Waterfall Detail: In Alan Rayburn book, Geographical Names of New Brunswick it states that Antinouri Lake & Brook was probably named for Anthony Ree, a Bathurst hunter and was probably given by Michael Hanley who surveyed the area in 1850. Regardless on origin it is an unusual name. The lake is known by many and is a favorite location for hunting, fishing and canoeing.
This region of our province contains a number of major rivers, some of which have carved deep gorges in the bedrock. The deep gorge created by the Jacquet River and its tributaries dominate this wilderness area and have produced many gulches and waterfalls. In this neck of the woods ravines or gorges are called gulches and in this watershed there are numerous. One of the most arresting waterfalls is the Antinouri Brook Falls. The lake of the same name and Doyles Meadow fuel the brook.
The watershed has considerable ecological features and because of this it is one of New Brunswick natural protected area. In 2009 & 2010 the New Brunswick Museum conducted a BioBlitz which is a special type of field study where a group of scientists and volunteers conduct an intensive biological inventory, attempting to identify and record all species of living organisms in a given area. Botanists found patches of orchids and rare ferns in heavy concentrations. As well they have already found rare and probably endangered species such as a small mushroom not been seen in Canada since about 1900, and then only in Newfoundland. This will probably be one of a very few spots in North America where it has turned up.
The area includes some of the largest freshwater wetlands in north-eastern New Brunswick, excellent salmon nursery habitat in the Jacquet River System, and old-growth forests along the steep ravines. “…….waterways as active healthy rivers that sustain habitats and biodiversity rather than just plumbing systems for the benefit of humankind.” Peter McBride
To visit the waterfalls you must leave Route 11 near Jacquet River at exit 351 and drive north toward the Chaleur Bay on Jacquet River Drive. Look for Mitchell Road on the right about 500 metres down this road. Drive out Mitchell Road approximately 1.5 Km until the Y in the road. Take the road on the right and head south towards Mitchell Settlement. From the Y to the trailhead is just over 8 Km. The trailhead (old logging road) is at N47 49’ 41” / W 066 0’ 25”
Visit Detail: I remember coming out to Antinouri Lake with my father and uncles on fishing trips. This would be adventure, driving from Dalhousie in the back seat of the 1956 Ford Galaxy with my older brother and then heading for Belledune to visit relatives. Part of the mystic and excitement was exploring the abandoned quarry. On one particular jaunt a bull moose made its way along the shore and chased us out of the area. We then drove to a location on the northern shore only to be chased again. For a youngster this was extremely exciting but for my father and uncles it became annoying. You can well determine the topic of discussion on the drive out.
So it was with great excitement that I met Rod O’Connell at Antinouri Lake where I took a few photographs and spent time reminiscing. We left one vehicle near the lake before driving back toward Mitchell Settlement and the trailhead. Along the way we stopped to check out Doyles Meadow. A quick inspection shows that the meadow looks relatively parched, which may mean a trickle of a waterfall. Parked alongside the Mitchell Settlement Road and the trailhead we gear up and head out.
After an evening of rain the old woods road is strewn with puddles causing us to zigzag our way along. Eventually we reach the brook. It is late August and as we suspected the brook is a bit on the low side. Rod O’Connell and I discuss whether there is sufficient water to produce a beautiful waterfall. Regardless we are here and decide to persist. We walked along keeping the ravine on our right checking our GPS units. The old road began to veer away from our intended destination so we decided to bushwhack directly to the falls. In several minute we are at the edge of the ravine.
Descending, the rich aroma of cedar greets us and in minutes it becomes apparent that there will be no waterfall show on this morning. There was scant amount of water snaking down the lower section of the falls, as for the upper section; what would be the more dramatic of the two sections, the sound of water was pervasive but unseen. This was my first time exposed to a dry waterfall.