North River

Rural creek with a slide
Class: III,IV+ Length: 3km
Location: New Germany, NS Character: Creek, Slide
Gauge: Water Guage Contributor: Kelsey Thompson, Lukas Dee

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.


After putting in at the cabin, there are no more cabins or roads that come close to the river, until reaching the takeout. Even though it is a short run, appropriate safety equipment for remote rivers should be taken along, especially on the first run.

The forest encroaches on the river in many places which makes it very susceptible to sweepers falling into or across it. Scouting rapids for wood is necessary in most places.

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.


Upper Put In If road conditions allow, following Stanburne road until it crosses the North River adds another whole section to the run. This part of the river is remote, with a few rapids connected by long flat stretches. A four wheel drive vehicle with proper ground clearance is highly recommended. The put in here will make the shuttle drive a lot longer, so account for extra time there. Google Map Link: Upper Put in

Standard Put In PRIVATE ROAD Continuing on past the takeout up the next two hills. On top of the second hill a row of houses ends with a Canada post mail box and a grey barn. Just after the barn a private dirt road goes down the hill on the right. About 200 meters in there is a gate which when open, means you are able to drive down to the put in. If not you’ll have to walk the rest of the dirt road down to the river. Stay right. Google Map Link: Put In

Take Out Follow Highway 10 through New Germany until you reach the North River Road. Turn right and follow the road until just before the road crosses the river via a bridge. On the right there is a small gravel parking lot where 3 to 4 vehicles will fit. Make sure not to block the ATV path. Google Map Link: North River Rd..

Named Rapids

(Upper Section) James Falls:

After a short flat section a small horizon line appears. James falls is a simple left to right move. The two ledges here are small pour overs, so at certain water levels can create retentive holes. The river flattens out after.

(Upper Section) Dee Drive:

The next horizon line you come across should be scouted. Scouting on river left is easiest as there is a small trail that likely belongs to a cabin that can be seen in the trees there. This rapid is longer, and can have consequences in the case of a flip or swim. A small ledge leads into the main part of this rapid, which is a slide-like feature that is narrow and has three holes that can be quite rowdy. Hitting these in the right spots is the crux move of the rapid. After the slide some waves and holes carry on around the corner and end in a narrow slot that has a river wide hole in it. This hole isn’t very retentive, although problems could arise if a boat drops into it sideways, as the slot is narrow enough to grab either ends of the boat and pin it. After the slot the river flattens out and ends in a flat pool.

(Upper Section) The Chute Flatwater:

After Dee Drive, the river flattens out into class I and eventually the Chute Flatwater. Once you’ve crossed the flatwater you will reach the standard put in. 

The Chute:

Just after you put in on the Chute Stillwater you will have to eddy out on the left again. A large very obvious eddy is the last good option to get out and scout the next rapid. As you walk down the river will pick up speed as it flows over multiple small ledges. Where the main flow hooks left and then right around a ledge, the river narrows and flows through a slot with rock walls on both sides. This is The Chute. There are two ledges here which both create sticky holes, and can both be run on river right. The chute ends in a small pool before the next drop. Either scout the next drop as well or run the chute and get out in the pool below and do your scouting then. 

Whalesback Falls:

Just after The Chute the river drops again. This time it splits in two channels around a small island. Usually the left side is run because it is easier to scout and set up for from the pool above. This is a very ‘creeky’ drop to slide move that needs to be scouted well to avoid pitons, pins, and boat bashing. 

The right channel is supposedly a mellower river run type channel, but it hasn’t been run in a long time and is a bit of an unknown. The rumor has it there is a ‘man-eater’ hole there. Once it’s been scouted in the spring this description will be updated.

Devils Elbow:

The next 2km are class I - II boogie that leads you past Levy’s Island and into Devils Elbow. A calm pool drops into a wave train that has great eddies to catch and play around with. The rapid makes a long left turn and splits. The left side will bring you to a small pool before the next drop. The right leads directly into the next rapid.

Apron Falls:

Right after Devils Elbow is Apron falls. There are two channels here and like at Whalesback Falls, the right channel is a bit of an unknown, yet looks to be a steep and technical boulder garden. The left channel is pure glory. A small pool over looks a large horizon line. This is the famous slide of the North River. A very clean 40-50 foot slide stretches across the width of the river. It’s best run middle-left to avoid any jagged ledges. The rock outcrop on river left makes for great scouting and hanging out. A small path leads back to the top here for the keeners who can’t just do it once.

Lower Apron Falls:

After a short paddle across a stillwater the river picks up again into the last rapid before the take out. The first part is a very straight forward wave train that has a few large eddies on river right to get out and scout. The ‘move’ on this rapid comes when the main flow drops into a rather rowdy hole and then hooks right into another drop and wave train. Riding the backwash of the hole left to right is often the best line, but depends on water level. After the final wave train you reach the North River Road and the takeout is on river left.


Anything below 2.4 on the Lahave River 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 an intro creek run. When the gauge is showing a drop in water level, take away at least 0.1 to get a more accurate estimate.. Example; Dropping at 2.55 will be a similar level to when the level is holding or rising at 2.45.