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.


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).



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.


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.

On river right after the final ledges there is a small hiking path there visible from the water and if you go straight up the hill you come to an unmaintained provincial road that comes out on nearby Anderson road. It can be driven in a hatchback (if slow and careful).

On river left just after the final ledges at the bottom of the eddy, just before the rock wall you can scramble up to the road. This is very steep, and brings you out onto the road at a corner so care should be taken.


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.