The Greats: Mary Pitcher Falls

There are some waterfalls that stand out from the crowd.  The Greats will feature some of these falls and show why they are worth the visit.

Mary Pitcher Falls is one of the nicer falls to visit.  There are upper and lower falls and both have been featured on this site.

Upper Mary Pitcher Falls are spectacular.  Located in the Fundy foothills
near the Big Salmon River valley and fed by Mary Pitcher Lake, the stream falls several steps before reaching the valley bottom.  The upper fall is over 35 metres in height, among the highest in New Brunswick.  The falls area has tall old pine trees and maple trees extending over the falls.  In the middle of the upper part of the falls is a unique bowl made in the rock.  Two pools are found at the base of the falls.IMG_0739

The journey to the falls is an epic one, depending on your type of travel.  On our visit, we drove to the top of the Felix Brook Road, parked our cars and mountain biked the 13 kilometres to the end of the road.  (It is possible to drive the Felix Brook Road, but only with a 4WD truck.) From the end of the road, we left our bikes and headed downstream, for a relatively easier bushwack to the upper falls. Along the way, you pass several smaller falls which are worth seeing as well. IMGP0558

Getting to the lower falls is no short order either, especially if you use non-motorized travel (bike or foot) to get to Mary Pitcher Stream.   From the upper falls, continue down stream on the east side of the water.

There are a few yellow blazes wrapped around tree trunks and a visible path through the forest.  The path will lead you down to the cliff

IMGP0556top above Mary Pitcher Falls.  Use caution in this area as the drop is extreme.  The safest way to reach the bottom is to bypass the cliff by going east through the woods before reaching the cliff.  Once you see a bolder field from a rockslide (see below right), work your way down to the river.

Once at the river, return down river toward the falls.  Once you reach the base, you’ll realize that a full picture can’t be taken due to the close proximity of the large rocks.  The best pictures IMGP0560are taken from across the Big Salmon River.  This river is fast during high water and caution is advised.  (During my visit in late October, the current was very strong.)  Return the same way.  There are a few pools for swimming along the Mary Pitcher Stream if you have the energy!

To get there: Drive to Hammondvale on Hwy 111 from Sussex or via 865 from Norton.  At the intersection of Shepody Road, take the Shepody Road east toward Felix Brook.  There are sections of high clearance rock that can be avoided with a car, but caution is advised.  Continue along the Shepody Road and watch for a small bridge over Felix brook (the deck is paved and has white railings).  The Felix Brook Road is the next right.  Drive south on Felix Brook road (by either truck or mountain bike) and stay on the main traveled road.  At 11.5 kilometres the road makes a sharp right angled turn toward the west, but stay straight on the narrower road at this point.  The narrow road will turn again to the east, then turn back south.  Continue and follow the last westward turn to the end of the road.  There is a flagged trail to the stream, then follow the stream south to the various falls. Return the same way. If mountain biking, expect a 7 hour round trip with over 32 kilometres of travel.

 

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