This article was originally published in the Chronicle Herald's weekly community papers and has been republished here with their permission.
There is something magical about waterfalls, no matter what age you are. Whether it’s a child seeing their first one or an adult seeing their hundredth, it always feels a bit like spotting a shooting star or a rainbow. It urges you to stop and appreciate this spectacular show that nature has created.
The big difference between rainbows and waterfalls, though, is that you can seek out a waterfall any time you want to experience a little magic.
Nova Scotia is home to some incredible waterfalls: Ettinger Falls in Three Mile Plains, Egypt Falls in the Margaree area, the Victoria Park waterfalls in Truro. You could plan a whole trip around the province chasing waterfalls (sorry for putting that TLC earworm into your head).
The HRM has several of its own waterfalls, too. Some are miniature, like the four-foot high roadside one on Kings Road in Wellington (I tell my children it’s a fairy waterfall), some are medium and easily accessible, like Six Mile Falls along the BLT trail in the Timberlea area, and some are big and breathtaking, like Phantom Falls in Upper Musquodoboit. A quick google search will lead you to plenty of sites and blogs dedicated to plotting waterfalls all over the region.
The best time to chase waterfalls is after a rainfall or in the spring after a big thaw; although even when they’re frozen in the winter they look like stunning ice sculptures and are worth the visit to see them in another form.
My favourite time to go on waterfall hikes though is now, in the late autumn, when we are stuck between the beauty of the leaves changing and before the snow starts to fall regularly. Waterfalls work as a great motivator to get outside and continue to enjoy nature, when it’s looking less than its best and hibernation is looking really tempting.
In my home community of Fall River there is a small but mighty waterfall called Miller Lake Falls that I love popping out to now and again. It’s not the falls that Fall River was named for (those were destroyed during highway construction in the 1950s) but as a resident I’ve unofficially claimed these ones as our new namesake.
Miller Lake Falls is located a couple kilometres down Perrin Drive, past highway 118, off a trail beside the bridge over Tillman Brook. It’s unmarked but the sound of the water rushing along the brook towards the falls can be heard from the bridge.
The “trail” is on the left side of the road coming in. It’s not well defined however simply following the brook leads you to the falls. It’s only a couple minutes in from the road and an easy walk for all members of the families to manage. Once there it provides a beautiful example of nature’s power mere moments from a busy highway.
So when the dark evenings and morning chills start to lure you into your winter cave, pick a waterfall hike and head outside to get a quick fix of the magic of nature.