Chasing waterfalls a springtime adventure

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‘Some of the best times are often had when you least expect it’

Trippin' with Trefry, Devin Trefry

COLCHESTER WEEKLY NEWS

According to the weather forecast, the day ahead was to be sunny with cloudy periods. But as I looked up to the dark storm clouds that surrounded us I figured that our planned day of hiking was going to be a wet one. With umbrella in hand we ventured on to Victoria Park in Truro.

My wife Sara was away in Halifax on training for work, so it was just the kids and I. We hike Victoria Park a couple of times a year but springtime is among my favourite times to go. April showers bring mayflowers and ... great waterfalls.

I knew that the brooks and waterfalls there would be at their prime.

The trails at the park are truly world class and are hands-down among the best in Nova Scotia. Within the 400 acres is a 20 kilometre trail network, though we stuck to the initial few kilometers following Lepper Brook to the steep gorge. This section of the park includes a number of highlights, including the 175-step Jacob's Ladder, two waterfalls, a wishing well, gazebo and numerous unique geological features.

We took the top-down approach to the falls and could hear the rushing water ahead. I had to remind my son Jaden and daughter Lienna to slow down as they ran down the steep stairs leading to the observation area. The views were spectacular at both sets of falls and by now the sun had emerged from the dark blanket of clouds. With optimism we rushed to complete the loop back to the parking lot as we were just getting started.

Back in the car we ate our picnic lunch en route to Earltown where I was excited to explore the Rogart Mountain Trail next. I had heard that there were waterfalls there too.

The trail head is right next to Sugar Moon Farm Pancake House and Maple Sugar Camp. When we arrived they had just served up a scrumptious feast to an Ontario girls choir who was visiting the area. I took the kids inside to look around and the Sugar Moon staff graciously offered us a couple of pancakes that had been leftover from the group. Unfortunately, we were stuffed from our picnic lunch and I further explained that Jaden and Lienna have a number of food allergies that would have likely prevented them from enjoying the treat anyway.

To my surprise the Sugar Moon staff said  they are used to catering to food allergies there. I was excited at the possibility of returning again another time for a meal that we could all enjoy. With numerous food allergies in our family, it's hard to find restaurants that can accommodate us. After a quick look at their cool collection of syrup samples that had been taken throughout the spring harvest, we decided that we had better hit the trail.

It didn't occur to me that there would still be snow on the ground among the hills in Earltown, so the trail was a bit messier and slower going than I expected. We enjoyed the historic interpretation on signs at various points along the way, but I realized a couple of kilometers in that the kids weren't going to make it all the way around the 6.2 km loop that day. I was disappointed that we didn't reach the falls this time around but the sky was full of sunshine at this point and the weather was really warming up.

It was odd walking through the snow at a balmy 21 C. We enjoyed a relaxing pace back and saw a family of four woodpeckers and a garter snake along the way.

At this point I was probably pushing my luck, but as we piled into the car I thought of one more waterfall destination between Earltown and home. It would be a much shorter walk, so I figured the kids could handle the one final stop. I can't disclose the location of this one, though I can say that Jaden got a “soaker” while jumping from one rock to another trying to escape his sister.

What started out as a questionable looking day full of dark clouds, turned out to be one of the greatest spring days in recent memory. Some of the best times are often had when you least expect it.

Devin Trefry is the marketing director of the Central Nova Tourism Association. He lives in Debert. devin@centralnovascotia.com

Organizations: Jacob's, Sugar Moon Farm Pancake House, Central Nova Tourism Association

Geographic location: Victoria Park, Earltown, Halifax Nova Scotia Ontario Debert

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