Ward Falls and Partridge Island

Wharton, Nova Scotia

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Ward Falls belongs to lumber and building supply company C. Ernest Harrison & Sons Ltd. of Parrsboro. In memory of founder C. Ernest Harrison, they have taken the land around the falls out of production and perform regular trail maintenance. All the company’s lands are open for recreational use, and snowmobile clubs have many kilometres of groomed track at other locations. North Branch Diligent River cuts through the Cobequid Hills, carving a narrow (4 m/yd wide) gorge nearly 40 m/yd long and 20 m/yd deep. In summer, water barely trickles from the opening, and it is possible to climb inside the gorge without getting wet. During the spring, however, the narrow aperture is sometimes insufficient to accommodate the water pressing through, with incredible results. There are few similar sites in Nova Scotia. You will notice that a long beach connects Partridge Island to the mainland. Apparently this was created during the great Saxby Gale of 1869, when gravel blocked the existing channel. Partridge Island also contains a strong magnetic anomaly, strong enough to swing the compass needle of approaching ships. The Island’s erosion resistant basalt dominates the entrance to Parrsboro Harbour.

Ward Falls and Partridge Island Professional Review and Guide

"Ward Falls belongs to lumber and building supply company C. Ernest Harrison & Sons Ltd. of Parrsboro. In memory of founder C. Ernest Harrison, they have taken the land around the falls out of production and perform regular trail maintenance. All the company’s lands are open for recreational use, and snowmobile clubs have many kilometres of groomed track at other locations. North Branch Diligent River cuts through the Cobequid Hills, carving a narrow (4 m/yd wide) gorge nearly 40 m/yd long and 20 m/yd deep.

In summer, water barely trickles from the opening, and it is possible to climb inside the gorge without getting wet. During the spring, however, the narrow aperture is sometimes insufficient to accommodate the water pressing through, with incredible results. There are few similar sites in Nova Scotia. You will notice that a long beach connects Partridge Island to the mainland. Apparently this was created during the great Saxby Gale of 1869, when gravel blocked the existing channel. Partridge Island also contains a strong magnetic anomaly, strong enough to swing the compass needle of approaching ships. The Island’s erosion resistant basalt dominates the entrance to Parrsboro Harbour."

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Wharton
Distance: 6.5
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Easy to Moderate
Duration: 3 to 4 hours
Season: Best spring through fall
Local Maps: Parrsboro 21 H/8
Driving Directions: Directions to Ward Falls and Partridge Island

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May 2018