Gaspereau Canal Walking Trail
This is where things get confusing.
The Gaspereau Canal Trail is NOT in Gaspereau. It’s actually on the way to New Ross. But, it hugs the Gaspereau River.
We had done this trail in the past, but the kids were really little, so we thought we should try it again and blog about it.
We followed the instructions off a couple of different websites and have combined the best route in the information below.
How to Get There
Drive Route 12 towards New Ross. From the highway 101 interchange, it is about 13 KM down the road.
Drive until you see the sign that says you are in the community of Forrest Home.
Immediately across the road is a small parking area with a yellow metal gate.
You can park in there, but be careful not to block any roadways. Alternatively, you can park further down the road by the river and walk back to this location.
Go around the yellow gate and follow this woods road. This will be the main trail artery.
This is a screenshot of the map of the trail from Trailpeak.
Follow the woods road east approximately 1 km through a softwood forest until you see the trail entrance on your right.
As you are walking, there will be 2 cleared openings that will definitely look like this trail entrance. THEY ARE NOT.
The trail entrance is at the bottom of the hill, after you go over a small brook with a depth gauge.
Follow this road across and almost afterwards, immediately on your right you will see a path. NOT a road entrance way.
The path is marked by an old wooden structure and some planks of wood.
You will have to cross a small metal bridge.
And then head up the path. The brook will be on your left.
At the top of this path, the lake will be in front of you, and a large dam to your right.
Keep going straight along the edge of the lake.
This will loop around and come to a long wooden bridge.
Continue along this path (you do not have to go across the bridge), and after a short while, the path will take you back to the main artery.
If you continue to the right, it will take you further into the woods.
Eventually, you have to turn around and come back, so this is a great time to just turn LEFT at this junction and follow the woods road back to your car.
Doing this loop will take you approximately 45 minutes and is about 3-4 km.
We did a lot of offshoots to try to find the best trail to write about, so it’s hard to determine the length exactly.
The trails is easy to follow, and the path is wide and would be suitable for an off-roading stroller.
Tips From an Expert
KB, a Valley Family Fun follower lives close to this trail and offers the following advice:
Be careful. There is one guy (at least) for sure who hunts on it. And I have seen both bears and coyotes on it and plenty of tracks. I ALWAYS wear bear bell when on this trail to make noise to scare off the wildlife. I haven’t met coyote or bear on that exact loop, but I have just in from there, so it’s better to be safe than sorry, and know what to do if you meet one- act big, make noise, stomp your feet. Do NOT turn your back and run!
Take a longer route. If you continue on instead of turning around, it follows the canal on a sandy path all the way to Little River Lake (about 6km in though, so it’s not a kid hike all the way there!)
Be prepared for the seasons. Spring is so buggy that it’s insane to try and walk on it, running is okay, late July and August makes it unbearable due to horseflies unless you are full on running without stopping to walk, and for snowshoeing it’s great except that the parking lot doesn’t get plowed, so you either need to park down the road at the dam and walk back to it, or if the shoulder of hwy 12 is plowed enough you may be able to pull far enough over to park, but I generally don’t because traffic on hwy 12 is kind of nuts. In June you may see snapping turtles egg laying!
The Gaspereau Canal is a great place to discover and is open year-round. I will definitely be back to snowshoe here!
**NOTE from the landowner:
I happen to be the private landowner on the Gaspereau Canal Trail. Some years ago I found it necessary to ask that no ATV’s used the trail due to destruction of roadways and no willingness to repair them. So it was posted and continues to be posted. After a few
growing pains in this mode, the trail seems to have found its niche.
I was up yesterday cleaning a property line and mowing along the most
prominent roadway. I have found on the last few visits that the property
has been used more and more by dog owners to run their animals. They
tell me how much they appreciate the chance to just let them go without
encountering motorized vehicles. I am just passing this on because it
may be a useful scenario in other areas.
One other advantage on this trail, at least on my property, is the
remarkable lack of ticks. A tick has to see the sky, and I have a good
overstory of mature trees. Adjoining properties where clearcutting in
the last forty years or other openings occur are not so lucky.