Pabineau Falls Trail
|Estimated Time||45 mins|
|Surface Type||forested, rock|
|Elevation Change||23 metres|
|Trail Markers||None but easy to follow|
|Scenery Rating||must see|
|Maintenance Rating||well maintained|
The trail starts along the top of the cliffs, with views through the trees of the river below. There are many access trails to the right that take you down to the flat rock surfaces below the falls. These rocks are like giant's steps and provide many views of the falls and the river from different heights. Be careful when getting close to the water. The whole river funnels through the narrow falls, making the water below very turbulent and not safe for swimming.
Continue past the rocky lookouts and you will come to a sign that reads Upper Crossing. Here a small trail leads down to a small, sandy beach. I am guessing that if the water is low enough you could cross here but I have never heard of anyone doing it. The trail climbs back up on the rocks in the woods and passes by several small, rocky ponds. The trail then turns right around a bend in the river. The trail climbs up onto an open rock face looking straight up the river.
You can continue past this point two ways. You can climb down through a small rocky ravine, which requires some scrambling, or take the easier trail back by the ponds. Once past this point you will come to another large rounded rock that falls off to a gravel beach below. Near the gravel beach you will find a second sign that says Lower Crossing.
From Highway 11 in Bathurst take exit 304, then take route 430 south towards Bathurst Mines. Drive for 4.6 kilometres and turn left towards Pabineau First Nation. Drive for 3 kilometres and the road drops down over a small hill and takes a sharp right before crossing a small bridge. Continue to drive on this road for another 2.6 km and you will come to a small parking area on the right. Park here and cross the road. A small road takes you to the open rock face that leads to the falls straight ahead. The trail follows along the river to the left.