Gully Lake - Nuttby Hiking Trail System

This 34-km wilderness hiking trail system, developed and managed by Cobequid Eco-Trails Society, is situated in the Cobequid Mountains near Earltown and Kemptown.

These trails are part of the Cape to Cape Trail, a long distance footpath being developed between Cape Chignecto in Cumberland County and Cape George in Antigonish County (a distance of approximately 400 km), passing through the Cobequid Mountains and the Pictou-Antigonish Highlands.

The Gully Lake - Nuttby hiking trails currently consist of three independent loops ranging from 6 km to 10 km, plus linear connector trails. Highlights of the trail system include Gully Lake Wilderness Area, Caribou Lake Brook, Taylor Lake, Earltown Lake and Rogart Mountain. The trails also pass by or near numerous waterfalls and ecologically sensitive marshes.

Two loops (Sandy Cope Trail, Gully Lake Trail) and connector trails (Willard Kitchener MacDonald Trail, Juniper Head Trail) totalling approximately 25 km are within Gully Lake Wilderness Area. The trails pass over undulating, hardwood hills and through coniferous forest alongside Juniper Brook, Gully Lake Brook, Salmon River, White Brook and Caribou Lake Brook.

Before You Go...

This is a Wilderness Trail System. Be prepared!

As you plan your hike in this beautiful area, please read Cobequid Eco-Trails Society's Trail Users' Checklist.

Appropriate footwear and a reasonable level of fitness are required. There is little to no cell phone coverage in the Gully Lake - Nuttby Trail System. Never hike alone; before you go, notify a friend or neighbour of your destination and expected time of return. Be prepared to be self-sufficient. Assistance if required could be hours away.

Trail Map

pdf Gully Lake - Nuttby Hiking Trails Map (155 kB) (131 KB)

Trail Descriptions

The following trail descriptions, provided by Cobequid Eco-Trails Society, are also found at www.cobequidecotrails.ca. Detailed directions to the trailheads and trailhead coordinates are found on the CE-TS website.

Rogart Mountain Trail

Rogart Mountain Trail wanders through white spruce, sugar maple and yellow birch woods. At its highest points are gnarly dwarf beech trees and old growth forest lichens. The trail passes old stone walls, three brooks, four lookoffs, Jane’s waterfalls, three foundations, and has 17 interpretive points. Though this trail has many steep climbs, the waterfall can be accessed on relatively flat terrain by doing a shorter trip counter clockwise.

pdf Rogart Mountain Trail Map (131 kB) (131 KB)
pdf Rogart Mountain Trail Interpretive Guide (16 KB)

Type: Loop
Length: 6.2 km
Surface: Soil, footpath
Rating: Moderate
Marking: Follow path and trail markers
Permitted Use: Hiking, snowshoeing
Access: Trailhead at Sugar Moon Farm on Alex MacDonald Road, off Route 311 in Earltown. Parking is available.

Information:

Cobequid Eco-Trails Society 902-647-2271
www.cobequidecotrails.ca

Earltown Lake and Portage Trail

Earltown Lake and Portage Trail is set in a towering forest of sugar maple, yellow birch, hemlock and red spruce, a former Christmas tree farm, and has the flora associated with those woods. The trail travels through raspberry patches, beside two wilderness lakes, nearby an old stone bridge, and above the headwaters of the Salmon River. There are 8 sections of boardwalk/bridge along the trail. The part of the trail near the lakes is relatively level.

Type: Linear
Length: 6.1 km
Surface: Soil, footpath
Rating: Moderate
Marking: Follow path and trail markers
Permitted Use: Hiking, snowshoeing, backcountry skiing
Access:

1) Highway 311, about 1 km south of Earltown village (near Alex MacDonald Road). Park on Alex MacDonald Road or Kemptown Road.
2) Taylor Lake Road. Roadside parking only.
3) Kemptown Road. Roadside parking only.

Information:

Cobequid Eco-Trails Society 902-647-2271
www.cobequidecotrails.ca

Sandy Cope Trail

Sandy Cope Trail is named for a Mi’kmaq hunting guide born in 1853. The trail is set in a forest of white spruce, red spruce and maple, with a variety of woodland flowers, mosses and lichens. The trail passes old mill sites, Donald’s Falls, Sandy Cope Lake, Widow Hatton’s Ridge, and across two early roads. The terrain rolls very lightly, making the trail suitable for easy snowshoeing. This trail starts 1.5 km from Gully Lake Wilderness Trail Head.

Type: Loop
Length: 6.4 km
Surface: Soil, footpath
Rating: Moderate
Marking: Follow path and trail markers
Permitted Use: Hiking, snowshoeing, backcountry skiing
Access:

Trail starts 1.5 km from Gully Lake Wilderness Trail Head on Kemptown Road

Information:

Cobequid Eco-Trails Society 902-647-2271
www.cobequidecotrails.ca

Willard Kitchener MacDonald Trail

Willard Kitchener MacDonald Trail is named for the Hermit of Gully Lake. The trail starts about 2 km from Gully Lake Wilderness Trail Head. It links Sandy Cope Trail and Gully Lake Trail. Willard’s Trail rolls gently through an old growth sugar maple and yellow birch forest. The ground is covered in evergreen wood fern and Christmas fern. The trail passes over many former log-sledding roads. At the two ends of the trail are Donald’s Falls and Meguma Falls. (Meguma Falls is on the earthquake fault line where the continental plates of Meguma and Avalon collided 380 million years ago.)

Type: Linear
Length: 2.7 km
Surface: Soil, footpath
Rating: Moderate
Marking: Follow path and trail markers
Permitted Use: Hiking, snowshoeing, backcountry skiing
Access:

Trail starts 2 km from Gully Lake Wilderness Trail Head on Kemptown Road

Information:

Cobequid Eco-Trails Society 902-647-2271
www.cobequidecotrails.ca

Gully Lake Trail

Gully Lake Trail passes through sugar maple, red spruce and white spruce forest with a great variety of lichens, mosses, and woodland flowers. Interesting features along the trail include many old logging camp sites, a Salmon River log brow, Small Pox clearing, a lake, many brooks, and four waterfalls. Its distance makes it the most challenging of the Gully Lake - Nuttby Trail System.

Type: Loop
Length: 10 km (+ 3.3 km or 4 km access trail)
Surface: Soil, footpath
Rating: Moderate
Marking: Follow path and trail markers
Permitted Use: Hiking, snowshoeing, backcountry skiing
Access:

1) Trail starts 4 km from Gully Lake Wilderness Trail Head on Kemptown Road via Willard Kitchener MacDonald Trail or
at end of fire road at Gully Lake, or
2) 3.3 km from Glen Road entry point (via Juniper Head Trail)

Information:

Cobequid Eco-Trails Society 902-647-2271
www.cobequidecotrails.ca

Juniper Head Trail

Juniper Head Trail links Gully Lake Trail and the Glen Road. The trail is set in an immature spruce forest and an old sugar maple and yellow birch forest with old forest lichens. It passes old skidder roads, brooks, and ends at Juniper Brook and the Gully Lake Trail. This trail is the most level of the Gully Lake - Nuttby Trail System.

Type: Linear
Length: 3.3 km
Surface: Soil, footpath
Rating: Moderate
Marking: Follow path and trail markers
Permitted Use: Hiking, snowshoeing, backcountry skiing
Access:

Glen Road entry point off Route 4 near Dalhousie Mountain in Pictou County

Information:

Cobequid Eco-Trails Society 902-647-2271
www.cobequidecotrails.ca