Hidden Valley Hike, New Minas
I cannot believe that I have lived in the Valley for most of my life, and I never knew about this hiking trail right here in New Minas! The hike is called Hidden Valley, and it’s more like a hidden gem.
I first learned about this trail through our local hiking guru – the Scotian Hiker
After doing a bit of research and digging around, we decided to try it out for ourselves.
The trail is not marked, but if you print off the directions found here and bring them with you, you should have no trouble at all.
According to an article written by local historian, Ed Coleman, this trail follows one of the oldest roads in Kings County. According to local folklore the road is of Acadian origin, and some of the older New Minas residents call it the “French Road.” However, while the Acadians may have travelled the road to reach the high country south of New Minas and the Gaspereau Valley, it probably was of Mi’kmaq origin.
To get to Hidden Valley, head to Perrier Drive in New Minas.
Continue through the stop sign where the road turns to Cloverleaf Drive. Park immediately on the left. You will see the trail head here.
Start by going through a long culvert that goes under the highway.
There might be some water at the bottom, so you may have to walk, straddling the stream. We did!
Follow this path straight for a long time. You will cross a brook with a small cascade.
The last time we were there in the winter, the log bridges were washed out, so you might have to do some jumping. This may change in the spring.
Along the way, there are a few offshoot paths. Do not take them. We mistakenly took the first path (which paralleled the highway) but came back to the main path and paid more attention to our print out.
There are several large waterholes in the middle of the path that you need to go around. When we went, they were semi-frozen and deep!
According to the directions, at the 600m mark, you should be able to see a track on the right hand side of the trail at the same time as the major trail is turning to the left at almost a 90 degree angle. At the bend in the road, the path seems to continue up a long hill. Do not go up here. TURN RIGHT.
This is fairly obvious, as we could see the orange hunting tape through the woods. The tape is NOT next to the path you are taking, but along the stream bed. Stick to the path.
You will also know when you are on the right track for you’ll see a trail of garbage and rusted out parts along the way.
For us in the winter, this trail ended at the brook, and we couldn’t see where to go from here. You may come to face a big bank of snow.
However, we knew we needed to head upstream, so we followed the stream through the woods for a few yards, and climbed up the rocks near a smaller waterfall.
In the fall, we found a path along the left side of the stream and followed this.
Regardless, you want to head UP Stream!
At the top, we knew we had arrived! This is an obvious camping/bonfire location as there were chairs and tents left.
The trek out was worth it for the scenery at the end! There is a beautiful waterfall (which was half frozen when we were there).
A little less powerful at the end of the summer, but still a nice trek!
Beside the waterfall there is an old rock foundation. Again, according to Ed Coleman, local folklore says there was a small Acadian settlement beside the Road immediately south of the 101. There’s at least one rock cellar possibly of Acadian origin near the old road. Others say the cellar is believed to be the foundation of an Acadian church and not a homestead.
These rocks have now been used to create a bridge over one of the streams, and this is in its place.
Whatever it is, it helps to complete the picture of a beautiful hidden valley!
Trail Peak rates the hike as easy, but we would call it more “medium”. It took us about 1.5 hours to hike there and back – but this was also in cold, half-frozen conditions.
When I went with my girl friends, it took us 40 minutes, round trip. This was in the fall, and we knew where we were going this time.
As I mentioned, this trail is not sign posted, so you need to print and bring the directions with you. Don’t rely on your memory reading it. It is tricky without the directions.
When we went it was -10. Although sheltered by the forest, it was still cold and once something was wet, it froze immediately! It was very difficult to try to keep our 6 & 8 year old boys out of the puddles, or to convince them to walk on the path so they wouldn’t slip into the icy water!
However, if you ask them, it was an adventure of a lifetime for them!
This is definitely a hike that I would like to do in the summer. Maybe not the spring, and I can imagine how wet it would be!
Wear your boots, bring dry clothes in the car, and bring the directions and your sense of adventure! You’ll be glad you did!
**Valley Family Fun holds no responsibility if you hike this trail. Please be respectful to the land**