Waterfall Detail: The Jacquet River slashes deeply into the Chaleur Highlands forming a deep gorge. Because of this, brooks and streams quickly drop down into rather deep ravines as they head for the larger river. Taylor Brook plummets 20 m (60ft) into a narrow chasm and continues in a northerly direction under layers of rock fragments before emerging 100 metres (300ft) further down. Vertical walls on the northwest flank the ravine, with one extrusion rising above the plateau. Heavy snow and rain continually force large boulders and trees to fall into the chasm covering the brook.
Taylor Meadows empties into the Lower South Branch Jacquet River which forms part of one of New Brunswick’s remote watersheds. Taylor Meadows, a Ducks Unlimited managed area is part of the Jacquet River Gorge Protected Natural Area. “The Jacquet River Gorge site covers 26,021 hectares. This site captures the hilly plateau and river gorges that characterize the Northern Uplands. It is a moderately high-elevation, somewhat hilly plateau. The Jacquet River cuts deeply into the plateau on the higher western side, forming a deep gorge. The forest cover is predominantly balsam fir mixed with spruce and intolerant hardwood. Stands dominated by tolerant hardwood, black spruce, white pine and eastern cedar are also found.
The waterfall can be accessed by driving in on the Hickey Road. Note there are few road signs out here. The Hickey Road (N47⁰ 39’ 36.90” / W066⁰ 05’ 28.74”) is on the right side of Sormany Road. Once on Hickey Road continue on the main forest road until Taylor Meadows (N47⁰ 44’ 08.73” / W066⁰ 04’ 39.38”). The road is over the sluiceway for the Duck Unlimited water control and the meadow is on the right. The safest and believe me the easiest approach to the waterfall is along the south ridge along the brook. Access to the falls is by a slow descent of clutching onto trees and roots. Near the falls the cliffs are shear but the slope lessen 100 or so metres down from the falls.
Sormany Road is an extension of the Robertville Road and Acadie Road. The Acadie Road can be accessed from Route 11 by taking the exit 318 at Beresford. Regardless of where you drive from head away from the Village of Beresford towards Robertville. Drive out to the end of Robertville Road to Sainte Louise Road, turn left and then turn right onto Sormany Road. Drive approximately 24.5 km to Hickey Road.
Visit Detail: On an unusually warm November afternoon driving along on Sormany Road, highlights of yellow Tamarack amongst spruce differentiate the distant tree line. Against this backdrop, whiffs of camp smoke define ridges nestled in this northern New Brunswick hinterland. Even at this late point, autumn spreads indefinitely in all directions providing a palette of colours. Every so often we see the grill of a truck or car parked in side roads, vacated for now. It is that time of year when many residents are out hunting.
The drive in on Hickey Road is not rough and in no time at all we arrive at Taylor Meadows. There is a bite in the air. The temperature has dropped with the gain of over 1000’ in altitude on the drive up from Beresford. As well, it begins to cloud over which will provide excellent light to photography the waterfalls.
On Rod’s last trip in, they hiked in on the northern side of the brook and were left with a precarious descent into the ravine. So we hiked along the south side. Along the way the brook drops quickly and by the time we reach the edge; the top of the waterfall is 30 m (100ft) below us and the bottom is 50m (160 ft). My first comment is, “Do we have to climb down here?” and Rod replies, “Better than over there”, pointing to the near vertical cliffs on the opposite side.
Gripping to trees and roots we slowly slide into ravine. At the bottom, staring up at the towering tree line, I am awe struck at the sheerness of the rock walls. The north face is beyond vertical in places. It is difficult to decide which view of the falls is most impressive, from below, looking upward at the torrent in the act of taking the fevered leap, or from the cliff above, where one looks down upon the turbulent waters, writhing over the rocky face after it has made the leap.
Spending about 30 minutes in the ravine we pack up and begin the ascent. Choosing an alternate route we travel laterally back and forth until reaching a location where it is not as sheer. Following this ridgeline we make it to the top. On the hike back to the truck a snow squall passes through reminding us that winter is just around the corner.
While researching I found this quote about the Jacquet River. “Jacquet River in New Brunswick… is still the very best for the nature lover – it is so pristine and virgin that a visit to the area is an experience of a lifetime. If you love nature and a photographer, you found paradise!”