DEVILS BEND TRAIL

GENERAL INFORMATION Name: Devils Bend Trail County: Colchester Ownership: mostly provincial Crown land (Department of Natural Resources); also a portion of Economy River Wilderness Area (Nova Scotia Environment and Labour), and private land. Trail Length: 13 kilometers (8 miles) return trip; half that from one trail head to the other. Season: Year-round; may be impassable during winter conditions EMERGENCY INFORMATION Emergency: 911 Nearest Phone: Cell phone coverage on the trail is poor. Economy Country Store, Central Economy, has a pay phone. DIRECTIONS From Truro, drive west along Highway #104 to Exit 11 at Glenholme. Turn onto Highway #2 and follow for 34 km to Lower Economy. Turn right onto River Philip Road (dirt) and travel about 6.5 km to a trail head parking area, on the right. ACTIVITIES Walking: N Hiking: Y Mountain Biking: N XCountry Ski: N ATV: N Horse: N Snowmobile: N Coastal: N Loop: N Wheelchair: N Wheelchair Assisted: N DESCRIPTION Trail System Description The Devils Bend Trail meanders 6.25 kilometers (4 miles) along or above Economy River, heading towards Economy Falls, within Economy River Wilderness Area. A dramatic river valley landscape of dissected hills; cliffs; look-offs; and mature forest is revealed. Watch for white-tailed deer, bald eagles overhead, or even a bear crossing the river. The trail can be accessed from either end, at the Devils Bend trail head or Economy Falls trail head. The description here begins at the Devils Bend trail head. The first 500 metres is downhill, dropping 50 metres in elevation quite rapidly. Stairs help with the steeper sections, and narrow boardwalks cross wet areas. The trail then turns up a slope and recovers some elevation before crossing an old woods road at about 700 metres. From here, descend along a small stream about 900 metres to the steep banks of Economy River. Watch for gorgeous hemlock trees on some of the steep ridges.The trail then follows the river, upstream, and passes through a lovely intervale bordered by high sandstone rock faces. At 2.4 kilometres (1.5 miles), the trail climbs to the first small look-off above Devil's Bend. This spot offers wide views of the Economy River Valley. A jutting elbow of land has forced the river into several 90 degree turns beneath this vantage point, providing a dramatic vista of the river, and the wind and rain sculpted sandstone bluff opposite. Watch the waters in the river below, a common area for deer and bear sightings. Bald eagles or other raptors may enjoy the convenient perch on the tall trees overlooking this open part of the valley. The hike becomes more challenging during the next kilometre, climbing and descending as it traces the narrow gorges which cut deeply into the hillside. At 3.3 kilometers (2 miles), you will reach at the best viewing station yet, perched high above Devil's Bend on the top of the sandstone bluff. Continuing north, the trail intersects a woods road and follows this downhill, to the shore of Economy River for the first time at 3.9 kilometers (2.5 miles). For the remaining 2.5 kilometers (1.5 miles), the trail stays relatively close to the river. At about 5.5 kilometers (3.5 miles), you may notice a clear-cut through the trees on your left. The river is quite narrow here. With only 400 metres remaining, you will arrive at another look-off, now inside Economy River Wilderness Area. Economy Falls is still hidden by hills. Continue north, and when the trail intersects the Economy Falls Trail [link], turn right and descend 105 steps to the base of the falls. This site is a 6.5 kilometer (4 mile) walk from the Devils Bend trail head. While here, you may wish to explore other vantages of Economy Falls and Economy River which can be accessed from the Economy Falls Trail. To complete your hike, return as you came. Alternatively, follow the Economy Falls trail to the Economy Falls trail head. Arrange for pick-up or walk back to the Devils Bend trail head via the River Philip Road. This route is fairly level and shorter (about 4.5 kilometers, or 3 miles), but less scenic. You are encouraged to review NSELís Keep it Wild brochure for guidance on wilderness area standards and safe recreation. For more information on the provinceís Protected Areas Program call 902-424-2117 or visit: http://www.gov.ns.ca/enla/protectedareas