The Hike with All the Bridges: Ward Falls, Parrsboro, NS

We loved this hike! Ward Falls is located approximately 8 km from Parrsboro on private land that belongs to a lumber company, C. Ernest Harrison & Sons Ltd., which they have maintained for public recreational use. The trailhead is found in the fair-sized parking area found at the end of a dirt driveway. There are informational signs about the hike, but they have not been well maintained. This is something that I enjoyed about the trail but about which I should warn those who may like a more well-kept trail. The trail was maintained well enough to be safe, however I would still advise taking caution when crossing any of the man-made structures such as bridges. We checked each step for rot before proceeding.

The only structure we came across that was not intact.

This hike is only 7 km return, but it is a very enjoyable 7 km! The trail has very little elevation and LOTS OF BRIDGES! The trail follows what looks like a creek but is actually a small river called North Branch Diligent Riverall the way to the falls. The trail was built very opportunistically so that instead of cutting trees to clear a thicket on the banks to pass through, they have instead used a series of bridges so that you almost hop back and forth over the river. We counted a total of 19 bridges and a handful of planks/boardwalks! It is also nearly impossible to get lost; there is essentially no navigating required, and you hike against the current on the way in and with the current when exiting the trail.

Just before the waterfalls there are outhouses. A little further on are the falls, greeting you with the sound of rushing water. As you stand beneath the falls rushing over a large rock face on the Cobequid-Chedabucto Fault, there is a final bridge leading you to a steep climb up the bank on the left to get closer to the falls. My husband and I each took a turn and did this though we did not take our toddler up the steep bank. She was fully amused staring in awe at the falls without crossing. If you go when it’s warm, you can even wade over to a ladder and climb up to a cave behind the falls!

The photos really don’t do it justice. It was so peaceful. 

This hike is really simple with very beautiful views and highly recommended to anyone, especially families hiking with kiddos!
Excellent trail for kids! Easy enough while still being backcountry and exciting. 

My girl loving the waterfall. 

*Videos of this trail here and here

*How to transport wee ones on this trail? Wear them. Not a stroller-friendly trail.

*Cautionary notes: Be bear aware. We did see bear scat and a print while visiting in the fall. Also give caution to rotting bridges. 

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