides and a large pool with minimal current directly below it.

Flat Pool -> Railroad Bridge Pool -> Graveyard Pool: Three long slow moving water points in the river back to back, this can take quite a while in a playboat to paddle along, there is little to no current and no features

Graveyard to Canyon Run: Just after the graveyard the river narrows significantly and at higher water levels you will get an exceptional wave train all the way through. As the water levels drop a few ledges will appear with very small safe holes. The one directly below the bridge eventually turns into a surfable wave with eddy access at low water levels. There are often trees on the edges of the river in the eddies, so care should be taken at flood levels.

B&B Wave

Directly across from a B&B, right before the river turns is an excellent surfable wave with eddy access on river left. The wave sometimes is large enough for two people. Care should be taken to avoid swimming here as there is a triple ledge drop with a hole around the corner from this feature. While there is time to swim to an eddy… there is only just enough time to swim to an eddy.

Tom Vaughan Falls

Directly after B&B wave there’s a series of three ledges with a large hole at the bottom on river left. The rapid should be run just left of center for the first two ledges, and then just a minor shift over to river centre for the last ledge to avoid the hole. The take out is directly after this rapid on river left. The bottom hole is surfable at most water levels, however the river is tidal at this point, so depending on the river level vs tide level the hole may be washed out, or more of a wave. The hole is the most fun at mid to low tides.

Media

3.5 - St. Mary's River

Urban play wave
Class: II/III Length: Park’n’Play
Location: Character: Play wave
Gauge: Water Guage Contributor: Karl Vollmer, Mike Nev

At extreme high water events the St. Mary’s River will have a riverwide play feature form.

Hazards

Access

Put In

Take Out

Gauge

Media

4 - Norththumberland

Truro to New Brunswick
Area Character Location Level/Gauge Info
Folly Remote, Canyon Wentworth, NS Water Gauge
Drysdale Falls Park’n’Huck Bailey’s Brook, NS Water Gauge
Bass River Creek Five Islands, NS Water Gauge
Chiganois River Creek Debert, NS Water Gauge
Salmon River Urban river Truro, NS Water Gauge

4.1 - Bass River

Remote, Creek
Class: IV-V Length:
Location: Five Islands Character: Creek, Remote
Gauge: Water Guage Contributor: Kelsey Thompson

The Bass River of Five Islands is the natural step up from the Folly River. Not to be confused with the Bass River of Bass River this class IV-V creek requires a little bit of work but the pay off is well worth it. The ideal time to do this run is in the fall before the snow hits because the put in road is often too soft and snow covered in the spring to make it close to the put-in. This doesn’t mean that it’s not worth going in the Spring, just expect to hike further than usual and bring a four wheel drive vehicle if possible.

When you make it to the put-in you’re greeted with a bridge and little sign confirming that you are indeed in the right place. Once on the river a short class one stint brings you to the first drop…which most people will portage although it has been run successfully. Scout and portage on river right when you come to a left hand turn with an obvious horizon line. This unnamed drop is about an 8 foot ledge with a really messy lip that is difficult to get a stroke in on and a nasty hydraulic at the bottom during high water. Next you’ll come to a few read and run drops before arriving at Crap Chute. Scout on river left when the entire river falls into a four foot wide slot, you can portage high up the bank on river left or seal launch from the ledge beside the drop.

Now you’re done with the manky drops and can really start enjoying the rest of the run as you float into Split rock; a drop that is split in two by a rock island and followed closely by a ten footer. Run both on river right but it’s worth having a peak first, scout on river left. After the ten footer is a small ledge, stay right on this one as well. The left slot looks great but lands on a rock that could make for a really bad pin and has made for some nasty pitons, right is a simple boof. Next up is the most continuous bolder garden section. Most of this is boat scout able with good water reading skills and lots of eddy hopping. Keep an eye out for wood as this is where most logs get caught up on the run.

Now you’re at the glory drops, As Good as it Gets and Three Blind Mice. These are the cleanest drops on the river. As Good as it Gets can be scouted on river left and Three Blind Mice is just that, blind! It is possible to scout on river right from about 100 feet up but it’s really hard to gauge what the drop is actually like from here. At low water you can scout from river left with difficulty but most people run it blind which I’d recommend. Stay tight to the right wall with some speed and boof, it’s all good!

After one more three to four foot ledge you’re done and can relax as you float a couple of km’s downstream to the take out. Be sure to take out at the first bridge that goes over the river. It is on someone else’s property so be courteous and park out on the main road. Paddling down to the second bridge seems like a more responsible plan since it’s on public land but there are several beaver dams on this section of the river and it’s a huge pain to get around them all!

If you’re styling the drops on the Folly (you don’t have to be running Toblerone and Face Plant) you’re ready for the Bass but be sure to bring a little extra safety gear because of it’s remoteness.

Hazards

The run starts off with a good sized rapid and a couple of nice holes to punch. Shortly afterward the river splits into two separate channels, the left more of a creek style slide and the right more of a river running scoot. Afterward the two channels reconnect before splitting again at the next drop. This time river right brings you to a tighter more technical section of small drops and boogie water while the left channel holds the runs crown jewel. On the left channel you’ll find one of the cleanest slides in the province that is good to go at almost all levels when run center left. The last rapid is a short ways downstream and has a hole in the middle that can dish out a mean beat down at high flows. Either than that is relatively straight forward. Take out after this rapid.

Low water– class III (Below 2.5) High water class III+-IV

Although more of a river than a creek the North requires solid river skills and the ability to read more difficult whitewater. All lines should be scouted, and care should be taken especially during high water.

Access

From Halifax – Take Highway 102 North to Truro. From there take Highway 104 West towards New Brunswick. Take the Masstown exit (exit 12), turn right towards Great Village on 4 west. Turn Left on highway 2 North/West towards Great Village/Bass River and stay on this road until you’re in Five Islands. Park on the shoulder of the road beside Taylor Lane, this is the take out. You may want to go up the road/driveway to get an idea of what the bridge looks like you’ll be taking out at. Once a shuttle is sorted head back east on highway 2 then turn left (north) onto New Brittan Road. This will continue to get smaller and smaller until it’s too soft/snowed in/crappy to go any further. (stay left at all forks) Park wherever you can find a spot and start hiking. You’ll come to an ATV trail on your left shortly after you pass a couple of outhouses on the right. This will take you to the put-in. Note: a good four wheel dive vehicle can make it to the ATV trail so be sure you don’t pass it!

From New Brunswick – Take Highway 104 East to Nova Scotia. Take exit 11.Turn right onto highway 4. Turn right on highway 2 North/West towards Great Village/Bass River and stay on this road until you’re in Five Islands. Park on the shoulder of the road beside Taylor Lane, this is the take out. You may want to go up the road/driveway to get an idea of what the bridge looks like you’ll be getting out at. Once a shuttle is sorted head back east on highway 2 then turn left (north) onto New Brittan Road. This will continue to get smaller and smaller until it’s too soft/snowed in/crappy to go any further. (stay left at all forks) Park wherever you can find a spot and start hiking. You’ll come to an ATV trail on your left shortly after you pass a couple of outhouses on the right. This will take you to the put-in. Note: a good four wheel dive vehicle can make it to the ATV trail so be sure you don’t pass it!

Gauge

Great Village River Scribble Hill. This isn’t directly linked to the Bass but is in the area and usually a good indicator. Anywhere above 1.4 is run able but not ideal, 1.5 and higher is perfect.

Media

4.2 - Chiganois River

Rural creek
Class: III - V Length: Park’n’Play
Location: Debert, NS Character: Remote, Creek
Gauge: Water Guage Contributor: Kelsey Thompson

The Chiganois only has a few drops on it but they are some of the nicest in the province. There are two branches, both have been run but the west branch is the one you want to put on. Putting on the East Branch means dealing with almost no water for quite a while before reaching the waterfalls that are at the confluence. The best option is to put on the West Branch and then hike up to the waterfalls on the East Branch once you reach the confluence. It’s a short and easy hike and is well worth the effort, especially if there’s no snow in the woods.

Above the confluence the West Branch of the Chiganois has a few minor class II drops. Once you reach the confluence you can see the two waterfalls that you’ll be hiking up to. These two drops are about as clean as they come. The first is a 15 foot auto boof into a huge pool. The second is a smaller wider eight foot drop. After this drop the two branches meet and float downstream until you reach Sam Higgins Falls. This is one of the best sections of whitewater in the province. The falls consist of four main drops, each of which have a pool in-between them with each pool getting smaller the further downstream you travel. To scout/portage the falls get out on river left on the corner of the river bend. The portage is steep and can be fairly difficult, It’s possible to scout the fist two drops from river right as well.

The first drop is a small ledge and the easiest of the four. Boof on the right. The next drop is a slightly more complicated ledge that is best run on the left. From here many people portage the next drop. The entrance is a tight s-turn with a hole in the middle of the second bend. This is closely followed by an off vertical drop where the majority of the water pushes into a wall, this is the crux move of Sam Higgins. Once through this drop a short pool follows into the finale. A narrow entrance with vertical rock walls on both sides opens up into a great drop that is best run on the right.

From here you have a few kilometers of class I to paddle to the take out. Be aware that near the take out there has been barbed wire across the river in the past. This is located beside a cow field and can be difficult to spot so stay alert.

Difficulty: The majority of the rapids are class III-IV with the hardest being class V. Paddlers should carry all appropriate safety equipment for a more remote day as access to roads once in the river gorge can be difficult.

Hazards

Access

From Halifax– Take Highway 102 North to Truro. From there take Highway 104 West towards New Brunswick. Take the Debert exit (exit 13), turn right towards Debert on Macelmon Road. Turn right on Plains Road toward Belmont. Turn left on Belmont/Masstown Road, the river will be on your right. Turn right on Graham Road and park on the side of the road, this is the take out you should be able to see the river down a hill to your right. Drop a car here then continue up Belmont Road towards the putin. Stay right on Upper Belmont Road, turns to dirt road. Stay right at fork. Put in on tiny feeder creek, sometimes it looks like a ditch.

From New Brunswick– Take Highway 104 East to Nova Scotia. Take the Debert exit (exit 13), turn right towards Debert on Macelmon Road. Turn right on Plains Road toward Belmont. Turn left on Belmont/Masstown Road, the river will be on your right. Turn right on Graham Road and park on the side of the road, this is the take out you should be able to see the river down a hill to your right. Drop a car here then continue up Belmont Road towards the putin. Stay right on Upper Belmont Road, turns to dirt road. Stay right at fork. Put in on tiny feeder creek, sometimes it looks like a ditch.

Gauge

Great Village River Scribble Hill. This isn’t directly linked to the Chiganois but is in the area and usually a good indicator. Anywhere above 1.4 is run able but not ideal, 1.5 and higher is perfect.

Media

4.3 - Drysdale Falls

40ft waterfall on private property
Class: III,IV Length: Park’n’Huck
Location: Character: 40ft waterfall
Gauge: Water Guage Contributor: Kelsey Thompson

This 40 foot waterfall located on Bailey’s Brook is one of the cleanest in the province. Situated just around the corner from the Folly River this waterfall is an excellent addition to a high water run.

With very little Whitewater on the river other than the falls, Drysdale is the definition of park and huck, especially with a sandy beach to take out on and stairs cut out of the bank that take you back to the top. Just above the waterfall is a five foot ledge that is at 90 degrees to the main drop making the lead in a bit trickier.

Note: Although the falls have been open to the public in the past they have recently been closed because of people being disrespectful, leaving broken bottles and vandalizing property. The falls are on private property so if you plan on going to them be sure to keep a low profile and be respectful, especially in summer…the RCMP have given tickets!

Hazards

Access

From Halifax: Take Highway 102 to Truro, exit right (#14A) onto Onslow Street towards Tatamagouche. Turn left onto Route 311 North to the town of “The Falls”. Turn left and follow Route 256 to the bridge over Bailey’s Brook; back track and park on the side of the road just after passing over the river, there should be an old gravel pit on your right. From here there is a trail up to the falls, about a 5 minute walk upstream.

From New Brunswick: Take highway 104 to Nova Scotia. Take the Wentworth Valley Scenic Loop exit (# 7). Turn Left towards Ski Wentworth. Turn left onto Route 246 towards New Annan. Turn right onto Route 256. Drive past Willow Church Road then look for Bailey’s Brook.

Park on the side of the road just after passing over the river, there should be an old gravel pit on your right. From here there is a trail up to the falls, about a 5 minute walk upstream.

Gauge

Use Great Village River Scribble Hill, this isn’t directly linked to Bailey’s Brook but is in the area and usually a good indication. Anywhere above 1.5 is run able but not ideal, aim to do this one at flood, the higher the better! This is checked hourly by @whitewaterns, if it’s up it’ll tweet about it.

Media

4.4 - 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.

Hazards

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.

Access

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

Toblerone

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.

Gauge

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

Media

4.5 - Salmon River

Urban playboating river
Class: I,II+ Length: 1,3,10km
Location: Truro, NS Character: River Run
Gauge: Water Guage Contributor: Mike Malley, Karl Vollmer

A great beginner river, with enough play to make it interesting. The salmon river is a quick rising, and quick dropping river that runs through Truro NS. You can mix-and-match your run, making it as short or as long as you would like. There is some wood at the very edges of some of the corners, but even at high water it doesn’t normally extend more than a few feet into the river, and does not pose much of a risk.

The river can be shallow at some points, so be aware that your head might scrape the bottom if you flip and attaining up the river can be hard a times due to the lack of water to paddle in.

Hazards

This river has minimal hazards until you get into town. In town expect garbage in the river which might create a strainer hazard.

Access

There are varying runs, short medium and long available on the salmon.

Short Run (Blue) At mid water, this is a good run that’ll let you play on corner wave, train wave and brass monkey’s ghost. Put in at the Bridge on Valleydale Rd where it crosses the river. There is a visual river gauge under the bridge, to help you double check the water level(s) for the runs.

Medium Run (Yellow) At higher levels, you can head up and catch the Blackrock feature. Drive up Valley Rd from the bridge on Valleydale Rd until to come to a sharp left turn that climbs up hill this is the put in. This road is dirt/mud with lots of potholes, low clearance vehicles not recommended. At the corner there is an ATV trail that leads along the river follow it until it goes into the river. Put in here and paddle across to the other side where the ATV trail continues, follow it across the bend in the river to the beginning of this run.

Long Run (Red) This extra long run has only been done a few times, by Mike Malley. It takes a few hours, and is only really runable during very high water. Because it’s only run very rarely extra care should be taken for fallen wood, or other hazards. The third put-in is at the bridge on Riversdale Rd

Take Out The bottom take out is at Murray Siding, river right at the Salmon river rd. bridge . There should be enough room to park your cars on Old Courthouse Branch Rd.

Map

Named rapids

Mike Malley – Blackrock

Blackrock rapids

To get to this rapid, put in at the medium put in point and then paddle across the river attaining as much as possible, on river left you should find an ATV trail. Hop out of your boat and walk along the trail until it crosses the river again. This is Blackrock rapids, there are various waves and holes some with eddy service some that are only catch on the fly. This rapid only comes up at high(er) water levels, but allows for a lot of different options to play most of which have eddy access.

Mike Malley on Malleys wave

Malley’s wave

This feature is on river right where the river takes a sharp turn to the right right after a hard left turn. The primary play feature on the Salmon, named after Mike Malley, this feature appears in various forms at the different river levels. In general there are at least two decent surf waves at this location. The top wave is larger and often requires you to get out of your boat and carry back up to drop in on it. At some levels you can manage to get up from an eddy on river left. The bottom wave at this feature is the one that is surfed the most, it has excellent eddy access river right just below the rapid. At higher levels the wave has a large amount surging / and a reactionary component which can make for a wild ride.

Train wave

Named for it’s proximity to the train tracks this tiny feature with eddy service is on river left as the river lazily goes drifts to the right. At high levels the whole is retentive enough for minor play boating moves but only about one boat wide. There’s space for about 5 playboats in the small eddy. This feature exists at lower water levels, with a slightly less retentive foam pile

Brass monkey’s ghost

The rapid formally called brass monkey, has been renamed Brass monkey’s ghost as changes in the bottom of the river have warped and diminished the original feature. This series of waves, and minor holes is just above the take out at the bridge, as such you could do a form of park’n’play, if you’re willing to walk back up after every run. There is no eddy service for a majority of the waves here. The waves and wave/holes are decent for front / back surfing, however surfers should be aware that it’s very shallow, in this part of the river, while front surfing your boat may actually hit the sandstone ledge forming the feature as you surf down to the bottom of the wave.

Gauge

Anything below 2.4 on the gauge is likely extremely bony, and lacks sufficient water for the slide. As the water level rises the mid-sections will become less bony, but the rapids will also get more intimidating. 2.45 is a good level for a intro creek run.

Media

5 - Bay of Fundy

Kentville to Yarmouth

The Bay of Fundy is slightly closer to the Helicopter SAR resources, however the strong currents and lack of large population centres means there is limited access to Hospitals or Coast Guard water resources.

Area Character Location Level/Gauge Info
Tidal Bore Large Tidalrace Maitland, NS Tidal Level
Walton Whopper Standing Wave, Tidal constriction Walton, NS Tidal Source

5.1 - Tidal Bore

Large Tidal Bore
Class: III Tidal Race Length: 10km
Location: Maitland NS Character: Tidal Race, No Exit, Warm
Optimal tidal variance:13m – 15m Gauge: Low Tide+3h

Hazards

This is a very large volume, high speed, tidal race with very few exit points. There are also occasional logs/debris floating in the river as well as powered zodiacs during the tourist season. Separation from your boat and or lost gear are the biggest hazards. Always paddle with multiple people, and you should have a very strong self-rescue/roll. If you miss the take-out you could be on the water for significantly longer than expected, so you should have ample water/food to stay in your boat for 6 hours.

Access

Shuttle Setup Time: ~45min

PUT-IN

Our primary put in is at the public park next to River Runners just past the town of Maitland. During the summer their parking lot can get quite busy, so they have asked us to park down by the basketball courts once we’ve unloaded our boats. At the very least park as far away from the building so as to not interfere with tourists and visitors to the small center. They have always been very friendly with us, please do as they ask so we can maintain a positive relationship. To put in follow the mow’d path up over the bank towards the wooden pier that stretches out onto the mud. We put in on the left side, usually dragging our boats past the grass and then using our kayaks like a sled and sliding them down the hill to avoid getting stuck in the mud.

TAKE-OUT

Our primary take out is at the green creek bridge on riverside road. just off of Pleasant Valley Rd. Just before the bridge the road widens and there is room to park 2-3 cars there. We have had gear stolen from this location so it is not recommended that you leave any valuables in your car parked here, and to make sure that you leave one person with the boats at the end of a run. If you get off the boar early you’ll have to slog through thigh-deep mud to get up the slope to the parked cars. If you wait long enough, especially on large tidal days you can paddle almost all the way to your car. Green creek can be hard to spot from the river if you’ve never been before so it’s always strongly encouraged that you paddle with someone who knows the river your first time. It can be identified by looking for a giant cannon up on the hillside Bore Left after anthonys nose, if you see the cannon, it’s time to get off the river.

Gauge

Feature Start is 3 hours after low tide at Burncoat head

All tidal information is based off of Burncoat head tidal times. The tidal bore arrives at river runners about three hours after low tide at burncoat head. This can change by 15-30min depending on tidal range, wind etc. It is easy to tell if it’s already passed when you arrive as the river will increase in height quickly, and the current will be going inland.

Best conditions: Low river (late summer without recent rainfall), 14-15m tidal range, Minimal Wind. **

** In 2015 Leigh Woltman and Karl Vollmer paddled the tidal bore at the 18 year high, over 16m, it was a unique experience, which will happen again in 2033.

Run timing

The tidal bore is a very fluid feature and must be timed very precisely. Each feature forms up and dissipates in 10-15min at any one location. You need to be in the right spot at the right time, as due to the current and size of the river there usually isn’t time to re-position once a feature has started. The larger the tide the short the time between features, generally. The below list is from tidal bore runs between 14 and 15meters. Different tidal variances and weather will cause the timing to shift, once you’ve run it a few times you’ll be able to just adjust on the fly.

Timing for hitting the features is listed below in Bore time, which is the number of minutes after bore arrival. When the bore passes you at the top of the river note the time on your watch and use it to plan your down-river progression. Positioning is relative to the ocean flow, not the river’s natural flow. When looking inland (upriver) Bore Left is on your left, Bore right is on your right.

B+0 – Bore leading wave, expert option is to wait Bore Left against the sandbar and ride the wave in 3-4″ of water. Quite risky as a capsize results in hard impact with sand.

B+10 – Small standing waves near launch site Bore Right, these do not always form

B+15 – Small standing waves near Bore Left where it opens into the basin, these form if there is currently a sandbar in that area, changes through-out season

B+20 – large circular eddy forms Bore left where it opens into the first basin, can be hard to time, but fun to spin around in

B+35 – Bore right standing waves should start forming on far right bank of open basin

B+45(ish) – After open basin waves turn to haystacks, move down and pause at top of narrow section (This is the Killer K) once you see the waves forming get in and enjoy the right (16ft vertical is possible, non-breaking so not scary!)

B+1hr20 – Killer K over next two turns later in sight of bridge you may get nice waves on either inside or outside of turn (left or right very much depends on sandbar alignment

B+1hr40 – Bore Left right after bridge where river turns sahweet wave forms, I’ve ridden this one for 20+ min

B+2hr – Across entire Bore, under the power lines across the river stuff is everywhere, enjoy

B+2hr30 – Bore left at Anthonys nose (in sight of power lines before next bend in river) giant eddy line can be super fun to power across

B+3hr00 – Head towards Green River (Bore left at bend in river by anthonys nose) you’ll see a flat area and grass with a river carved through it, head up that a ways until you hit the bridge (and road)

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5.2 - Walton Whopper

Tidal Race
Class: I – III+ Length: Park’n’Play
Location: Walton Bridge Character: Standing Wave, Tidal Constriction
Gauge: Burncoat Head Contributor: Leigh Woltman

Hazards

This feature works on an outgoing tide, while there is some distance below this feature before the open Bay, rescue and safety should be discussed and set up ahead of time to prevent a swimmer from being washed out into the bay of fundy.

The bottom of this feature is hard, sharp rock, long boats that have struck bottom have had massive gouges cut in them, and even a rudder ripped off. Care should be taken especially as the water becomes more shallow. There is also evidence of construction materials from the bridge which may also be present in the water.

Later in the feature the hole can become violent and appears retentive, with large whirlpools forming below care should be taken to ensure proper safety, always boat within your limits.

Access

There is ample parking alongside the road, and up the street a bit. Please avoid taking up the parking spaces at the Walton Pub so that local patrons can use them. Also please grab a burger, beer or beverage at the pub after, they’re friendly, they look out for us and have been very accommodating of our presence.

Gauge

Tidal Range at Burncoat head is used. I would target spring tides to get a good ride. In general, it seems worth surfing when the Burntcoat Head high tide is 14 metres or better, 14.5 is best, 13.5 is doable.

12.4 metres high, falling 9.9 metres

A feature formed but it was very small and not fast. The top wave was the only thing surfable, but it quickly formed into a true ledge with a hydraulic that was too steep to do anything. The features got shallow very quickly. At this level the corner wave (middle wave) doesn’t form up before the top wave comes in.

13.3 metres high, falling 11.4 metres

Was able to get some surfing out of it, the waves are really small and hard to do anything. Pretty slow and got shallow quickly – maybe had 30 minutes of surfing before it was too shallow. No corner wave until later.

15.1 metres high, falling 15.2 metres

High volume feature. Took longer to form as the extra water depth likely meant it took longer for the water to fall to where it could feel bottom. Waves were big and challenging. Top wave was not accessible from downstream eddy, eddy fence was just too high, but several people carried around and got good rides.

14.1 metres high, falling 13.2 metres

Good surfing level

13.5 metres high, falling 12.2 metres

Was able to surf but not as exciting as higher levels

14.7 metres high, falling 14.4 metres

Good features formed up. Top wave closed off from bottom eddies early. Dave was out in whitewater boat actually got to work some features.

15.3 meters high, falling 15.9 meters

Large features formed up, too much current/water for shortboats to stay on the wave more then a second or two, did not test long boats, but they might have had sufficient speed.

General Observations

  • Slack tide under the bridge is a little after Burntcoat head high water (10 20 minutes lag)

  • Generally arriving in Walton at Burntcoat Head high water gives time to gear up and then get in the water before the features start to show

  • It takes 45-60 minutes after Burntcoat Head high water for features to form, sea boats will be able to ride things first, probably another 20-30 minutes before short boats.

  • The pub next door appears to drain sewer directly into the river (is this legal?)

  • At neap tides, I would skip the Whopper, a feature seems to form but isn’t worth the drive for me

  • The rocks at the Whopper are very sharp. The bottom wave/then hole (the Whopper) gets shallower and shallower. Judgement has to be used when to stop paddling. Hitting your head would not be good, as the rocks take a lot of plastic off the sea kayaks when the make contact.

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