07 August 2011

Hell's Gate

(Shout out to Alej for the photos, which it occurs to me I'm using without permission, so I hope she'll forgive me...).

 Two weeks ago, a group of us had planned to go surfing. We were unable to do so due to annoying fine print on the groupon we were going to use for the lesson and gear. Instead we decided to do this hike we'd heard about called Hell's Gate/Three Pools. It's a series of waterfalls and swimming pools. Since it's on NS Power land, it's technically trespassing so isn't in any of the published hiking guides that I've seen, but it's one of those things that's well known among locals. We found some ill-described directions on the  net and took off. It's out past Wolfville, about an hour outside the city. We parked and entered at a what looked promising but ended up being a very wrong spot.

 We ended up fording a stream, and bushwhacking for about an hour. We were on trails occasionally, but for the most part we were just following the river and assuming we would come to the waterfalls eventually.

 We found the old Hell's Gate power station, after which the falls are named. Creepy, creepy name. It was a perfectly lovely area, so I have no idea why it was named that.

 Once we found that place, we discovered the real trail to the falls, and soon found them. There was a family at the first pool. They were swinging off a rope into the water. None of us really wanted to do that, so we just went swimming instead.



Eventually we went looking for the other pools. The next pool we came across was empty (of people) and had No Diving signs due to the shallow water. The third pool was crawling with locals (read: drunk teenagers) so we watched the wildlife for awhile. We marveled at how far they carried their beer in from, and how the girls made the hike in flip flops, and left before we started saying "kids today!" We went back to the first pool, but by then it was busy too, so we left.

We hiked out on what we figured was the "right" path - and it was. Now we know how to get there, and more importantly we know to get there early to avoid the crowds.

If you're so inclined, there's lots of videos of hooligans jumping at the third cliff.

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