By Deb Ryan, Hike Nova Scotia President
Nictaux Falls Hike, south of Middleton, Annapolis County
This multi-use trail is located south of Middleton with plenty of parking spaces at the Middleton Lions Club Hall located on Highway #10.
The fall colours were brilliant hiking along the multi-use trail to the head pond and Nictaux Dam which was the destination. This former abandoned rail corridor has lots of history as trains would make their way to Port Wade with loads of iron ore to be shipped to New England markets. Remnants of iron ore are still visible if you know what you are looking for.
The trail follows a gradual incline and there are a few bends that are cut through the rocky terrain.
There are some worthy visuals along the way as you can find a well worn path that will give you a view of the former river valley gorge. No signage in this area.
Water stills flows in the Nictaux River but it is controlled by the dam. Many want to see the waterfall which changes with the outfall but you must hike down into the gorge to get a view.
This hike is approx. 14 km return from the dam and if you want to add extra hiking distance, keep heading south to the Alpena Rapids (approx. 20 km return).
Once at the head-pond, you may prefer a loop trek. Follow the Nictaux Canal west along an old maintenance road and hike along the man-made water canal which will take you to Highway #10. You would have to hike along Highway #10 back to the parking lot.
We stayed with the trail which is well drained and easy to walk on. We did encounter ATVs and dirt bikes and all were courteous. The sun did peek through the clouds on the return trip.
This hike is featured in the Hiking Trails of NS book and we had 11 keen hikers on the Sunday afternoon trek sponsored by Hike NS and Annapolis County Recreation.