Regular readers of my blog may have noticed that I have penchant for hiking trails, waterfalls and the general outdoors. I put the blame squarely on my ammu (mother), who, before her health unfortunately declined, was the one who found all the different outdoors (and indoor) activities we could do as a family, and planned all our trips for the school holidays. I still have very fond memories from my childhood and early adulthood of our various trips, not only around South Africa, but around the world.
So it really should come as no surprise that once we got to New Brunswick, I immediately started planning for places we could and would go to in Sha Allah, once we were settled and stable. There were many places I had planned for us to visit during the spring and summer of this year, but obviously this was all before the pandemic came along. So for now, Z and I try and visit the many available hiking trails and parks near us.
This weekend, we visited Howland Falls, which is easily accessible from Route 105 to the west of Mactaquac Provincial Park, about 50kms from Fredericton. Just past the Bear Island Community Center on your left you will find the Scotch Lake Road on your right. The Scotch Lake Road is a gravel road and climbs the hill away from the river. After about 900 meters on the gravel road, you will come to a stone bridge. The waterfall is just below this bridge on the right. There is a parking area on the left-hand side, just before the bridge. The trail down to the falls is just before the parking area, on the right-hand side. There is nothing to mark the beginning of the trail but once you find it, it is clearly identifiable.
Just a short walk over a steep hill and you are in a ravine that holds the waterfall. The pool at the bottom of the falls is about 5 feet at its deepest and large enough to take a nice swim (no, we did not swim there, this time). The water is crystal clear, and pretty cold during this time of the year. It’s a great spot to have a picnic brunch and just enjoy the sounds of the waterfall and the wind in the trees. The surrounding rocks make it easy to climb around and take photos from various angles and enjoy the view. I would recommend that you have proper hiking boots, though.
We also decided to also follow the small stream as far as we could – it was about 15-20 minutes of walking before it became impassable, and we had to turn back. Maybe there was another way to go further, but we didn’t find it.
We only spent a few quiet and peaceful hours there, but it was a lovely spot and we will definitely be visiting it again!