River Route 2: North Branch LaHave
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|South Shore Region
|Where To Find Us
North Branch Lahave, NS
|Lunenburg County ; Queens County (NS)
|Chad Haughn, President, LQRCDA
Description & Services
|NORTH BRANCH LAHAVE - RIVER ROUTE 2
A popular route for the more adventurous paddler with long stretches of Class 2 rapids.
(Taken in part from North Branch LaHave sheet by Peter Rogers of Loon Lake Outfitters with permission of Canoe Nova Scotia and information from South Shore Paddlers)
Where: Near Bridgewater
Skill Level: Intermediate, Rapids- Class 1-3
Time: 6 hrs
Distance: 15.8 km
Portages: One mandatory. Others at decision of paddler.
Start: Texas Lake
Finish: Pinehurst on Route 10
The North Branch LaHave flows out of Sherbrooke Lake down to Wentzell’s Lake, a distance of 21 kms. The starting point however is Texas Lake or further down at Feindel’s Bridge since there is no public access into Sherbrooke Lake. The area has a wide range of habitat and is rich in plant and animal life. It has premier salmon fishing from May to September. There are few homes and the route is mostly forested. The river is a favourite with the river kayakers. Paddlers can expect lengthy stretches of Class 2 and some Class 3 whitewater. Besides the mandatory portage at Indian Falls, there are also less significant falls where scouting is necessary. Like the West Branch LaHave, there are long stillwaters that will require extra effort for paddlers in short river kayaks or play boats.
Water Safety Notes (See River Notes)
About half the route is inaccessible in case of injury. High winds on Indian Lake may be a problem. If so you may want to put in below the lake at Feindel’s Bridge. This route requires a high water level and is best done in spring or fall. A river kayak or plastic canoe with air bags is recommended for this trip.
Rapid 1 - Immediately after you put in at Texas Lake, you’ll encounter a 100m rapid. Scout before running if you wish along the left hand bank where you’ll see an old mill site. Lining is possible along the left side.
Rapid 2 - One km further along is a small waterfall. Scout before hand. The best channel is on the right with a hidden hydraulic. The portage is poorly marked on the left side.
Rapid 3 - Indian Falls. Mandatory Portage. Expect only minor rips and riffles till you come to Indian Falls. A 1 m drop is followed by 150m of Class 2 rapids leading to the falls and a 4m vertical drop. As you can imagine, the portage is mandatory. Take out above the first ledge river left and carry along a dirt road to a sluice. Apath on the left leads down to a cobbled beach.
Rapid 4 - A ledge cuts across the river as it turns to the left. Run on the extreme right or line your boat river left. From here it is easy going to Indian Lake with a change to marshland as you approach the lake. The lake itself is a pretty spot with lots of cottages. Your paddle to the end of the lake is against the prevalent wind. Pass under Feindel’s Bridge, an alternate start at A1.
Rapid 5 - Once past the bridge, go around the bend to the right and into a rock filled-rapid that you’ll have to pick a route through.
Rapid 6 - These unnamed falls, Class 3, should be scouted. There’s no portage but canoes can be carried on the left through the woods about 60-75m to a point below the falls.
Rapid 7 - Right after the falls is a fairly long Class 2 rapid. Then the river bends to the right into Class 1.
Rapid 8 - This is followed by a long (almost 2 km) rocky rapid Class 2-3, that is difficult to scout. You’ll need to pick out the channel as you go. At the end of this rapid is the bridge and an easy 1.3 km section to catch your breath.
Rapid 9 - This easy stretch ends in a Class 2 rapid about 75m long with hydraulics. Look for a deserted camp on the left just before the rapids.
Rapid 10 - The Black Rattle. About a half km further on is another Class 2 rapid and ledge. Scout beforehand and go river left.
Rapid - Another small falls with Class 1 and 2 rapids. The channel can be picked out as you go. It’s another 2 km of easy paddling to your take out. Take out below the bridge on the right hand side.
How to get there
Take Exit 12 off Highway 103 and head up route 10 to Pinehurst.
Exit Point 1- Leave one vehicle by the bridge on Route 10 in Pinehurst just past Wentzell’s Lake.
Access Point 1 - Feindel’s Bridge
Continue up Route 10 from E1 about 200m and turn right at the Irving gas station onto a dirt road to Union Square. Turn right at Union Square about 1.3 km to Feindel’s Bridge. Park off the road before the bridge. Put in above the bridge on river right.
Access Point 2 - Texas Lake
Take road to Union Square and continue straight to the next intersection at Lake William. Turn right onto the paved road and go 3.5 km. Take the right fork onto a dirt road to Newburne and go 3 km to Texas Lake. Please respect the No Trespassing signs on property near the bridge leading to the lake. It may be possible to enter right at the bridge or at Mud Lake Brook.
LaHave River- River Route 1
Lake Peter- See Additional Lake Suggestions
Topographic map - New Germany 21 A/10 and Bridgewater 21 A/7
|Ages: 16 year(s) and up
Children under 16 with adults - please use own discretion depending on skill level
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